Local boy's trial-and-error journey with esophageal condition
SARASOTA - Fourteen-year-old Timothy Lunsford lives with Eosinophilic esophagitis, or EoE.
"When he was months old he would bottle feed and I’d burp him and he would spit up, literally, across the room," Timothy's Mom Tracy said.
Fast forward eleven years, and Tracy says he’d run to the bathroom after every meal.
“He was vomiting food back up because it was getting stuck," she said.
Tracy says it was a long journey of tests that led them to Pediatric Gastroenterologist, Dr. Sara Karjoo.
“Eosinophilic esophagitis is an allergic disorder, and also an immune dis-regulation," Dr. Karjoo said.
She says 1 in 2,000 have EoE, which affects people of all ages. The biggest symptom is difficulty swallowing.
“Or if you have reflux that just has not responded to typical acid medicines," Dr. Karjoo said.
Tracy’s happy she didn’t ignore her son’s warning signs.
“His esophagus was so closed tight and red and fissured that we immediately needed to do something," she said.
But figuring out what to do, she says, is the hard part.
“What works for us might not work for the next patient," Tracy said.
Timothy is finally feeling better because he’s on steroids and avoids wheat, nuts, dairy and soy.
“It's really hard; I shop at 5 different stores," Tracy said.
It's not easy, but both Dr. Karjoo and Timothy say it could be worse.
“Some have to have full elimination of diet and are on formulas," Dr. Karjoo said.
"I'm used to it now, so it really doesn't bother me," Timothy said.