Eosinophilic Colitis Quick Facts

Eosinophilic Colitis (EC)

Eosinophilic colitis is a rare disease in which a type of white blood cell, the eosinophil, causes injury and inflammation to the large intestine. Eosinophilic colitis may affect both adults and children. The cause is unknown in many patients. Some infants may have milk-soy protein intolerance which may look like eosinophilic colitis but is typically outgrown.


  • Vomiting, nausea, diarrhea
  • Difficulty feeding and/or gaining weight
  • Poor growth and weight loss
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Anemia (low blood counts)
  • Malnutrition
  • Fatigue

Associated Diseases:

  • Environmental and/or food allergies in some
  • May occur in conjunction with other EGIDs


  • Unknown


  • Lower endoscopy or colonoscopy (placement of a lighted tube into the anus, rectum and large intestine)
  • Biopsies of the large intestine are necessary to make the diagnosis. Eosinophils causing injury on biopsy, in the context of symptoms consistent with EC


    • Endoscopy may show erosions, ulcers or irritated areas of the large intestine
    • Biopsy: Eosinophils invading the large intestine. Biopsy may show chronic inflammation. No consensus recommendations on definition or diagnosis.
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Allergy Testing

      • Allergy testing may be helpful in some patients to identify and remove offending food allergens.


      • Avoid known food allergens or triggers
      • Systemic Steroids (prednisone)
      • Elemental diet (avoid all food protein and obtain all nutrition from a special formula)
      • Iron supplementation if iron deficient
      • Nutritional support as needed
      • Anti-inflammatory medications for the large intestine
      • Topical steroids (suppository or enema)


      • Depends on response to treatment
      • Recurrent episodes may occur

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Author: Wendy Book MD, updated 9-08-2011, reviewed by Dr. Jonathan Markowitz
© American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders 2011. Content may not be reproduced in part or in whole without express written consent from APFED. Contact us