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Old 07-13-2008, 07:13 PM   #1
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Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

I was diagnosed with graves in aug of last year. I have been on tapazole since sep. After a brief period of being hypo my levels have been good since nov. My endo told me I had a slight goiter after my uptake scan. I am just wondering if it could be causing my occasional problem swallowing. It feels like my muscles just stop working, like Ive suddenly forgotten how to swallow. It has been going on for quite some time now and was wondering if anyone had this problem with only a slight goiter?
Thanks for any feedback- Shay

 
Old 07-13-2008, 07:19 PM   #2
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

I had similar problems on occasion---wasn't taken very seriously by anyone----most doctors could not see the obvious goiter I had.

I found out there are such things as substernal goiters---ones that don't "stick out" front----and I wondered if those had caused some problems.

And I also realized that when I became hypo-thyroid, my muscles wouldn't react the way they normally would---and I think it affected me in the "swallowing" department too.

I used to tell doctors that it was just certain things: meat sandwiches primarily---and they poo-poohed me---but I found a site somewhere that said that "choking" and getting meat sandwiches "stuck" in your throat was a common symptom of thyroid disease.

Good luck----and I hope it gets better for you!

 
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Old 07-14-2008, 09:05 AM   #3
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Thanks for the reply, I know what you mean about "choking". Ill find myself in the middle of a meal and suddenly panic when I realize I have food in the back of my throat and its not going down. I have always been able to get it down with water. Its never a problem with liquids, usually heavy foods like meats.
I recently found out that I have an aunt and cousin with lupus and another aunt with polymyositis, both cause muscle weakness (trouble swallowing). Just one more thing for me to worry about.
I am glad to hear that it could be related to my thyroid though, Its not just me going crazy

 
Old 07-14-2008, 11:33 AM   #4
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Sorry to hear about your aunt and cousin---have you been checked out for auto-immune problems???
I was diagnosed with Hahimoto's---and I would sometimes go "hyper" for no reason. I later found out that my pituitary is not working right---so I've got secondary hypothyroidism and growth hormone deficiency.
I always asked for a scan of my thyroid---others I knew with thyroid disease asked and were given scans---but not me. LOL!, I guess they knew I was trouble from the start!!!
I really wonder if you have a substernal goiter---they can cause your trachea to be out of alignment---
I went to one doctor who wanted me to do a barium swallow test---but my problem would come and go, so I declined. No use spending money on a test when I couldn't control when it was given.
Things continued to get worse for me---and I ended up choking on liquids too.
I really thought I was on the slippery slope to old age---but since I've been properly dx'd with the above---and getting treatment---I haven't had any choking problems---not like I used to get.

 
Old 07-14-2008, 12:25 PM   #5
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Hi there. It's funny- I just posted a message last week about being hypothyroid & having swallowing problems among other things. Guess I'm not the only one.

I actually get the "stuck" feeling in my throat, too. Most of all when I try to swallow pills. I just had a modified barium swallow. They gave me barium pills, and sure enough- the pill got stuck in my esophagus. I drank liquid & the pill stayed in my throat. After a bunch of sips, it finally went down.

Anyway, the technician said I should see a gastro doctor- just what I need more doctors. Supposedly the muscle in my throat is tight. She couldn't tell me what was causing the problem.

I asked the tech if my thyroid looked enlarged, and she just said- Oh, if you have a goiter the tissue in your neck sticks out. So, I don't know.

 
Old 07-14-2008, 10:11 PM   #6
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Substernal goiters don't stick "out"---they stick "IN"!!!
Well, at least they realized that something is causing things to get "stuck"...

[url]http://www.pubmedcentral.nih.gov/articlerender.fcgi?artid=1163480[/url]

..."Substernal goiters are generally seen in the 5th decade of life, with a predominance in women.5 Among the space-occupying mediastinal abnormalities, the incidence of substernal goiters is high—10% to 15%.4 Although symptoms of dyspnea, stridor, hoarseness, dysphagia, superior vena cava syndrome, transient ischemic attacks, cerebral edema, Horner's syndrome, and thyrotoxicosis can be seen as clinical manifestations, 15% to 50% of patients with substernal goiters are asymptomatic.6 In symptom-free patients, the diagnosis is generally established by accidental detection on chest radiograph. The exact location and extent of the goiter can be detected by means of CT. Radioactive scans can also indicate the presence of mediastinal thyroid tissue.7 Other space-occupying lesions in the mediastinum, including thymomas, lymphomas, dermoid cysts, pleuropericardial cysts, and neurogenic tumors, should be considered in the differential diagnosis. In patients who have undergone recent cardiac surgery, the development of an iatrogenic pseudoaneurysm or hematoma of the aorta as a complication of aortic cannulation should also be kept in mind."

Last edited by T4T3hell; 07-14-2008 at 10:15 PM.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 08:24 AM   #7
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

WOW!! Im glad to know that Im not going crazy! I havent mentioned the trouble swallowing to my endo yet, but I dont see him again till sep. I did had the radio active iodine uptake scan done and that was how I was diagnosed with graves and goiter. The doctor never said anything more about size or type of goiter. I am only 27! definitly not in my 5th decade of life.

 
Old 07-15-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

You definitely aren't crazy. Something could be amiss in your throat. I am not in my 5th decade, either- only my mid 20s. I kept asking my doctor, can't my thyroid be enlarged inside? They continue to give me the "I would see the enlargement from the outside Your tsh is in the normal range, so your thyroid isn't enlarged." Very frustrating.

Thanks for your help, T3T4Hell. This message board is a God send. I have been struggling with my thyroid for years. Are there any tests they can do to check for a substernal goiter?

 
Old 07-15-2008, 07:56 PM   #9
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Not sure---doctors ignored me for the most part.
The only thing they suggested was a barium swallow.
Didn't take them up on the offer. Felt like heck...

 
Old 02-10-2009, 07:41 AM   #10
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

I've just gone throught an ACDF for 3 levels in my neck. After surgery I was notified that I had a "goiter" and to see my primary physican. I've had a sonogram of the goiter and are now asking me to have an scan and uptake. They said the blood levels were normal. I am so in the dark. Can someone fill me in on any of this. Plus I have gained 50 pounds in the last 3 years NOT from over eating and excersizing. When the surgeon told me I may have hypo .... I was estatic and to know there could be a method the madness of my weight gain. Plus I seem to have a lot of other symptons like hoarse and deeper voice, feeling tired all the time (even before surgery) etc. Any insight would be greatly appreciated! Lori

 
Old 02-10-2009, 02:25 PM   #11
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Well, I have been choking and upchucking my food for at least 7 years. I had no idea it was because of a thyroid nodule.

Someone mentioined that possibility to me a long time ago and I just put it in the back of my head.

Then i found out yes, I had a nodule and it needed to come out. Which has been done.

Now we shall see if my hoarse voice, choking, lethargy and weight gain were being caused by this growth.

YES YES a goiter and a nodule can cause swallowing and choking issues.

 
Old 03-10-2009, 12:51 PM   #12
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

Wow, I had not seen this before. I thought I was going nuts.
I had the choking in Sept. I could not eat for a whole day and I went to the emergency room, felt really stupid. I was given Xanax they thought it was in my head.
I had problems with my gall bladder so I got distracted.
Now I am choking again, exactly how you described. It's been over week, and I am not getting better, sometimes worse, especially at night.
I kept sucking on cough drops thinking something was wrong with my throat.
In the morning it's easier. It feels like if I am not awake enough, I can ambush my food. But I can't eat much anyway.
I also seem to have the feeling of a lump in my throat, kind of as if I swallowed a rock, and it's stuck there.
I have developed a fear of liquids at times. I keep choking, I am even afraid of my own saliva sometimes. Yesterday I had an unusual amount of it, so I kept spitting it out, felt like I was going to drown. It's so embarrassing to be going through this.
I do seem to have a weight problem. I don't eat much junk food unless I have PMS. I eat tiny portions of food and I still can't loose weight. Doctor just tells me to eat healthy, stop drinking coffee, stop having eggs and bacon for breakfast. What? I haven't seen bacon in years, I don't touch butter, I am terrified of fried foods, and snack on oatmeal cups.
I was tested for thyroid in 2006 and seems to been OK, at least that's what the doctor said. I am going back to get checked again, that's why I am here; To get an idea of what to get checked. Last time I stumped them at the emergency room.
Thank you so much for sharing, it really helps others!!
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Old 06-18-2009, 02:42 PM   #13
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Re: Trouble swallowing... Thyroid? or something else?

I have been having a swallowing problem on/off since about 12 years old, right after I was hit by a car, out of nowhere I became afraid to swallow food, the sensation was at the turn/the intersection at back of my tongue and where the esophagus starts felt like the food was going over a lump or my upper throat would spasm.

I am now 47 and as I say it has been on/off since then, I call it a phobia, my shrink calls it OCD and I have been on paxil for about 10 years because of this and it has helped keep it at bay, except I won't eat meats or foods that are chewy and thick.

But I was diagnosed with hypo last year and haven't had any noticeable recurrences since then but now wonder if maybe the car accident at 12, caused some thyroid damage and that has been the problem all along.

I also have had the other type of swallowing issue where somewhere in the neck area it feels like the food gets stuck and is frightening and excrutiatingly painful, it is very infrequent and hot water helps move it. My doc thought that was acid reflux and I have been on aciphex for many years and can't recall having that happen since on aciphex.

Now I wonder if that also was/is from the thyroid???

 
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