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Old 02-11-2007, 02:53 PM   #1
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What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Hello, first post to the board, long time lurker. I've been diagnosed with GERD and take omeprazole which seems to handle it okay. The last couple of days the GERD has been acting up and I've been periodically having what feel like spasms or irregular heartbeats(i don't know what either feels like). Can someone describe what an esophageal spasm feels like

 
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Old 02-11-2007, 09:02 PM   #2
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

I am new to these boards as well. I signed up for the very same reason, I was having flutter feelings in my throat. I was thinking OMG is it my heart. Well I went to the doctor and he let me know I am having esophogeal spasms and GERD. My stomach burns alot and I burp ALOT. He prescribed me some pepcid. The spasms feel like flutters or almost like popping bubbles in my lower throat area. I hope this helps. It is hard to describe . Sorry!
Take Care~

 
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Old 02-12-2007, 05:53 AM   #3
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Yes that is spasms, I have the same thing, it's horrible! I get it more in my throat but many people feel like they are having a heart attack.
It throws me right into a panic attack.

 
Old 02-12-2007, 07:34 AM   #4
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Yep, they do feel like you are having a heart attack. I have had them for years.

 
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Old 02-12-2007, 11:29 AM   #5
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Thanks for all the replies. Very reassuring and makes me feel much better.

 
Old 02-13-2007, 11:01 AM   #6
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

I have not been officially diagnosed with esophageal spasms, but I have chest pains on the left. Feels just like what I think a heart attack might feel like. I was cleared by a cardiologist -- said it wasn't my heart.

I went to gastro doctor, who did endsocope, etc. Haven't had the test done yet that measures esophagus, but I'm soooooooooo tired of this. I've had these chest pains for at least 2 months. Just on left side behind left breast. Almost feels like a pinching sensation or a continuous ache, but only seems to be relieved when I actually sleep. Prevacid and all these type things do not seem to help. I used to take Pepcid. I may try Pepcid again.

My question for you that have esophageal spasms, do they come and go, or does the pain stay most of the time? Thanks.

 
Old 02-14-2007, 02:31 AM   #7
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

good morning all-----I have had reflux since i was ten. I am 53. always under control with an occassional flare up if i eat something i shouldn't. smoke too much ( I know) take a med that effects the stomach, or am under lots of stress, they are my triggers. For the past 2 years maybe 3 times a year a would get this horrendous pain in my lower jaw that went down my thorat into my chest. wipes me out. told the PCP a couple of times and finally he told me if it happens again he wasted me to see a cardio. In the meantime I had an irregular EKG and ECHO. saw the cardio and did a stress test. heart is fine. This got progressivley worse and I began to have problems swallowing. always the feeling of something in my throat. Have seen 2 different ENT's one told me I had some swelling behind my voice box. have an enlarged thryoid but no one feels this is causing it and cancer of the thyroid has been outruled. Have had every test under the sun done and no answers. finally I went to see my neuro for something unrelated and mentioned it to him. He said he believes it's esophageal spasms because of the jaw pain and TMJ being outruled. My PCP then presscribed Bentyl as needed along with my prevacid. I still have attack if I eat something i shouldn't but they're not as frewuent. the swallowing problem is still there. 2 weeks before the swallowing problem started I suffered a neck injury and had to take steroids. I believe they made it worse. I ahve always had a problem taking any sort of anti-inflammatory drugs. 1-2 days and I am in full blown pain. Wishing all the best. it's a horrible pain that travel all over the upper body. scary at times. It's still a mystery to me how to treat it as I haven't gotten much relief from the Bentyl.

ICC

 
Old 02-14-2007, 03:34 AM   #8
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Wow, ICC

You have been through alot. I will let you know my story, I have been having alot of problems with reflux lately and the process to get to see a gastro dr is slow but my dr is trying to get me in earlier. I have asthma, acid reflux, IBS, a slight vocal cord dsyfunction and allergies. I have been on a ton of prednisone for asthma and my dr thinks it is giving me more problems with my stomach. Since the 2nd week of Jan I have been having ongoing stomach pain, trouble swallowing, alot of nausea and I have lost about 15 pounds (which I need to anyway). I find the night the worst and I find whatever I eat or drink seems to give me problems. I had an ultrasound yesterday and my doctor thinks I really need an endoscopy and possibly a colonoscopy to rule out any problems in those areas.
I find the medications I am taking are not helping much either.
I hope things get better for you.
Karen

 
Old 02-14-2007, 04:18 AM   #9
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Hi Karen----your health issues read like mine.I also have asthma, multiple food and respiratory allergies, have already had vocal cord surgery once, relux. Had a colonoscopy in july and the dr. said I was a bore. LOL I was happy to know nothing was wrong in that area. probably need to have an endoscopy but with other health issues going on my PCP has opted to wait. I have told all dr.s i will take take prednisone again for any reason and will not take any anti-inflammatory. they tear my stomach up. I have even had swallow studies done with a speech therapist present. NOTHING, NADA. So I really have no idea what's going on but i do know that I always know my stomach , chest and throat are there because there is always some sort of uncomfortable sensation going on. Wishing you the best. I can't believe there is no med out there that helps this.


ICC

 
Old 02-14-2007, 06:22 PM   #10
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

ICC, you sound like me.....
I have this constant tightness in my throat and air hunger not caused by asthma although i do have asthma. I have esophageal spasms and was diagnosed with vocal cord dysfunction. I see a speach therapist and do breathing exercises everyday, day ppi's, enzymes, etc... to no avail!
I have been like this everyday for 5 months , I have never been so aware of my throat in my life, I know what you mean, there is always something uncomfortable drawing my attention to my throat, chest or stomach. I have also had every test done under the sun.....
UGH!

 
Old 02-15-2007, 01:53 PM   #11
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

I don't get it. why can't they find something to help. I have had this problem since May. if i lay flat my throat closes and I can't breathe. the dentist is a nightmare. sometimes my throat is numb, i just don't feel anything and others it has something stuck. when I see my PCP in April I am going to hound him to figure something out. I have had a lot of health problems in the Past 8-9- months so I think he felt this could take a backseat. No more. it's horrible. Wishing everyone the best.


ICC

 
Old 10-25-2007, 02:25 PM   #12
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Yes - maybe this is what I have. My throat or upper chest feels like it is jumping around or 'fluttering'. I've been able to stop it by just freezing, not breathing. I have had some GERD and was on Prilosec for a while, and while I was on it and ate healthily my spasms went down in frequency (maybe once every two weeks). The triggers are wierd, though. For example, if my glasses slip to the end of my nose, that will sometimes trigger it. Also, if something is putting pressure on my solar plexus. It's wierd stuff. Happened today for the first time in a while. This time, though, it triggered a panic attack (even though I knew what was up!) and caused my heart to start racing. When this started happening, I thought it was a heart attack, but there's never any pain, and I'm able to exercise without any problems.

 
Old 12-17-2007, 02:03 AM   #13
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Hi all,

I know this post is almost a year later, but I've only just decided to take some action and find others with a similar problem.

I have been diagnosed with Cricopharyngeal Spasm for over 3 1/2 years... I am 21. It started as a sick, tight feeling in my throat, which I mistook for nausea and which then turned in to major panic attacks (I have a phobia of vomitting). I have seen a ENT doc, had ultra-sounds and am seeing a psychiatrist and psycologist. It wasn't until halfway through this year, when I changed doctors, that I found out what was wrong with me... Talk about frustration!!!

I have had all the same issues, in my throat and stomach. I get tingling sensations, tightness, lumps, gagging sensations and weird stomach movements. I have bad reflux, heartburn and wind issues too. Sometimes the spasming causes a sudden tightness in my throat which brings on the feeling like I am going to vomit, which leads to mild-severe panic attacks. I sometimes have trouble getting to sleep as well.

I have also dealt with mild depression which was a result of my initial confusion, frustration and fear of what was happening to me. I couldn't stop crying. I was really scared! This was right at the beginning of my spasming problems. Sometimes it comes back if the spasming increases over an extended period of time.

I have done a lot of reading and my doctor tells me it is a symptom of stress or anxiety.... And sometimes you may not know what it is that is causing the stress/anxiety! Thus why I am seeing a psycologist.

I am currently on Xanax... taking .25mg twice daily as the spasming is constant for me. They usually become worse when under more pressure, or worried about vomitting etc.

I am also getting hypnosis (not weirdo stuff, just relaxation tapes!) which is helping a bit, however the spasms do fluxuate. I thought I was getting on top of it for a fair while, until about a month ago when it flaired up again... This was partially due to being exposed to a lot of vomitting, gastro issues with others in a small amount of time. I have been trying to get back to normality since and am slowly getting there.

Anyways, enough of my complaining. I thought I'd post this because I know how you all feel. I hope what I have written has helped those of you who are confused and scared. There is no cure for it sadly, and apparently it goes away by itself... Don't know when though (grrr!) I have kinda learnt to live with it now.

It is frustrating because no one understands what is going on, and no matter how many tests you get done; ultrasound, x-ray, ENTuff, etc. nothing can be found because crycopharyngeal spasm is not a visible/see-able problem in most cases

So those of you who are scared or confused, please try not to be... As I have said above, it only makes it worse e.g. Depression. Apparently it's quite a common problem!

It can be lessened with medication and relaxtion. I hope you all can find a way to deal with this sydrome and I pray that it may go away for you very soon )

 
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Old 12-17-2007, 02:41 AM   #14
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Hi Amy, your situation is so like mine.
I thought i was going mad, i ended up on anti depressants and that doc thought it was anxiety, until my ENT told me it was reflux. its going on a year now, i hate it i feel anxious with it, i consstantly have bloating, lump in throat, all the same as you. I was on the phone one night talking to a friend and i couldn't swallow it, my throat went tinto spasm 3 times in the space of an hour, i ran to the doctors, he gave me gaviscon, but what i find stops it for me is motilium, its an anti- spasmotic, and its great!! but shouldnt be used too much. i have been on nexium but it wasnt working great and now im on losec but i seem to be getting anxious with these, what do i do?? im so sick of this.

 
Old 02-07-2008, 09:55 PM   #15
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Re: What does an esophageal spasm feel like?

Hi, all...Thanks to everyone who post their troubles. It helps to know that I'm not the only one with throat issues. I too have been having weird throat spams and it all started after I quit smoking and drinking, all of which I did after having inguinal hernia surgery. Just prior to surgery I was told that I have H. pylori which is supposedly a very common type of bad bacteria. So needless to say it has been a rough couple of months for me. I have talked to several doctors about the throat spasms and every one of them have said it is caused by acid reflux or silent reflux. I have had my share of heart burn in the past and have been able to take a prilosec to treat it. I continue to take prevacid or prilosec but it does not really seem to help. My throat spasms are usually triggered while eating sometimes to the point that I choke on my food. Its pretty scarey..At that point your mind starts to play games and you start to panic not being able to swallow and then you heart rate increases, you have trouble breathing and then your having a panic attack. A couple of the doctors that I have talked to have said that my problem is also anxiety related. I will say that between surgery, not smoking, not drinking my nerves are shot. I myself think that anxiety is the biggest contributor to my problem. One doctor prescribed me some lorzepam(check spelling) for really bad anxiety attacks and started me on a daily dose of zoloft. It sucks to have to take all of this crap, but I'm tired of feeling like this and its only been a month. I am also starting to take prevcid everyday. I hope all of this stuff helps, i will report back in a couple of weeks with my status and let everyone know if all this helps. Thanks again everyone.

 
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