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Old 04-23-2009, 12:24 PM   #1
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Fear to swallow food

Does anybody has the fear to swallow food, especially liquid? I am not afraid to lose weight, I would love to restore my original weight. Just for the last 4 years, I have had the fear of swallowing food and liquid, as a result, I lost a lot of weight. I don't know how to over come this fear. I think I lost the reflex that supports swallowing.

 
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Old 04-23-2009, 12:44 PM   #2
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Re: Fear to swallow food

Quote:
Originally Posted by annapere View Post
Does anybody has the fear to swallow food, especially liquid? I am not afraid to lose weight, I would love to restore my original weight. Just for the last 4 years, I have had the fear of swallowing food and liquid, as a result, I lost a lot of weight. I don't know how to over come this fear. I think I lost the reflex that supports swallowing.
Maybe I am missing something, but I don't understand what the source of your fear is. What are you exactly afraid of? And why? Does it hurt when you try to swallow food? And how did you survive during these four years having this fear? Please elaborate on it.

 
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Old 04-23-2009, 01:18 PM   #3
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Re: Fear to swallow food

I have a sort of dysphagia. I can't swallow, the liquid doesn't want to go down the throat.

 
Old 04-23-2009, 01:30 PM   #4
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Re: Fear to swallow food

Quote:
Originally Posted by annapere View Post
I have a sort of dysphagia. I can't swallow, the liquid doesn't want to go down the throat.
And have you consulted a doctor yet? Can't you even drink water?

Last edited by pendulum; 04-23-2009 at 01:31 PM.

 
Old 04-28-2009, 10:33 AM   #5
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Re: Fear to swallow food

The doctors couldn't help me. I can swallow hard food, but it seems I can't swallow liquid. Would anybody know any tecqniques to ease swallowing process?

 
Old 04-29-2009, 05:31 AM   #6
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Re: Fear to swallow food

Quote:
Originally Posted by annapere View Post
The doctors couldn't help me. I can swallow hard food, but it seems I can't swallow liquid. Would anybody know any tecqniques to ease swallowing process?
I am surprised to hear you say that doctors were unable to help you. I don't know myself any of these techniques, but maybe you could start with thick liquids, like soups. Maybe using a straw to suck up liquids would help, too.

 
Old 05-23-2009, 02:54 PM   #7
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Re: Fear to swallow food

oh my gosh, i think i have the same thing. my mom told me once that when she was studying psychology in college she learned about a lady who "forgot how to swallow", and ever since then, i have slightly experienced it. its not very bad, but sometimes i will feel like i will choke and die if i try to swallow my food. my throat like tenses up and then i get all panicky and i feel like i need to drink water to wash the food down. i have had the same problems swallowing liquids several times too. is this what you mean?

 
Old 06-04-2009, 09:48 AM   #8
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Re: Fear to swallow food

Yes, mostly I have problems to swallow liquids. Would you know anything that could ease swallowing process?

 
Old 11-15-2009, 09:28 PM   #9
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Re: Fear to swallow food

I had been dealing with trouble swallowing for a couple months recently, but the past 2 weeks or so, it has gotten completely better. I wanted to post here because I remember reading this board and others looking for help. I fell into a depression because it would take me a swallow of water for every tiny bit of food I ate just to swallow. It would take me 45 minutes just to eat a grilled cheese. I felt embarrassed to eat around other people, and I lost weight. It generally made me very sad and frustrated.

It started last summer when I felt like I would choke on food from time to time. It got worse and worse so I eventually went to the doctor where we did a barium swallow (swallow xray. Didn't hurt and was not uncomfortable) -- of course they found nothing and I felt even more depressed. I had a lot of stress during these months, and realize now that my difficulty swallowing food was because of this stress. I worked on my stress on my own and became less uptight, and eventually the problem subsided. I now enjoy food again and can eat around other people with no trepidation or fear. I swallow completely normal now. I know I won't choke and I don't think about each swallow.

The purpose of this post is, I know how upsetting it can be when you can't swallow food. It took over my entire mental well-being for awhile. I just wanted to come here and say that it WILL get better and you will return to normal. It's a temporary problem, if it's anxiety like mine was.

I would suggest if you're having these problems, go see a ear/nose/throat specialist and tell them what you're going through. They will run a test or two to make sure nothing is physically wrong. If they find nothing like what happened with me, then just take some time each day to relax. Try to be less uptight. Acknowledge your stress and take a deep breath. It's going to be OK, it really is. My stress was temporary and once I realized that the swallowing problem went away entirely.

I fully believe it was just a phase in my life and anything can be conquered. You control your own mind, don't let anxiety control you as hard as it can be sometimes. It's important not to just push everything off on anxiety though, I think going to the doctor first is very important just in case there is a physical reason for the Dysphagia you're suffering through.

Hang in there and try to relax. It will get better. Anyone who would like any of my advice, as limited as it is, don't hesitate to reply. I know what you're going through.


 
Old 11-16-2009, 03:22 PM   #10
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Re: Fear to swallow food

hello! yes i had that experience.... it started 3 years ago and lasted for one year. i avoided eating crunchy food (nuts, pop corn etc) and i was very afraid of eating apples and spaghetti. i never ate when i was home alone cause i had the fear of suffocation and being helpless. never ate at the cinema or in the plane (even when travelling to USA). i always carried with me a bottle of water.
this situations resulted to my anorexia! not at the last level.... <edited>
this fear was one of the many psychosomatic symptoms i had when suffering from daily panic attacks. i got over panic attacks and consequently this symptom by Homeopathy...

Last edited by mod-anon; 11-16-2009 at 07:08 PM. Reason: edited triggering words

 
Old 11-25-2009, 03:20 PM   #11
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Re: Fear to swallow food

I have issues swallowing as well, and as the first post described, feel as if i have lost the reflex. This is going on 7 years now so I have learned to deal with it basically. I believe it stems from anxiety, and originally, a fear of choking from when I thought I witnessed choking as a kid (it actually wasnt, someone just said it was...) I have had a fear of swallowing pills, fear of the dentist (in case something falls down my throat), etc. most of my life until the last few yrs when these fears subsided...but the behavior remains. When actual difficulty to swallow began (best described as this lost reflex) i developed methods like pinching myself to distract my brain and kick the reflex in. That is one example. Restaurants and formal situations make it worse, though is isnt normal even on my own. Liquids are worse because they are more difficult to control in the mouth. Its an annoying and debilitating "disorder" and one day I will actively try to get treatment. I could write a book about this so if anyone wants to know more, please let me know!!

 
Old 12-02-2009, 04:06 PM   #12
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Re: Fear to swallow food

For 4 years I have had problems swallowing liquids. It just doesn't come naturally anymore. Sometimes I choke on my own salivia...it is really awful, but I don't think it is a concious fear that I have. Like others have said before, it feels like I lost the reflex. I have seen doctors and a speech language pathologist. I have had several tests done such as an endoscopy and a barium swallow. Everything came back normal...too bad it doesn't feel normal. It is most likely caused by anxiety. If I need to drink liquids I have to hold them in my mouth while I really concentrate on swallowing, and even then I often choke a little.

 
Old 12-03-2009, 08:22 AM   #13
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Re: Fear to swallow food

chabichou, when did this start for you? i know you said 4 yrs ago, but do you know if there was a trigger? did you literally wake up one day with this problem? Is it an issue always or in certain more stressful situations? and, this only happens with liquids? i know what you mean about having to hold liquids in your mouth, that is how i drink as well. i wait until i am 'ready' to swallow, and usually it goes ok, but there are times when i am more stressed like around people, and in that case sometimes when the reflex tries to go, its like my brain says no no no wait a sec and stops the swallow and i kind of gag. so annoying. i had a time in college when i got really stressed from school and i woke up one day not being able to swallow *at all.* I mean, not even my own saliva. i thought it would pass after my exam that morning (to which i brough tissues so i could spit...) but it didnt and on the 3rd day i walked to the hospital at 5am because i was afraid i would dehydrate. it started to wake me up in my sleep even. they were thoroughly confused there when i said i cannot swallow but there is nothing in my throat nor is it physical. in fact they tried to give me pills....yeah. eventually i took paxil in liquid form and relaxed, but swallowing returned slowly...i ate babyfood first. anyway theres more to that story but ill leave it there! hasnt been the same since and i have ups and downs. recently moved abroad and the 6wks or so before and after that transition were horrible.

 
Old 12-15-2009, 11:34 AM   #14
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Re: Fear to swallow food

I am 33 and had a fear of swallowing for just under 3 years now and it has taken over my life. I have lost nearly 2 and a half stone and still losing weight and am scared for my health. I have had all the tests and done various things, cbt, hypnosis etc and nothing will cure me. Please tell me how you conquered this, help me, im desperate.

 
Old 05-17-2010, 04:05 AM   #15
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Re: Fear to swallow food

I have the same problem as described (you can also read my previous posts in this thread back in Nov2009). I am sure it is related to anxiety and stress, which I have had all my life - it is just my nature. Unfortunately it is not like the swallowing issue appears during stress and then goes away...it is there all the time, and just worsens during certain periods (often ones of transition). Sometimes I feel like by now it is also a learned behavior...since I have been dealing with this for about 7 yrs. Annapere or Larrylefine or anyone else interested, if you guys would like to talk more about this outside of the forum I would love to share experiences more in depth and perhaps even exchange advice or tips..ways you've learned to manage it. Larry it seems like you have recovered well, congrats!!! I am in the middle of one of the worse episodes now and its taking over my life, though I try to do eevrything I normally would in the face of it. So anyway yes, please, I would love to correspond personally as well. let me know.

 
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