Hi, I already have a post on the pain management page but I thought that I would try here next. I have Crohns and I also have a Schatzki's ring which is a narrow ring of fibrous tissue constricting the lower esophagus.I have had a few esopageal dilatations with the last one being this past week.
I also have an inplanted morphine pump that delivers morphine into my spine for cronic pain control. My GI doctor seems to think that the pain I am getting in my chest when food and liquids get stuck is because the morphine is causing the esophagus so relax to much and it is not pushing the food down like it should. I also have developed excessive belching in the past couple of months. I have been on Carafate for years also protonix. My GI is giving me a few weeks to see if this past dilatation will work if not I don't know what will happen. I also had a chemical stress test to make sure it wasn't my heart and everything came out fine. Doctors love to blame stress or it is all in your head until you feel the sharp pain in your chest that doubles you over. Hang in there all there has got to be an answer out there somewhere......Take Care geifer
Hi Geifer, you have many ills . What does the dilatation procedure entail? I have a spine problem too, spinal stenosis and pusedoclaudication but I am on no meds for it yet , just suffering with the pain .If the morphine pump is causing your esophagus problem I don't know what you can do about that . Seems it is something you must have for your spine. I believe that all my esophageal problems were brought on by Fosamax that I was taking for osteoporosis and I stopped taking it in Jan. Still the pain persists in spite of double doses of PPI's every day . Keep us posted on what they do for you or TO YOU next ! Good luck. Lia
Hi worry, no I cannot say I have a fluttering feeling. Mine is pain in the chest area and it spreads to my back and behind one or both breasts. The pain kind of moves around . It is not a burning nor a fluttering, just flat pain. My esophagus itself aches , it hurts sometimes even to the touch on the outside. The pain also radiates into my left jaw bone and ear. But no fluttering. This is my first experience with gastro problems and it is a real puzzle. Hope you find out what is causing your fluttering. Lia
I am so relieved that someone else has the same feeling...is it in your throat/upper chest area? I tried to check my pulse as well too...and it is some what slow, then will go to the regular beat.
Do you take medication for this? I am goiong to break down and try Prilosec and see if that helps any. I take zoloft and xanax for anxiety ... so I guess I can add one more to that regime?
My Dr THINKS now that is what I have. It all started the first of Jan. with pain on swallowing and the feeling of food or pills hanging in my throat and terrible chest pain. Chest pain that radiated from my breast bone to my back and behind both breasts. He thought I had esophagitis so I had a Barrium Swallow that showed a large ulceration on the esophagus . I then had an Endoscopy that showed nothing. No ulceration there and if it had been it was healed. Still the same pain. I began Aciphex on Jan. 15 and have steadily gotten worse. He now thinks it is esophageal spasms but to be certain wants me to double up on the aciphex for 4 weeks. Sigh. Then I am to have a Manometry . Does this ever get over with? Is there any cure for this? I hurt 24/7 , with each bite of food or swallow of water . My entire esophagus hurts and the pain radiates up into my left ear. Plus of course the chest pain. I took Fosamax for 18 mos. prior which I think is what brought this on. Can anybody relate and give me some hope ? Lia
Hi, Your symptoms sound similar to mine. A few weeks ago, I ate some "fried food" then immediately took a nap, which is now a big regret of mine.. because since then, I've had what seems like heartburn everyday, and about 75% of the day. The burning/aching sensation is in the middle of my chest and radiates sometimes to an achiness in my back. Do you classify your pain that way -- a burning / aching feeling? My doctor gave me Aciphex too.
It has helped so the pain is not near as bad, but it is still there, and very annoying. It makes me feel weak and fatigued, as well. How about you? I don't have much trouble swallowing, but I can feel a little tension there.
I don't really have a burning. Mine is a pain and then a spreading ache . Now that I am doubled up on the aciphex I am beginning to have a little relief but I have been taking aciphex since Jan. 15 and a double dose for going on 3 weeks. My Dr said to give the double dose 4 to 6 weeks to work and if it doesn't then I have to have a manometry. I can say that I am a little better but certainly it is not good nor anywhere near normal. Mine is with each bite of food or even swallows of water . The whole thing started for me Jan. 1 , so looks like there is no quick fix. I hope you get to feeling better. Lia
i am not sure what i have. my dr. is sending me to a surgical specialist for test. what kind of tests i am not sure. i do not have heart burn but i do get horrible pain in my chest and back. it feels like my throat is rolling up and down and i can pinpoint where it is in the role. when it gets to the top i have dry heaves and break out in a sweat. the only relief is to bear down. when it rolls back to the bottom i get a couple of minutes of relief. it feels like someone is ripping out my spine from the front and back at the same time. i used to only wake up at night with these now i am having them during the day. it is getting where only a gi cocktail stops them. it doesnt seem to be related to food or time of day anymore. i have had more spams in the past two months than i have had in the last five years. they come on without warning no burning like with heartburn at all. how is everyone else dealing?
Bummer, I thought I was going to find something I could take right now to give me some relief before bed, but it definately sounds like this is something that may last for awhile. I've been taking Prevacid for a few years now, silent acid reflux he called it. I don't have heartburn, but my throat was 'burned' from the reflux, so I couldn't swallow real well. I'd say the past few months I've been able to take my handful of daily pills in one swallow. But the past few days I've felt like everything is stopping right below the breastbone. I've been asking my husband to pat my back to burp me like a baby, but it doesn't help. Well the past hour or so it's getting more painful and permeating through to my back and behind my right breast. I also have pain if I push on my stomach along the rib cage on the right and it feels harder than the left side. I can't imagine dealing with this for weeks. Any ideas for relief would be helpful. I hope you're all finding some relief from your pain.
Hi, I have been dealing with the spasms since 1981, after finding out I have acholasia, (can't swallow) I chose the dilation over surgery, turns out that my esosphagus was as stiff as a board, and I have no motility , they do not contract. So when doing the dialtion my esophagus ruptured in 3 places, and of course they didn't know at first, I just knew I was in plenty of pain, finally in emergency surgery they found the ruptures and sewed them up, what a horrible way to go, I definitely couldn't have food for 2 months, they fed me with a tube in my stomache, so anyway, long story short, I still don't always swallow very good, have to eat soft foods, and the most horrible thing is the spasms, I also thought I was having a heart attack, they have never told me there was anything I could take for this, and as I spent way too much time in the hospital already, I just don't want to go back for anymore tests. I take Previcid, which helps the reflux, and believe it or not, one day a friend told me he has the same thing, he eats soda crackers for it, honest to God, it really works. Don't expect it to work with one cracker, I always get them in the middle of the night, used to wait it out, which was very painful, I now keep soda crackers on my nightstand, and sometimes, will have to eat quite a few before it helps, but, it does help, and I don't panic anymore not knowing what it is, I guess I will always have it, hope this can bring you a little relief.
I am new to these boards and specifically signed on to join the digestive board...then I saw your post...the weirdest thing I found was that...my name is ALSO Lia...(I didn't think anyone else spelt it this way... )
I am ALSO suffering from the EXACT same thing as you...and have now been diagnosed with esophageal spasms...I'm battleing the same things as you...the same pains as you...everything.....I hurt 24/7 also and am at my witts end with this....
I'm very frustrated an in pain every day...the chest pain is the worst!!
Just thought I'd reply to your post and let you know that there is someone out there who also is going through the exact same thing as you....who also happens to have the same name...LOL!
Hope you find a way to stop hurting so much...(and if/when you do..can you share it with me? ha..ha..)
Thats exactly as i feel. I think they call my condition irritated escophagus, but i ache 24/7 and just starting to get fed up with all the symptons. So much for using Nexium!! Hmmm there must be better pills around. Strange how life is rosey, then bang something hits you.
Hi to all on the board The reason I am posting to you all is (1.) I know what a lot of you are going through, and my heart goes out to all of you. (2.) Seems like no one wants to help doesn't it? I know that from personal experience. (3.)To tell you all to go do a search on esphageal spasm and see what you come up with. Ask Jeeves is a very good place to start. This will perhaps answer a lot of your questions (by the looks of what I'm reading, it looks like most of your doctors aren't doing this) and by all means print out what you find and take it to your M.D's or specialists.
I have been diagnosed with esphageal spasm and went through a lot of the stuff that you guys are going through now. ER visits, thought it was a heart attack; being told it's from GERD (esophageal reflux when it wasn't) and given the same lousy meds I hear mentioned here like Zantac, Aciphex, etc. which did not damn good.
Should I say I was fortunate enough to have my esophagus spasm when my GI doc was doing my endoscopy, and hence the diagnosis. Now the treatment however is not that simple since most M.D.'s don't even listen to their patients now adays. So be verbal and take in your research.
When my family doc retired shortly after my (pain attacks) I have been hunting around for a decent M.D. and that's alot harder than it sounds. So far I have been through 3 of them.
If you have been diagnosed with esophageal spasm to back to your GI doc, get him to send this diagnosis to your M.D. so now your M.D. know what you have for sure. Getting it treated again is another matter since most M.D.'s aren't even up on this stuff. (That's where the research you've done comes in handy). You take that with you to your M.D.
The cause of esophageal spasms in relatively unknown, although several sites have taken quite a few good guesses. The real problem is in getting the meds you need to resolve the problem.
Calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine will come up when you research this, and so will low dose anti-depressants like nortriptyline (if my memory serves my correctly. Yes, I took the print-out to one of my new doctors and he prescribed nifedinpine and yes it worked. However, I was also on Ativan since I'm the anxious type, so he told me he wanted me to get off this med and wouldn't prescribe it. I thought okay I can deal with that. Yea, until the spasms returned.
Apparently the nifedipine (which is generally used to control blood pressure) works only in conjunction with my Ativan which apparently is sometimes used to control muscle spasms. So I've been through 2 more docs since then. The second doctor, even though I told her I had esphageal spasm put me back in Aciphex and another antacid to control the problem. Well, guess what? This doesn't work and she doesn't believe that heartburn is NOT causing the PAINS. However, she (for the time being renews my meds for the Ativan). So I go back to the GI doc tell him, and he agrees to compose a letter to send to my new doctor (now #3 doc), and does say my problem is being caused by anxiety, but somehow ESOPHAGEAL SPASM was not in the letter to her. So now I am in the process of having him re-write the letter with these words so the next doctor will have a clue. Believe me, unless these doctors see it in black and white, (since they don't listen to their patients) they need all the CLUES you can give them.
In the meantime, my new doc says it is all anxiety, and I need to see a psyche since she doesn't want to renew my Ativan meds. Granted, I believe in a lot of cases it does stem from anxiety, BUT it is no longer anxiety when it presents an acute physical manifestation such as esophageal spasm. I mean this story goes on and on, and before I bore you all to death, let me say that :
1. Calcium channel blockers such as nifedipine can be helpful, sometimes combined with low dose anti-depressants
2. Also found a site that says they are sometimes treated with benzodiazepines which is Ativan, etc.
3. Nitroglyercine has proven to be very helpful for the chest pains; however, sometimes it can cause awful headaches. You can get Nitro-patches or Nitro-Quick to disolve under your tongue for immediate relief. However, once again go to RX list on your computer BEFORE you go to the doc to see what the side-effects are or if you think this treatment could be for you.
4. Homeopathic remedy -- peppermint oil mixed in water. If you can manage to gag this down.
So do not take my word for it. Search for hours if you have to, and you find comfirmation of what I've said above. Then proceed to your doctor with all the info you've obtained and maybe, just maybe he'll listen. My personal advice, if he doesn't listen and you are getting no better GET ANOTHER DOCTOR.
Esohageal spasms are incapacitating and if they can be treated with medications that can successfully relieve the pain then why should anyone have to suffer with this condition because a doctor doesn't want to write a prescription which he feels may be habit forming? IT JUST DOES'NT MAKE ANY SENSE, especially if it relieves the pain, and one can function properly again.
Okay, I have vented a little, but I hope most of all that I have helped some of you go about getting answers, go about getting help and having what you need when you present to a doctor and say, "I have esophageal spasms".
May you all be well, get well, and stay well. Hope I have helped at least some of you.
I just did a search on this topic because I've been having spasms in spades recently. In fact, I just took a donnatal the doctor had prescribed for me last year when I was burping uncontrollably right before an endoscopy. I think the latest bout happened because of my hiatal hernia+recent weight gain+probably aggravating the hernia with weight machines at the gym. The "attacks" still make me panic, though, and I'm sure my usual high-anxiety personality doesn't help.
With me it feels more like pressure than pain on my chest and the feeling that I'm going to stop breathing (with accompanying dizziness). Hate it!
I am so glad that somebody else is going thru the same thing! Well, I'm not really, cause I feel really sorry for you! i have been having some of the same symptoms as some of the other folks posting..sometimes i feel like i'm having shortness of breath, chest pain (but only in a bad episode), there is also pain in the middle of my back (does anybody else have this?), also it sometimes feels like i've swallowed something that is too big for my throat..do you know the feeling? like i've stretched something, but i really haven't. I also have the fluttering feeling in my chest..kinda like your heart skips a beat..but I've had an EKG done and there's nothing, so I'm particularly interested in hearing from the person that has the fluttering...my doc said it could be a mitral valve, but i'm not so sure considering all of my other symptoms...i have told him about all my symptoms and he prescribed me zantac which may or may not help..i don't know...it doesn't happen all of the time...i can go for weeks without a bad day, but when i do have symptoms it lasts for about a week or two almost solid. I have laid off the caffiene and tried dieting and exercising. i just get really depressed when i start feeling out of breath for no reason...by the way, i do get dizzy sometimes when it happens..weird huh? I don't know, it may be anxiety but i don't really feel stressed. I've always had stomach problems..i've been diagnosed with IBS, if this continues after some more dieting and exercising i will be going back to the docter, who by now probably thinks I;m crazy with all these vague symptoms...i know my own parents even think i'm crazy, despite my mom having some of the same symptoms..messed up...well if anybody has any thougts or ideas I would love to hear it!! Thanks.