This condition exists when the eosinophil count level is above normal. In otherwise healthy adults, this diagnosis is contingent upon having a count above 500 eosinophils per micro liter of blood according to the Mayo Clinic. This number can differ depending on the age of the person and whether or not he or she has any pre-existing health conditions. Although it is primarily identified as being as the blood or tissue variety, there are several different types of this disorder that one can have.
The Role of Eosinophils in the Body
Eosinophils are a type of white blood cell that is normally found within the body. They are responsible for the inflammation response that occurs during allergic reaction or when fighting off foreign substances, such as a parasitic infection and are often associated with other disorders. During these times, it is perfectly normal to have a higher than average count.
Conditions Associated with Eosinophilia
As previously mentioned, there are a variety of disorders that may play a role in an elevation of this white blood cell. This can include a number of parasitic infections, cancer, asthma and eczema just to name a few. Other diseases or disorders associated with this may also consist of primary immunodeficiency, lupus, ulcerative colitis and other conditions associated with the bowel.
Signs and Symptoms
The signs and symptoms of this disorder can significantly differ from one patient to the next. This is because that there are multiple types of eosinophilia, which can affect various areas of the body. However, inflammation of the skin, such as hives and itching, abdominal pain, muscle pain and spasms and neuropathy, simply called nerve pain can all be indications of some type of eosinophilia disorder. Edema, tremors, gastric problems and shortness of breath may also be possible. The number one indicator of this condition though is an elevated eosinophil count.
How is Eosinophilia Diagnosed?
It is necessary to measure the number of eosinophis present, which will require blood work. In many cases, the physician may perform this blood work routinely when screening for certain illnesses or when monitoring them. Therefore, follow up is often necessary. Over a duration of time, the patient may need to have the eosinophil count checked on a routine basis to ensure that the levels are decreasing. In addition to this, the physician may also want to screen for other potential disorders and keep an eye on the complete blood count.
A diagnosis of this disorder should not necessarily warrant concern. In several cases, it is caused by another health condition or something as simple as a mild allergic reaction. Treating the condition or reaction may be sufficient enough for eosinophils to return to a normal level. However, some patients may suffer from any variety of disorders caused by any number of the eosinophilia disorders. When this occurs, the cause is treated as well, typically through medications.
Eosinophilia. New York University. Langone Medical Center. Reviewed November 2008. Viewed 03, January 2011. http://pediatrics.med.nyu.edu/rheumatology/conditions-we-treat/conditions/eosinophilia
Eosinophilia. Mayo Clinic. 23, January 2009. Viewed 03, January 2011. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/eosinophilia/MY00399
Eosinophilia -Myalgia Syndrome Symptoms. Eosinophilia- Myalgia Syndrome Network. Viewed 03, January 2011. http://www.nemsn.org/symptoms.htm