I've had a problem with swallowing food for years. I frequently get food stuck in my throat/esophagus, and the blockage makes a complete 'block'. I am unable to swallow anything - not even my naturally produced saliva. When this happens I usually stay in hospital and after 2-3 days it will eventually clear itself.
It is usually meat that gets stuck, but it has also been grapes and other things..
I've had a countless number of different scopes and barium swallows. I had an esophagual manometry a short while ago and it was discovered that only one quarter of the muscles in the peristalsis are working as they should.
The last check i had was to take samples of tissue from different places, i think the esophagus, gullet, and somewhere else.
I was on domperidone (?) i think it was called, to try and relax the muscles in esophagus, but that actually made it worse and i was regularly getting pills stuck, and even soft banana! Though at these times it wasnt a complete block like before - it would usually go down after about 10-15 minutes.
I've been taken off the domperidone stuff now, and am waiting to get the results of the last test.
But in the mean time, has anyone got anything to say/ in similar situation?
ps. From the barium x-ray they said that it was definitely not cancer of the esophagus
pps. apologies for this post probably being poorly written but im on painkillers for operation on broken arm and am half asleep!", and typos are cos im typing one handed.
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Im really sorry to see what your'e going through but judging by what you've written here I have to ask.. Who on earth are you doctors and why are they allowing you to sit in a hospital for 2-3 days until the blocked food passes? Im currently having trouble swallowin as well and have been dx'd with Gerd, Gastritis inflammation of the small intestin, esophagus and a hiatal hernia..I am praying that my swallowing difficulty comes from that and can be healed and not my chronic lyme disease. because if it is the latter then like you it's muscle related.. Have you had any blood work testing for other illnesses besides cancer? Something is affecting the ability of your muscles to work properly and it sounds like you need a good doctor who is willing to look for other conditions that can cause the muscles to not work properly...
My other question is, how in the world are you getting any nutrition in your body? Looking forward to talking with you..
Last edited by moderator2; 10-24-2010 at 06:47 AM.
Reason: please try to avoid leaving huge quotes
The problem has always been that they put scopes down, or other things, and can't 'see' any obstructions, so I'll just be in hospital while its still there and eventually it relaxes/passes. then they'd make me come back like weeks later for Barium meals etc.
But luckilly the last time it happened - when a grape got stuck, they did a Barium meal when the grape was still stuck, so successfully got some hard evidence as the xrays showed I was drinking the barium and i was gradually filling up until i regurgitated it all. The xray showed the barium had gone down the esophagus and had come to a stop suddenly in a large bulge shape..
I've not had any blood tests no, well, not for specific illnesses. They've taken blood samples for odd things but I didn't say what it was for.
And re: how I'm getting any nutrition in, well most of the time its fine, I can eat and drink normally (except it passes through throat/esophagus very slowly)! Obviously when in hospital I'd be on a drip.
I think the problem is getting worse now because even after having stopped taking the domperidone I keep getting painkillers (for my arm) stuck. Just normal not too large, round painkillers! I don't always realise when something is stuck - so continue to eat/drink, then a short while later realise i can no longer swallow and stuff begins to come back up! Then what i do it regurgitate it all so that there is nothing left in there except for the obstruction - and (as with the last few times with stuck painkillers), wait about 15-20 minutes for it to finally go through. And during that time I'm unable to even swallow saliva - it is a complete airtight blockage.
Good luck with your swallowing problem - hope it can be cured.
I thought I'd add my experience, which is similar but not quite the same. I had my first attack about a year ago. I had eaten two or three mouthfuls of my dinner (which was baked salmon steak with broccoli and potatoes) when I felt this sharp pain between my shoulder blades and kept burping. I was unable to continue eating, and started burping up what I had eaten together with a substance which looked like saliva but was more frothy and slimy. I kept burping up more and it was not until I had brought up all that I had eaten that I stopped burping and I felt comfortable again, which was after about 20 minutes. I then felt fine and was able to eat the rest of my meal.
It was several weeks later that I had the same problem again, with the same kind of meal. I began to wonder whether I had developed an allergy to salmon, or to some kind of additive they put in it, but over the next few months I had similar attacks with different kinds of foods, but always hot meals. The pain and the burping always begins after I have eaten just a little food, and until I have cleared it I can't even take a sip of water.
The attacks occur every few weeks, and in between I get very little in the way of digestive problems.
However, three days ago (Friday Sept.7) I had an attack in the morning after just eating a biscuit with a cup of tea. This time I was burping up the biscuit and then just froth on an off for about three hours. After about four hours, I ate three or four pieces of crispbread with cheese and had no bad effects. In the evening I ate a small meal and felt fine, and the next morning (yesterday) I ate my normal breakfast of a bowl of muesli with milk, followed by a piece of crispbread with peanut butter and another piece with marmalade together with a cup of tea, and it all went down fine. But at eleven I had problems again after drinking a little tea and a eating a small biscuit (completely different type than I'd had the day before).
This time I was even worse and was unable to eat or drink anything all day. I tried a little soup and some crispbread and butter but I just could not keep it down. Even warm water that I sipped was burped up again within minutes.
During the night, I drank a couple of mouthfuls of water and immediately started burping so badly that I had to get up for an hour until it stopped. I found sucking a strong peppermint helped. This morning, I tried to eat a little cereal but had the same symptoms again. At lunch time I ate a little soup which caused burping and froth but I did not regurgitate the soup. I sucked a peppermint afterwards. A couple of hours later, I tried a little more soup. This time there was only slight burping and frothing, so I ate some more with a piece of crispbread and butter and was able to eat this normally, with no bad effects. I feel now (about 3 hours after eating) that whatever was causing the problem has passed, but what on earth was it?
The only thing I can think of is that on Friday morning I started taking saw palmetto for my enlarged prostate. I took one tablet with breakfast on Friday and another yesterday, but none today. I have seen on the Internet that one of the side effects of saw palmetto can be digestive problems, although none of the websites I have looked at mention specific symptoms. However, the saw palmetto does not explain the similar intermittent attack I have had every few weeks over the past year or so, but it may be that I am prone to such symptoms for whatever reason and the saw palmetto aggravated the problem.
I should add that I do have diverticular disease (not diverticulitis), although since taking aloe vera every night I am virtually symptom-free.
Has anyone of you tried Reglan? It's suppose to help keep the food down. I was on it when I had severe digestive problems but have to admit I hated the side effects. Made me a zombie. It's a motility drug.
My Dad is suffereing from food getting stuck in his espohagus - and like you he cannot even swallow his syliva until the food finally goes through (he can feel when it goes). Have you had any luck in finding the cause and solution? I see your letters were posted in 2005?
Any advice would be really appreciated.
Anyone that is having trouble swallowing, look up "Achalasia" It is a term for now being able to swallow. I had and still have trouble sometimes. They found that my esophaugus contractions do not work. The contractions are the muscles that push the food down. I could not even eat a teaspoon of broth, not even my own saliva. They did a dialation of my esophagus to widen it, I won't go into the problems I had, but in the end, it helped, I say helped, because it did not solve the problem. I still have problems sometimes, I cannot eat meat, or anything solid. Sometimes bread will give me a problem, and asparagus will also cause problems, it is not the tip of asparagus, but the other end parts, they are a bit harder. Also, I found that I am allergic to BBQ sauce, it is the Iodine that is in it, just one bite of anything with BBQ sauce and my throat closes up, it can cause a problem from 10 minutes to 24 hours. I know when I have to go to emergency and have something that is stuck in the esophagus, I can feel it, they go in and say, yep, there it is. Have that done a few times. Anyway, I hope this helps a bit for you that are having troubles.
Mike, I am the same exact issues that have occurred rather recently for about 1 year. It is embarassing when out with friends at a restaurant and I realize that food is stuck, sometimes I don't realize it early enough, and liquid comes back up and it looks very strange. Did you ever solve this? I have had only one endoscopy and they said they didn't see anything. Based on my personal observation, the food definitely gets stuck right near my stomach, an when it clears either by excessive waiting or by forcing down some Coke, I can hear weird air noises that sound like food is getting into my stomach finally, and I feel a ton of relief. If you found any help for this, please, please let me know.
Hello everyone - just wanted to add my 2 cents.... I was just diagnosed with Achalasia. Food and liquids will often get stuck in my esophagus, sometimes to the point of making me throw up. I was dx with GERD after doing an upper GI test, had an endoscopy which was normal, and just recently had an esophageal manometry (swallowing test) which finally gave me the Achalasia dx. Basically, the opening from the esophagus into the stomach (called the LES - lower esophageal sphincter) is too small and doesn't allow food/liquid to pass thru normally. My GI doctor said surgery is the best option. It's called a myotomy. She said you can also inject Botox but that only provides short-term relief. From what I've researched on the surgery, people have been very pleased with the results. And the people in the study had tried other forms of treatment (forced dilation, Botox, etc) and 99% of them said surgery was the best way to go for them.
I'm quite nervous to have this done, but am looking forward to hopefully getting some relief!
I know someone who waited to see a doctor with their swallowing problems until they couldn't even swallow their own saliva. Turns out they had advanced cancer of the esophagus and waited too long. Have your dad get checked Howabout1.
I think alot of swallowing problems are caused by lacking magnesium and calcium in your diet along with vitamin D for aborption.
All cells in your body contains magnesium and your bones contain about 67% of your magnesium for strength and a defieciency can result in spasms and cramping of any muscle causing it not to function well--- your esophagus is an unusual organ since swallowing is not the way we think of muscles act-- it is different a ripple type action but it is a muscle!
Magnesium is in many foods but it is an easily lost mineral that all muscles need.