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Real Talk: Eosinophilic Diseases

Sep 17, 2021

There is no denying that mealtime can be a challenge for those with eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGIDs) who are on elimination diets. In this episode, co-hosts Dawn McCoy and Ryan Piansky discuss some creative strategies that can help make mealtimes easier with Holly Knotowicz, MS, CCC-SLP.


Holly Knotowicz is a Speech-Language Pathologist and a Feeding and Swallowing Specialist. Her background is in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and her areas of clinical interest include behavioral, oral motor, and oral sensory feeding disorders, including mealtime dynamics. Holly specializes in working with children who have eosinophilic gastrointestinal diseases (EGID), including eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), and working with children who have food allergies, FPIES, and neurogenic disorders. She is an active participant in research, has been published in Gastroenterology Journal, and is an international speaker on feeding.


In this episode, Holly shares a little about her own journey with EoE, how that influenced her to dedicate herself to this field, as well as how feeding therapists can help care for those with these conditions. Holly draws on her years of experience to share tips, strategies, and creative coping mechanisms to improve people’s experiences with food, as well as how to navigate the social norms around food and eating. Tune in to find out more about how a feeding therapist can become an invaluable part of a healthcare team for someone with an EGID, such as EoE.


Disclaimer: The information provided in this podcast is designed to support, not replace the relationship that exists between listeners and their healthcare providers. Opinions, information, and recommendations shared in this podcast are not a substitute for medical advice. Decisions related to medical care should be made with your healthcare provider. Opinions and views of guests and co-hosts are their own.


Key Takeaways:

[1:40] Ryan introduces the guest for this episode — Holly Knotowicz.

[2:40] Holly shares a little about how she got started in her field.

[3:11] What is the role of feeding therapists in the care of someone with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (EoE)?

[4:08] How does Holly collaborate with other specialists, specifically pediatricians and gastroenterologists?

[5:27] What are some of Holly's tips for people who are just starting an elimination diet?

[9:42] Ryan relates his personal experience of having limited foods in his diet.

[10:37] What are some coping mechanisms that Holly recommends for people who have trouble with a new food?

[13:30] Holly touches on the social aspect of food in our culture. How might someone with dietary restrictions navigate these social activities?

[18:48] What are some of the long-term benefits of parents and children working with feeding therapy services?

[21:17] How does Holly help children and families who have a reluctance to reintroduce certain foods back into their diet, and how can they work with their healthcare provider to do that?

[24:50] What are some creative tactics and tools that Holly gives the children she works with to help them in the long term after they leave the treatment session?

[29:20] How can someone locate a feeding specialist?


Mentioned in This Episode:

American Partnership for Eosinophilic Disorders (APFED)

APFED on YouTube, Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram

Email Holly

Always-Sometimes-Future Foods Resource

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)

2021 EOS Connection Patient Education Conference

APFED Recipes

EOS Connections Online Community

APFED’s Specialist Finder


This episode is brought to you thanks to the support of our Education Partners: Bristol Myers Squibb, Sanofi Genzyme, and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.