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  swallowing problems, can't breathe!

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Author Topic:   swallowing problems, can't breathe! | Page views:
Jan46
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Posts: 2
From:Safety Harbor FL USA
Registered: Jul 2003

posted 07-08-2003 09:51 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Jan46     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm hoping it's just anxiety, but at least once a week I suddenly get "stuck" in the middle of a swallow of liquid, or I feel a belch come up and I actually get FOAM come into my mouth. I can't breathe during these episodes and my windpipe locks down for about 10-20 seconds. I gasp and wheeze and feel like I'm going to die. Then it relaxes and returns to normal. I had an endoscopy about a year ago and was diagnosed with acute gastritis. But I wasn't having these swallowing epidsodes at that time. I take prilosec on and off and I have had great success in alleviating indigestive pain by chewing DGL (licorice) tablets. But these episodes are very scary. I'm a 46 year old female. HELP!

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Jan46

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Katie G
Senior Veteran
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Posts: 719
From:Mt. Pleasant, MI, USA
Registered: Aug 2001

posted 07-09-2003 09:06 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Katie G     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hi there - sounds like esophageal spasms which can be very painful and scary. I used to get them as part of my GERD, still get them occasionally after anti-reflux surgery due to gas build-up. I start salivating more and feel like I'm going to throw up, but because of the surgery I had, I will never be able to throw up again. So I just try Lamaze breathing, and since they only happen during a meal, I move away from the table and wait for the pain/spasm to pass. My heart feels like it's fluttering, but I think it's actually the esophagus spasm I'm feeling because I check my pulse when it happens and it stays regular.

Once long ago, a doctor prescribed Valium for me when the spasms occurred. Knocked me right out, but it also took care of the spasm. However, I don't recommend having to pop a Valium every time a spasm occurs. You may want to ask your doctor about having esophageal manometry done to check the motility and coordination of esophageal movement since esophagospasms are sometimes difficult to treat.

Good luck and keep us posted,
Katie G

P.S. The best advice I can offer is to try to find something calming during an attack, whether it's breathing or progressive relaxation or whatever helps you to breathe calmly and deeply.

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klayr
Senior Member
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Posts: 106
From:haverhill,MA USA
Registered: Jun 2003

posted 07-09-2003 02:35 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for klayr     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Also, stay in touch with your doc. These types of things can get ugly if you don't keep them monitored. Ask your doc if you can take the Prilosec daily. Those types of medications can actually heal lesions sometimes. Good luck.

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WiggleWaggle
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Posts: 4
From:NY
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-20-2003 02:33 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for WiggleWaggle     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Rookie here posting. Veteran at difficulty swallowing.
I have a week spincter muscle at top of my stomach, gas buildup in the esophagus adds pressure which feels like I cannot breath,panic! I have to turn my head and concentrate to swallow saliva. Usual cause is gas producing foods, tomatoes, cucumbers... I have had to reduce the size of my meals, not eat within three hours of bedtime, sleep on a foam wedge, drink less coffee, walk after meals, and the best remedy...burp. It reduces pressure till digestion takes over and gas buil up subsides. I take aciphex daily during flare-ups, then as needed. I would not wish this on my worst enemy! Take a log of what you eat so when you go see a G.I. it will be easier to diagnose.Good luck

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Foolishness
Junior Member
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Posts: 14
From:
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-20-2003 09:00 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for Foolishness     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I have the same problems occasionally and it definitely is scary for that 10-20 seconds, but obviously what makes it worse is anxiety. Take a few deep breaths and then try to the drink the liquid again. And yes try to burp if you can, it helps clear the system out!

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Harry
Senior Veteran
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Posts: 1757
From:Charleston,SC-USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 08-21-2003 12:10 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There are several things I do to relieve trapped gas. Take Gas X and use a homeopathic remedy --- Carbo Veg. Take them both like it says on the containers.

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msbeepbeep
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Posts: 4
From:Florida
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-23-2003 06:28 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for msbeepbeep     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oh boy, do I ever know EXACTLY what you mean. I was just scanning the postings because of a problem we are having with our 31/2 and possible 'silent GERD' (that's a different posting!) and your message caught my eye. I am a healthy 44 yo woman who has had occassional episodes of what you describe for the last 20 years. The first time it happened, I thought I was dying. I tried to use the sign for choking to get someone to help with by using the Heimlich on me. Luckily, before anyone did, I was able to breathe again. I never did anything about it...thought I had 'choked' on my own saliva....and it didn't happen again for years. Since that time, I have had seven or eight episodes....usually one or two years apart. I have noticed that they happen when I am under stress. Since I have had my son, I have had more occurances...probably because I am under more stress than usual...especially worried about his health situation. Anyway, the last time it happened, I was at my dr. office getting an allergy shot. Just as I turned to offer my other arm after getting the shot in my right arm, I felt that sensation of swallowing the 'wrong way' and I knew what would happen next. I have discovered that I must stay calm and know that I will not be able to breathe for 10 or 15 seconds...not a problem.....but, it is hard to remember that at the time. I also have discovered that I should take a very shallow breath to begin with and expect that the first or second will be a bit wheezey. Then, after a couple of coughs, all returns to 'normal' except for a rapid heartbeat from my body being scared to death. The problem this time was that I knew that the nurse would think that I was reacting to the allergy shot and I had no way of letting her know that I was OK until I could talk again. Well, that office sprang into action....had me seated with a bp reading going, the dr. summoned and a needle of adrenalin ready before I could croak out "I am OK...this is just something that happens to me sometimes...." Well, needless to say, we have a running joke each time I get my shots. The dr. said "sounds like esophogal spasm" and suggested I run it by my primary care Phys. When I told her about the whole history, she said since it happened so rarely, there was no need to do anything. Now that we are aware that my child probably has GERD which is causing some respiratory sympotms, I wonder if I should further investigate whether something is going on with my digestion to cause this too.

Well, that positng was LONG...but, I wanted to you know that I have survived about ten episodes over 20 years !

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Ginger9708
Senior Member
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Posts: 155
From:Roselle Park, NJ
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 08-27-2003 11:59 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Ginger9708     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I asked my doctor about this yesterday because at times I feel like something is in my lungs and having lots of difficulty breathing. He said there is research that states that GERD can cause asthma and breathing problems. I was very relieved to find this out as it seems my breathing gets very bad and wasnt sure what was going on.

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trenee03
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Posts: 2
From:New Orleans, LA, USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-27-2003 08:46 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for trenee03     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Okay so I am having the same problem. When I eat fast or certain foods it almost feels like it gets stuck in my lower throat/chest. It gets to the point where I can't breathe unless I throw up or burp. But sometimes neither helps. Like right now for instance, It has been almost an hour since it started and I can't get it to go away. Other problem...I am only 19 years old. Should this be happening to me? Please give me any suggestions to help. Thanks!

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suzyshop1
Veteran
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Posts: 364
From:dover,de,usa
Registered: Oct 2002

posted 08-28-2003 04:14 PM     Click Here to See the Profile for suzyshop1     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Trenee03 do you have any problems with heartburn?

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trenee03
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Posts: 2
From:New Orleans, LA, USA
Registered: Aug 2003

posted 08-29-2003 12:04 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for trenee03     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
No, it's not heartburn. It's just sometimes whenever I eat too fast, it feels like the food gets lodged in my throat, and I can't breathe and when I try to throw up all that comes up is water. And the more I swallow the worse it gets. Last night when it happened to me, it took almost 2 hours for it to finally go away.

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Harry
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Posts: 1757
From:Charleston,SC-USA
Registered: Nov 2000

posted 08-29-2003 12:16 AM     Click Here to See the Profile for Harry     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
There is a condition called Nut Cracker Syndrome that is usually diagnosed by a pressure measuring test along the 9 1/2" of esophagus(Manometery).

The treatment is to take a PPIs daily.
The tests and diagnosis is made by a Gastro Doctor.

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