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The EMPOWER (Enhancing, Managing, and Promoting Well-being and Resiliency) Program at the Jaffe Institute is staffed by professionals with particular expertise in managing behavioral and emotional issues in children with food allergy and their families. The program offers individual consultation, referral services, and group treatment to patients and their families. As with other Jaffe Institute programs, an important mission of the EMPOWER program is to engage in research efforts.
We aim to better understand the extent, reasons for, and management of distress in food-allergic individuals and their families, and we aim to help patients and families improve coping abilities and develop enhanced resilience. The program's focus on enhancing resiliency is unique, and we hope that it will serve as a model for providing multidisciplinary, holistic care within the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute and beyond. If you have questions or concerns about the emotional aspects of living with food allergy or with managing your child's allergies, please discuss this with your doctor or ask about our EMPOWER program.
All interviews will be held in the strictest of confidence in the same way as medical information. Also, whether or not you have questions or worries, please consider participating in the EMPOWER program's research and screening efforts. You can help us improve our understanding of our patients' and families' concerns and strengths. Together, we may discover ways to enhance coping with food allergies.
Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a disease of the esophagus (the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach) caused by food allergies. Certain foods trigger EoE by causing white blood cells called eosinophils, along with other allergic cells, to migrate to the esophagus.
Symptoms may include stomach pain, vomiting, heartburn, difficulty swallowing, poor appetite, food refusal, and poor growth. These symptoms can mimic acid-induced reflux; however, they usually do not improve with antacid therapies, which are often used to treat reflux. Treatment for EoE includes dietary modifications and other medical therapies. Special expertise is needed in treating this condition, since food allergens that trigger EoE work in a very special way, different from what has been traditionally known.
If you have or your child has symptoms suggestive of EoE, please discuss them with your doctor, who may refer you to our Mount Sinai Center for Eosinophilic Disorders at the Jaffe Food Allergy Institute. At the Mount Sinai Center for Eosinophilic Disorders, you will encounter a caring team of professionals who have specialized knowledge and expertise in diagnosing and treating EoE and other eosinophilic gastrointestinal disorders. The multidisciplinary team consists of a gastroenterologist, allergists, a dietitian, and a psychiatrist. The Mount Sinai Center for Eosinophilic Disorders is also involved in research aimed at developing optimal treatments for children and adults living with EoE.
Every child needs adequate nutrition to grow and develop properly. Each food or food group provides a unique set of nutrients necessary for growth; therefore, any dietary restriction will present a challenge to adequate nutrition. Multiple food allergies make providing a nutritionally complete diet even more challenging and may put your child at greater nutritional risk. Our expert registered dietitian can help determine your child’s specific nutritional needs and create a plan to meet those needs within the confines of the allergen-restricted diet. Our goal is to provide a plan for safe and healthy eating that is still fun, tasty, and appealing, so that children can look forward to, rather than dread, coming to the table.
Jaffe Food Allergy Institute
5 East 98th Street, 10th Floor
New York, NY 10029
Fall/Winter 2013 [PDF]