If you experience regular flare-ups of allergic gastroenteritis, an elimination diet may help you figure out what’s triggering it.

If you’ve ever experienced stomach flu — otherwise known as gastroenteritis — you know how uncomfortable and even painful it can be. Between the cramps, nausea, and frequent trips to the bathroom, there’s nothing fun about having an inflamed and irritated stomach.

Viral gastroenteritis and bacterial gastroenteritis are two of the most common and highly contagious types of gastroenteritis.

However, a rare type of gastroenteritis, called allergic gastroenteritis, can also affect people with certain allergies and autoimmune conditions.

Below, we’ll share everything you need to know about allergic eosinophilic gastroenteritis, including causes, triggers, symptoms, treatment, and more.

Allergic gastroenteritis, also known as eosinophilic gastroenteritis, develops when eosinophils infiltrate the digestive tract and cause an immune response. Eosinophils are one of several types of white blood cells that make up our immune system.

Eosinophils naturally reside in our digestive tract, coexisting with other cells primarily in the lining of the lower digestive tract. However, in eosinophilic gastroenteritis, the number of eosinophils in the tract is much higher, which in turn causes an inflammatory response.

Some of the possible triggers for allergic gastroenteritis may include:

Because allergic gastroenteritis is rare, researchers aren’t entirely sure what causes it, though an overactive immune response and genetic changes may play a role. Research also shows that the condition is more prevalent in females, young adults, and adolescents, which could indicate hormonal involvement.

Symptoms of eosinophilic gastroenteritis are similar to those caused by viral or bacterial gastroenteritis and may include:

Symptoms can also vary depending on which part of the digestive tract the condition affects. For example, allergic gastroenteritis that affects the esophagus, also called eosinophilic esophagitis, primarily causes symptoms in the upper digestive tract.

How long does allergic gastroenteritis last?

When someone has eosinophilic gastroenteritis, symptoms tend to cycle through flare-ups and remission. Flare-ups refer to periods in which symptoms worsen, while remission describes periods where symptoms lessen or disappear.

It’s not uncommon for doctors to misdiagnose allergic gastroenteritis, which may explain why roughly 80% of people with the condition have symptoms for years. Once diagnosed, treatment can help greatly reduce the frequency and severity of someone’s symptoms and flare-ups.

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Allergic gastroenteritis is a chronic condition, which means that there’s no cure. However, the right combination of treatment approaches can help someone better manage their symptoms and reduce the risk of future flare-ups.


While no single drug is approved to treat eosinophilic gastroenteritis, several medications may be effective in reducing symptoms.

Glucocorticoids are the most commonly prescribed medication for allergic gastroenteritis because they help reduce inflammation in the body. Other possible medication options may include:

Research on medications to treat eosinophilic gastroenteritis is limited, so finding the right medication or combination of medications for your symptoms may involve some trial and error.

Dietary changes

When food sensitivities and allergies play a role in worsening your symptoms, dietary changes may be helpful in reducing symptoms and flare-up risk.

An elimination diet is one of the most common dietary approaches for digestive conditions like allergic gastroenteritis. With an elimination diet, the goal is to eliminate any foods you suspect may worsen your symptoms and slowly reintroduce them to identify any triggers.

Since there’s little research on the effectiveness of this diet for allergic gastroenteritis, it’s best to work directly with your primary healthcare professional and a nutritionist if you plan on making any major dietary changes.

Allergic gastroenteritis, or eosinophilic gastroenteritis, is a chronic digestive condition that causes inflammation in the stomach and intestines. Symptoms of allergic gastroenteritis include abdominal pain, bloating, vomiting, diarrhea, and other digestive symptoms.

Although there’s no cure for this type of gastroenteritis, treatment can help manage symptoms, reduce the risk of flare-ups, and increase overall quality of life with the condition.