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  • Difficulty swallowing/fear of choking on food?

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    Old 02-02-2005, 07:44 PM   #1
    Jugi's Avatar
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    Question Difficulty swallowing/fear of choking on food?

    I'd really like to know if anyone else experiences this symptom. I'm almost positive it is anxiety-related (I do have an anxiety disorder). Basically, often (but not always) when I eat, I feel like my body is too tense/anxious to relax enough to swallow. I'll have to very deliberately relax myself before I swallow each bite of food. Otherwise it feels like I might choke on my food. This happens much more often when I am around people than when I am by myself. It has caused me to be a very slow eater, which I've become very self-conscious of, and which only makes the situation worse. I guess the upshot is that I've lost weight by learning to eat smaller portions. But I'm really scared of choking on my food. I get kind of freaked out eating someplace like on an airplane or on a vacation in an isolated area where help might not be readily available should my fear come true. And lunch interviews and business lunches are a nightmare!

    Please tell me if anyone else has experienced anything like this. I've recently started back on an antidepressant (Lexapro - was on Paxil a few years ago), so I am hoping that will help.

    Last edited by Jugi; 02-02-2005 at 07:45 PM.

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    Old 02-02-2005, 09:06 PM   #2
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    Re: Difficulty swallowing/fear of choking on food?

    Oh yeah. When I'm anxious or stressed, I can't get anything down. My swallowing reflex sort of reverses itself or something

    If it's a real problem, I suggest eating food that goes down before your gag reflex has a chance to react. Like have a smoothie, or milkshake, or energy drink with a straw. Just sort of suck it down - no time to think about it.

    Old 02-03-2005, 10:56 AM   #3
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    Re: Difficulty swallowing/fear of choking on food?

    Hi jugi
    your problem is quite common
    chew the food thouroughly and if distracted, you will swallow without realising it
    the swallowing reflex is automatic
    valium type meds relax the throat muscles for a while
    fear of creating a scene by choking on the food when people are around is common
    some have to put all their food in a blender anbd cant eat solids at all
    also feeling a lump in the throat when none is there is common for anxiety sufferers

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