Eosinophilic Gastrointestinal Disease Program | Your Visit

Children visiting the EGID Clinic typically meet with a number of specialists. All of our doctors and staff work hard to see each child on schedule and to make their visit as enjoyable as possible.

Location

Boston Children's Hospital
Fegan Building, 5th floor
617-919-9958

Hours

Tuesday mornings, second and fourth weeks of the month

Appointments

To schedule or cancel an appointment call 617-919-9958. When canceling an appointment, please give us as much notice as possible, so that we may accommodate other patients.

What we need prior to your visit

  • pathology slides
  • radiology test results, if any
  • results of any endoscopic procedures
  • allergy test results, if any
  • recent gastroenterology and allergy clinic notes

Our preference is to have these documents faxed to 617-730-0495 marked “Attn: EGID.” If records are too large to be faxed, please mail them to:

Boston Children's Hospital
EGID program – Attn: Maura
300 Longwood Avenue – Hunnewell Ground Floor
Boston, MA 02115

How long will my appointment take?

If it's your first visit, it typically lasts about three hours. Return visits are usually shorter.

Who will my child see at the EGID program?

  • Gastroenterologist: Our gastroenterologist will examine your child, review your child's medical history with you and answer any questions you may have. He/she may recommend additional tests, such as an endoscopy or radiology study.
  • Allergist: Our allergist will meet with you, examine your child and may also recommend testing, such as skin or blood tests.
  • Dietician:We understand the frustration of restricting your child's diet due to food allergies. Our dietician will meet with you and offer the tools needed to eat healthy and avoid allergic reactions.
  • Social worker:Our social worker can provide coping support, connect you with the EGID community locally and nationally, introduce you to support groups and help you advocate for your child.
  • Clinical coordinator: As your primary contact person, your clinical coordinator will facilitate communication with your child's treatment team, coordinate your child's care and schedule appointments.

What tests does the EGID program perform?

Tests may include endoscopy, a barium swallow test and allergy tests to identify foods and/or environmental allergens that trigger symptoms.

Endoscopy

Barium imaging

In this test, your child drinks a preparation containing barium, a liquid that shows up on x-ray. An x-ray is then taken of your child's esophagus, stomach and small intestine.

Allergy testing

  • Skin prick tests apply a drop of the suspected allergen on the surface of your child's skin A positive test can be seen within 15 to 20 minutes, with hives and redness at the test site. However, a positive test doesn't always mean your child is allergic to that allergen. The test isn't considered painful but positive reactions can cause itching. You may be asked to have your child avoid certain medications before the testing, as they may interfere with the results.
  • Blood tests, also known as RAST tests, measure the IgE antibodies your child produces in response to allergens. They may be used when skin tests cannot be performed. Again, a positive test doesn't always mean your child is allergic to that allergen, and doesn't predict the severity or the type of reaction. But it does give information on the likelihood of having a reaction if exposed to that allergen.
  • Food patch tests can detect delayed-reaction food allergies. They require two separate visits to the Allergy Program. On the first visit, a food patch test panel is placed on your child's back, secured with tape. The panels consist of prepared foods selected by your allergist, placed on shallow aluminum disks.

Stopping medications before your visit

If your child is taking medications containing antihistamines, it is important that you follow these directions.

  • Stop the following medications 7 to 10 days before your visit: Allegra (fexoferadine), Claritin (loratadine), Clarinex, Clemastine, Tavist, Atarax (hydroxyzine) and cyproheptadine (Periactin).
  • If your child is taking Zyrtec, stop it 10 to 14 days before your visit.
  • At least 3 days before the visit, stop non-prescription cold or allergy medicines containing antihistamines, including: Benadryl (diphenhydramine), Actifed, Dimetapp, Pediacare and Triaminic cold formulas.
  • If you do not know whether your child's medicine contains antihistamines, or are concerned about stopping a medication, ask the pharmacist or call the Boston Children's Allergy Program at 617-355-6117 and ask to speak with a nurse.
  • On the day of the visit, do not use asthma medications (bronchodilators) such as albuterol, Ventolin, Proventil, Xopenex or Maxair unless your child is coughing or wheezing. Other asthma medications and antibiotics should be given as usual.
  • Do not stopany other medications prescribed by your doctor.