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Old 06-03-2007, 04:17 PM   #1
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Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Hi,

I'm going for an esophago-gram next week, after a while of experiencing problems with choking/food stuck in throat feeling.

The doc I saw suggested the esophago-gram, but also told me it might not be serious at all.

Here's the story, there have been a couple incidences in my life where I have choked, but after this one time a couple years ago, it occurred more frequently. It has come to the point where I have come to avoid steak all together, onions, peppers, chicken, bread, unless of course it is finely chopped. I feel like I either, somehow, push unchewed food down my throat, or I simply don't chew it hard enough (though I cannot believe why.) Sometimes I understand when it is anxiety related, however many times I really can't tell the difference. And there are other times when I have a pain in my throat & don't know why.

Eating out makes me so nervous - I tend to just stick to very mushy things like potato and fish. I think I've lost about 8 pounds (I'm 30 and weigh 114)

Will this become a life long issue? I hate the feeling of choking - it really has scared me. I am afraid to eat by myself, and anything tough. I am woried about my weight. I'm worried about my health - what if I want to get pregnant, will I hurt my unborn child? Or lose It? Does dysphagia come on suddenly? I never had such a problem this sever. I don't get dizzy, hoarse, or anything. Just a feeling of blockage.

Can someone help? Thanks.

 
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Old 06-03-2007, 04:22 PM   #2
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

I also want to add that I do have difficulty swallowing pills, (I get tense) and things like extending my tongue, as well as somewhat of manuvering food in my mouth. I also tend to have a gag reflex. Slow eater as well. But I was told this is not very uncommon.
What can I do until I begin somesort of treatment? And is the esophago-gram difficult to take for a person like me? I know I'll be nervous for sure.
Thanks for any help.

Last edited by CandP; 06-03-2007 at 04:23 PM.

 
Old 06-04-2007, 12:43 PM   #3
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Hi,

Did they explain what an esaphago-gram is exactly? I have seen people swallow various consistencies of things while their throats are being videotaped/x-rayed, to see what exactly is going on. Don't know if that's what you were referring to.

Your swallowing problems could be due to poor muscle control of your tongue, or the tongue muscles being tight...I suppose this could get worse gradually just like other muscles that tighten over time due to CP. Besides, bad experiences would cause anyone to tighten up which probably doesn't help matters.

All of the things you described could be helped by a speech-language pathologist...he/she can give you tongue stretching exerscies and work with you on controlling the food better, moving it into the back of your throat, swallowing, and they can also reduce the gag reflex (they basically touch the back of your troat till the reflex reduces). As far as taking pills, they can help with that too...decreasing the gag reflex is a start, plus he/she will probably tell you a technique like put your head down then swallow quickly.

Until you get some answers from a doctor, just stick to small/soft foods, and also make sure to drink a lot of water (which helps stuff go down easier).

Good Luck, let me know what happens!

 
Old 06-04-2007, 05:47 PM   #4
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Thanks - yes I am going to take x ray of my swallowing - luckily it has been pushed up to this weds.

I guess if there isn't a serious med. problem, them I will seek immediate speech therapy. Do they recommend one at the xray place? How would I go about finding one?

 
Old 06-04-2007, 05:48 PM   #5
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Oh, and is this problem permanent, or will it improve with the therapy?

 
Old 06-05-2007, 07:26 AM   #6
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

You should be fine with the test, don't worry...they give you water, syrupy kind of stuff, pudding, and something solid, and watch you swallow them. I believe they let you drink water in between.

Speech Pathologists usually are there during the test. I don't know if the doctor who recommended the test would want to see you again or you'd go right to talk with the SLP.

I think the things can be improved, but sometimes they recommend eating different consistency foods

 
Old 06-06-2007, 12:28 AM   #7
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

I'm afraid I don't have any useful information, but I have noticed similar issues with myself in the past year. I've never been good at swallowing pills and now it seems like I choke at least once I meal. I think this is due to the fact that I'm trying to eat faster and/or multitask while I eat. It's very annoying!

 
Old 06-06-2007, 05:40 AM   #8
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

I wonder if most people with CP have some degree of dysphagia? Those things can come and go with me too, although with pills it's more of a "mind over matter" thing (as soon as I stop thinking that I'm not going to be able to swallow them, I swallow them...proably because then I don't tense up)

 
Old 06-06-2007, 06:22 PM   #9
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Well, did the exam and the doctor said I don't have a problem swallowing. He said there is no blockage there. I need to go to my doctore next week for him to explain the xrays.

As far as the test, it was pretty smooth, though I did gag twice. I have a gag reflex

Anyway, I got the impression that either my muscles have just weakened, or that is has become a psychological issue - that not completely.

I just need to learn to better manuver the food in my mouth. Though I don't understand - I'm a slow eater which means I use my mouth to eat for about an hour...how could my muscles have weakened??

 
Old 06-08-2007, 06:56 AM   #10
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

I don't really know how to answer that...maybe you tend to use one side of your mouth more without realizing it? And maybe most of what you're doing while eating slowly is chewing, not using your tongue.

In any event Speech Pathologists can work with you on maneuvering food and also to decrease the gag reflex...so please let me know if the doctor advises you to go see one, as I'm curious .

Anyway, look on the bright side--there's nothing majorly wrong with you!

 
Old 06-09-2007, 05:24 PM   #11
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Yes, I'll let you know. I'm supposed to speak to him this Monday.

 
Old 06-11-2007, 05:53 PM   #12
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Well, the doctor didn't even want to call me into his office to tell me the results - he told me over the phone that everything checks out fine.

I asked him about speech pathologists and he basically told me to just open the yellow pages and pick one out
No help there....

So, is that basically what I should do??

 
Old 06-12-2007, 08:15 AM   #13
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

I guess so. Perhaps just pick one close to your house, then go for an evaluation to see if you like him/her...or contact your insurance for a list of them that they cover in your area. There is also this website [url]http://www.asha.org/proserv/[/url] were you can do a search by state.

I would think that you need a prescription for that, though...call that doctor back after you pick one and ask them to fax/send you a prescription, or get one from another doctor if necessary. Good luck!

 
Old 06-12-2007, 05:43 PM   #14
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

You think I need a prescription to see a speech therapist?, Really? He didn't mention anything. I would hate the speech therapist to give me a round around, you know..?

Well, first thing now is to gain weight. I'm so embarrassed, I think it is a psychological issue...I only eat mushy foods or foods I've chopped or diced. I can eat a burger no problem. But I do take a while. I wonder how I'll get over this

 
Old 06-13-2007, 07:04 AM   #15
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Re: Might Have Dysphagia, Can Someone Help Me?

Well if you can afford to pay I suppose you don't need a prescription...insurance does cover it, usually, though so it might be worth getting one

You could try drinking protein shakes and things like that to gain weight, or more sweets, instead of trying to eat things that worry you. Or you could see a speech pathologist first and maybe he/she would be able to help you so you feel more comfortable.

Either way, good luck!

 
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