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Old 10-23-2012, 12:39 AM   #1
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Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

Good evening everyone. 27 year old male.

My primary complaint for a few years has been that food is slow to go down my esophagus, or doesn't go down at all. I have no difficulty with the voluntary "swallowing" action. The problem is typically with bready or starchy things. Pizza, pasta, burgers, crackers, etc. The food will pass down my throat, and feels as if it slows to a halt somewhere along the way, before it gets to my stomach. I gulp down a liquid to clear it out. It happens frequently, almost every time I eat the above mentioned foods. I've accepted the practice of never eating unless there is a drink nearby.

To the extent that it's useful, I also have a chronically irritated throat and post-nasal drip. I don't often have heartburn. Very occasionally, and usually only when I go to bed.

I've had an upper endoscopy and an upper GI series fluoroscopy. Doctor observed bad irritation of the lower esophagus, and noted a hiatal hernia.

Prescribed 40 mg Nexium daily, which I took for a few months, then stopped. I can't recall why...perhaps because my insurance company didn't cover it, and at >$100 per bottle, it was easy to sacrifice. I don't remember a substantial improvement while I was on it. I don't know if a longer period of therapy is necessary before improvement would be noted, or if the treatment was simply not responsive to my swallowing condition.

I had kind of ignored the swallowing problem for a while, but have recently been increasingly bothered by it. I bought 4 boxes of the Prilosec OTC, which I understand has mixed reviews here. Until I can go back to the GI, I see no harm in trying them.

I've seen this symptom associated with LPR on these forums, but I'm not clear on whether the sensation of stuck food is indeed that which is described by other sufferers. If so, why did the Nexium not help? The GI mentioned a manometry, but it sounded so unpleasant, I never scheduled it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Has anyone had the same sort of symptom and found any relief? Thank you all.

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 08:00 PM   #2
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

To follow-up, how long must one be on a PPI to repair damage to the esophagus? Thanks again.

 
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Old 10-25-2012, 11:13 PM   #3
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

Quote:
Originally Posted by strifer View Post
Good evening everyone. 27 year old male.

My primary complaint for a few years has been that food is slow to go down my esophagus, or doesn't go down at all. I have no difficulty with the voluntary "swallowing" action. The problem is typically with bready or starchy things. Pizza, pasta, burgers, crackers, etc. The food will pass down my throat, and feels as if it slows to a halt somewhere along the way, before it gets to my stomach. I gulp down a liquid to clear it out. It happens frequently, almost every time I eat the above mentioned foods. I've accepted the practice of never eating unless there is a drink nearby.

To the extent that it's useful, I also have a chronically irritated throat and post-nasal drip. I don't often have heartburn. Very occasionally, and usually only when I go to bed.

I've had an upper endoscopy and an upper GI series fluoroscopy. Doctor observed bad irritation of the lower esophagus, and noted a hiatal hernia.

Prescribed 40 mg Nexium daily, which I took for a few months, then stopped. I can't recall why...perhaps because my insurance company didn't cover it, and at >$100 per bottle, it was easy to sacrifice. I don't remember a substantial improvement while I was on it. I don't know if a longer period of therapy is necessary before improvement would be noted, or if the treatment was simply not responsive to my swallowing condition.

I had kind of ignored the swallowing problem for a while, but have recently been increasingly bothered by it. I bought 4 boxes of the Prilosec OTC, which I understand has mixed reviews here. Until I can go back to the GI, I see no harm in trying them.

I've seen this symptom associated with LPR on these forums, but I'm not clear on whether the sensation of stuck food is indeed that which is described by other sufferers. If so, why did the Nexium not help? The GI mentioned a manometry, but it sounded so unpleasant, I never scheduled it.

Can anyone point me in the right direction? Has anyone had the same sort of symptom and found any relief? Thank you all.

Hi there! I was going through the same thing for almost all of 2011, and yes breads were the worst about passing at first and then it became almost everything I ate. I hated to eat in public and would never eat alone because it got so bad. I never experienced heartburn until a few months before the swallowing troubles came on.

Last December some roast actually got stuck in my esophagus and I had an emergency egd to remove it. I was put on Prilosec 40 mg. If I remember right the esophagus should heal in 3-4 months after treatment. It will relieve inflammation but I don't believe ppi's help with swallowing, they don't for me. I had an upper g.i. early January and was diagnosed with a schatzki's ring, gerd, and a small hiatal hernia. And at the end of January I had my esophagus dilated and a repeat egd which the biopsy showed eosinophilic esophagitis just the same as the emergency egd did when I had the meat removed in December.

Did you take the Nexium for at least that long? Do you know if your hiatal hernia is small? When you had the endoscopy the doctor didn't mention if you had any eosinophils in your esophagus? Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammation of the esophagus that causes difficulty swallowing and stems from food allergies. And no mention of a stricture or ring, right? Hiatal hernia's normally don't cause trouble swallowing unless you have a ring or stricture too. The only other things I know of that cause swallowing issues are spasms and achalasia...did your doctor mention them? It sounds like you would benefit from the manometry.

 
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Old 10-26-2012, 03:22 PM   #4
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

Strifer, have you or do you have actual acid reflux (i.e. pain, burning in your chest)? I'm just wondering because I really don't think you should be on PPI's if you don't, because doctors completely over-prescribe PPI's, and you WILL have pain if you go on these for too long.

I've experienced some of what you are experiencing right now, and yeah, it's not pleasant at all. For me, the food getting stuck thing kind of went away on it's own, and I think it might for you, also. I would just try to replace the PPI's with some H2's taken before you eat.

 
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Old 10-28-2012, 12:56 AM   #5
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsMeG View Post
And at the end of January I had my esophagus dilated and a repeat egd which the biopsy showed eosinophilic esophagitis...
What is the dilation process like? Did it help, if only temporarily?

No, I didn't take the Nexium for that long. If I go back on it (or another PPI), I plan to stick with it. (However, I'm sensitive to Leo255's caution about the PPIs).

The hiatal hernia was indeed small, and although the doctor mentioned EoE, he didn't indicate that the biopsy was positive for it. He just give me an oral inhaler of some type of steroid. I don't remember what it was, but it didn't make a difference with respect to the swallowing. I still might see an allergy specialist, just to rule it out.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ItsMeG View Post
And no mention of a stricture or ring, right? Hiatal hernia's normally don't cause trouble swallowing unless you have a ring or stricture too.
No mention of stricture or ring. Just inflammation and the hiatal hernia. I read a bit about those two conditions your mentioned. They seem worth discussing with the doctor, and the manometry would then seem the most appropriate diagnostic.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leo255 View Post
Strifer, have you or do you have actual acid reflux (i.e. pain, burning in your chest)?
Leo, only rarely. I can count the number of times I've experienced proper heartburn on one hand. Your caution on the PPIs is noted; obviously I don't want to be taking an unnecessary drug, and that is especially true of that drug has significant withdrawal symptoms. I sure hope you're right about the spontaneous abatement of the symptoms. I'd love to be able to eat a piece of pizza without "forcing" it down my gullet with liquid.

Finally, pardon my ignorance, what are H2s?

Thanks to both of you for your replies. Not that I'm happy for your discomfort, but it's nice to know I'm not alone.

Last edited by strifer; 10-28-2012 at 12:58 AM.

 
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Old 10-28-2012, 05:57 PM   #6
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

"What is the dilation process like? Did it help, if only temporarily?"

I was put under sedation, and the doctor used maloney bougie dilators. I made sure to ask the doc what type of dilator he used since I had read there are several. I remember the nurse giving a shot into my iv and helped me put a mouth guard in my mouth and that's it. The procedure from the time I was put out to waking up was right around 30 minutes. I stayed in recovery about 20 minutes and then sent home. I was able to eat soft foods that day. Within 3-4 days I was able to eat tortillas and pizza which I hadn't eaten without fear in months. It's been 10 months and I'm still eating breads and most other foods okay but am noticing I have to chew a whole lot more, feeling that lump in my throat again, and even a little heartburn and burping.

I stopped taking the prilosec a month later, because I too don't want to be dependent on them or suffer horrible withdrawals....but at this point I'm debating going back on them and see if it will make a difference. I only took the prilosec for 3 months, so I didn't notice any withdrawal issues. I cut back the dose slowly over 2 or 3 weeks and that helped. It sounds like your biopsy was positive for eosinophils if your doctor gave you a steroid inhaler. I was supposed to follow up with an allergy doctor but haven't yet. I had complete allergy testing over 18 years ago and found out then I was mildly allergic to a few foods and almost everything under the sun! ha!

It is good to know you're not alone! I wish I had did more online research and found this place this time last year. Everyone I know didn't seem to understand how scary it is to not swallow right...honestly they still don't! Do what you can to get this taken care of.

 
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Old 10-28-2012, 08:36 PM   #7
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

i used to be afraid to eat alone or in public places also. everything i didnt chew well got stuck a bit. the dilation helped a lot plus i had EE also. (eosinophilic esophagitis) i have a throat spray i use every day, a steroid. plus i take a pepcid 10 mgs before bed and i dont eat late at all if possible. i also have a hiatel hernia. and acid reflux.

 
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Old 11-21-2012, 01:47 PM   #8
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Re: Food Slow to Go Down or Getting Stuck in Esophagus

I have the same sensation where as soon as I eat food feels like it is stuck in my throat. If I bend over it just come back up undigested. I had an upper EGD done and a esophageal motility study done which were both done and my new GI dismissed my previous GERD diagnosis. I have no heartburn and do not feel nauseas unless the food gets so backed up that it makes me that way. I am taking Prevacid but I really don't think it is helping anymore. I don't have H Pylori and every other test I can think of has been negative so I am currently leaning towards gastroperesis or something being wrong with my galbladder. I wish you the best on finding help with your condiditon.

 
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