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Trouble swallowing

(16 Posts)
SerialReJoiner Sat 08-Apr-17 15:21:35

I will make a good appointment next week, but just wanted some feedback from anyone who knows / had similar experiences. From time to time, when I'm eating, my esophagus seems to stop working right. I can't swallow my food all the way down to my stomach; it sort of gets stuck halfway. I have to sit and wait it out. It's very uncomfortable and I can't really talk through it. I can't just take a sip of water to dislodge the food, as that won't go down either. I thought at first that it was me not chewing thoroughly greedy but when I do sometimes have to bring the food back up (yuk) it is only tiny amounts of food that is causing the obstruction. Sometimes I can't even swallow my saliva.

This was an issue two years ago, and I was referred for a barium swallow in hospital. Nothing showed, and the problem seemed to disappear. I'm concerned that it's back again.

This a kind of a big deal, isn't it? confused

TroysMammy Sat 08-Apr-17 15:29:33

Could it be achalasia (sp)? I came across the word in work the other day and looked up it's meaning. I regurgitate certain foods, anything made with mince is the main one but I don't have difficulty swallowing.

gamerchick Sat 08-Apr-17 15:34:01

I get this, I had to go for an endoscopy. It found 2 inflamed areas which what was causing the sensation of food getting stuck.

Meds like omeprazole help.

gamerchick Sat 08-Apr-17 15:35:19

You really should get it checked out anyway. Camera for you.

LateBloomer414 Sat 08-Apr-17 15:43:43

Please get this checked out by an ENT or gastro specialist. DH has this and omeprazole has been a game changer for him.

MrsEricBana Sat 08-Apr-17 15:45:50

I have a horrid thing that I can only describe as an oesophageal spasm where sometimes my whole oesophagus locks and I can neither swallow nor bring anything up. It feels like the muscles have frozen not like a blockage iyswim. I have had endoscopy and no blockage. It almost never happens at home - usually when out and rushing e.g. just struggled through busy cafe with dc, got table, stuff food in mouth - then! Maybe you have similar. Definitely get checked but not necessarily anything "bad".

NannyR Sat 08-Apr-17 15:47:57

I have had this exact problem for years, after my worst episode where I couldn't swallow anything, even saliva for eleven hours my gp referred me to a consultant and I had various tests which didn't show up anything (but most of the time I don't have a problem, if they had tested me when I was having difficulty swallowing maybe something would have shown up) and I was discharged after the consultant basically made me feel like I was making things up.
90% of the time I can swallow perfectly normally, but then I have episodes where nothing goes down, it's like my oesophagus stops working and goes into spasm, it's incredibly uncomfortable, I can't talk and it's quite embarrassing when it happens in public. Drinks don't help they just add to the problem. I've never been able to pin down a trigger for it happening and I've just learnt to live with it. Sounds awful, but the best way to deal with it I've found is to get the food out as soon as I start the hiccuping and gipping by forcing it up then laying down and resting till the spasm passes.

I've never come across anyone else with this problem, in a way it makes me feel better that this is a real thing and not something I'm imagining.

NavyandWhite Sat 08-Apr-17 15:57:22

I started a thread about this the other week. It's still going on. GP referred me for urgent endoscopy due to family history of stomach cancer which I had and was normal. I'm now on double omeprazole as GP thinks it might be LPR ( silent reflux ) and has referred me to ENT.

Have you heard of globus sensation? It's the feeling of an obstruction in your throats without anything there. It could be that. Have you had blood checked? My GP mentioned thyroid problems, but blood test came back normal.

hairymuffet Sat 08-Apr-17 19:23:39

I get this when I eat bread.

SerialReJoiner Sat 08-Apr-17 20:51:47

I'll definitely be asking for more tests to try to figure this out. It's getting worse - I was feeling my esophagus tightening whilst eating soup for dinner! The not-chewing-well theory is definitely out the window.

NavyandWhite I will definitely ask for a blood test as well as any other tests, though an endoscopy sounds uncomfortable. :/

NannyR definitely not imagining things! It's really just so inconvenient and unpleasant, isn't it.

MrsEricBana I'm avoiding Dr Google, since last time I had this issue I thoroughly freaked myself out! Right now my attitude is "this isn't normal" and a doctor needs to investigate. I am otherwise healthy, fit and well, so this is a problem, albeit minor.

hairymuffet I have realised that it most often happens when I eat potato products - chips, bread and even soup (see above) can set it off. Why??! So odd.

I'm hoping it's a simple fix, but from what I've read about the medication mentioned in this thread, breastfeeding isn't advised, which is a problem with my 3 month old ds. Blah. I won't borrow worries.

NavyandWhite Sat 08-Apr-17 21:26:12

OP I think the endoscopy was only done because of my family history, dysphagia ( difficulty swallowing ) can be a red flag if there's other symptoms, I am burping all the time too, it was absolutely fine though as I had a sedative.

MrsEricBana Sun 09-Apr-17 10:22:37

hairymuffet me too. It's almost as though the first bite of bread hits a specific trigger point in the back of my throat and then it starts and I just have to sit through it.

sunnyhills Sun 09-Apr-17 11:02:25

Hairy and MrsEric please get your difficulty swallowing bread checked out ,it's probably nothing but I have had oesphageal cancer and difficulty swallowing soft spongy food is a not uncommon symptom .

Generally the symptom is that one starts off eating ok ( so not the first bite MrsEric ) but very soon ,once it gets down a certain distance the food gets stuck .

I have also had a laryngeal spasm which feels like your whole upper/back of throat has completely seized up and you can't breathe never mind swallow . Apparently it's the vocal chords going into spasm . My mum used to get it too .Can be triggered by certain foods ,stress ,being really hungry and eating too fast .

It has a distinctive rather high pitched sound . The best I can find to demonstrate is www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCzDbsewRi0
but there are better clips .

I wonder if that's what you have Mrs Eric ? It's quite sudden and violent ,and of course ,horribly scary .

Not trying to scare anyone just offering my experience ...we're all different

hairymuffet Sun 09-Apr-17 11:09:54

I've always had it though !

Le1890 Sun 09-Apr-17 22:40:06

I think you are doing the right thing getting it re-checked. I think the fact that you have had it before and had it checked and it went away is reassuring.

I'm not saying this is the case but stress can cause these things too. With being post natal could you be suffering for stress or anxiety and lack of sleep?

I only say this as I am post natal too and in December I felt like I couldn't swallow or move food about my mouth properly etc. It got to the point I was getting myself so worked up eating and it was a vicious cycle as the less I ate the more strange things felt and my muscles were tight.x

SerialReJoiner Mon 10-Apr-17 07:35:45

Thanks, Le1890. Without going into a long backstory, I do think that the previous incidents were stress related, so I'm hoping that it's only stress related this time, too! I don't feel particularly stressed out right now, but it could be a delayed reaction.

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