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  • food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

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    Old 07-11-2016, 11:46 AM   #1
    psycholainey
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    food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

    hi -- about a year ago, I was eating and food suddenly felt stuck right in the middle of my chest. It didn't happen again for a couple months, and then it was on and off intermittent dysphagia (food sometimes felt like it was going down my esophagus really slowly) until last Friday when I went to my doctor, hoping he would say it was GERD. I've never really had heartburn, but have had lifelong mild stomach issues, plus a bad anxiety disorder. I'm 37 / female.

    My doctor didn't mention GERD, and referred me to a gastroenterologist (appt next week). This freaked me out (I also looked at Dr. Google for dysphagia, which was a mistake!!) and since then, I've felt every single bite of food going down my esophagus / feeling stuck, plus burping, sour stomach, and a bit of heartburn.

    Can this huge uptick in symptoms this week be caused by stress / anxiety? My grandmother (94) and uncle (72) both had esophagus cancer, so I'm a bit concerned.

     
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    Old 08-16-2016, 05:53 PM   #2
    Jellisa
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    Re: food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

    Quote:
    Originally Posted by psycholainey View Post
    hi -- about a year ago, I was eating and food suddenly felt stuck right in the middle of my chest. It didn't happen again for a couple months, and then it was on and off intermittent dysphagia (food sometimes felt like it was going down my esophagus really slowly) until last Friday when I went to my doctor, hoping he would say it was GERD. I've never really had heartburn, but have had lifelong mild stomach issues, plus a bad anxiety disorder. I'm 37 / female.

    My doctor didn't mention GERD, and referred me to a gastroenterologist (appt next week). This freaked me out (I also looked at Dr. Google for dysphagia, which was a mistake!!) and since then, I've felt every single bite of food going down my esophagus / feeling stuck, plus burping, sour stomach, and a bit of heartburn.

    Can this huge uptick in symptoms this week be caused by stress / anxiety? My grandmother (94) and uncle (72) both had esophagus cancer, so I'm a bit concerned.

    Ive got the same problem as you. took a while but they finally diagnosed me with esophagal dysmotility which is the same thing as dysphagia really so that doesn't lead me anywhere because i knew i had that anyway. The thing is doctors will say its caused by stress but that would mean everyone in highly stressful situations would have the same problem. I'm only stressed because i can barely eat, so don't let them fob you off with that.
    I believe its related to lower gut issues which I'm still trying to gt to the bottom of. It all relates to eachother, the whole gi Tract. stress obviously helps no one but it can't be the sole cause. My main consultant wants me on certain meds to see if it will help, but i am wary of the side effects.
    do you find your teeth enamel wearing away, do you get sharp pains in abdomen? does it feel like trapped air in your chest cavity only relieved by burping? i have all this and its awful.

     
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    Old 08-17-2016, 08:41 AM   #3
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    Re: food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

    Try drinking some warm tea or coffee before/while eating and see if that helps.

    At your age I wouldn't worry about cancer.

     
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    Old 04-24-2017, 02:26 AM   #4
    Joe02324
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    Re: food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

    Had the same symptoms as you and saw a gastro/ent - diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and gerd-- only course of action they gave me was ppis- stay away from certain foods, reduce streas, etc-- but yes stress can cause all kinds of gastro issues leading to dysphagia, etc.. things have improved for me but its taken months..improvement can be slow.

     
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    Old 10-20-2017, 03:46 PM   #5
    golfhat
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    Re: food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

    I have the same problem and have to throw up to get the stuck food out. My problem is esophageal stricture caused by a hiatal hernia. the acid backs up for years without it causing major problems but you don't realize scar tissue is forming. basically it is across the bottom of my esophagus leading to the stomach!

    a lot of foods are off my list especially in restaurants. I have had my fill of having to excuse myself in a restaurant to go throw up. my family now knows what is going on.

    the solution is meds to help eliminate the acid and also surgery. this could be your problem I noticed no one on this thread mentioned it.

     
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    Old 08-07-2020, 12:50 AM   #6
    TheLAexplorer
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    Re: food goes down slowly/feels stuck - stress?

    Disclaimer: I am not a doctor. These instructions aren't meant to be taken as professional medical advice. This is just how I was able to treat myself. Feel free to skip to the last paragraph if you want to get straight to the treatment that I developed.

    I had been dealing with a very similar issue. If it is the same, let me first start by telling you that YOU ARE NOT ALONE. IT CAN GET BETTER! The reason I say that is because I went through HELL with this condition and I recently found a treatment that worked for me so now I'm looking for people who have this condition so that I can spread the treatment and hopefully give them some comfort and relief. I really wish that I had someone to show me the way during my time of need but I was shooting blind. I sincerely hope that this treatment works for you.

    Backstory: My symptoms started as gerd/acid reflux. On top of this, I could not stop burping. I burped all day and all night 24/7. Especially when I had trigger foods: alcohol, caffeine, carbonated drinks, spicy foods, chocolate etc. I had these symptoms for 5 years, saw multiple Gastroenterologists, and did almost every test and procedure in the book. They didn't find anything. They just kept switching my antacids which had no effect. So I just learned to live with it. Then suddenly at the end of 2018 the symptoms developed into a severe and chronic case of 24/7 dysphagia. I couldn't eat because I felt like I was so backed up that I couldn't breathe. I would get lightheaded and I had to vomit to be able to catch my breath. Even then I felt a constant shortness of breath 24/7 and it got worse every time I ate. I ended up blending my food in order to give my digestive system less work to do. In this time I lost a ton of weight, pretty much stopped sleeping because I felt like I couldn't breathe when I would lie down, and started to question my sanity. During this time, I went in for 3 upper endoscopies, a barium swallow, bravo PH study, blood samples, stool samples, you name it. I did it all and they said that they couldn't find anything wrong with me!

    It was during one of those sleepless nights that I searched for breathing exercises and found the Wim Hof breathing method. I did it and during the process, I felt like I was able to get more oxygen into my body. It also helped me with some of the anxiety I had been experiencing. I did this for several months and even started taking ice baths because it's part of the Wim Hof method. Anyway, it helped but only a little bit. And the deep breathing would also cause me to vomit. I know that vomiting isn't good for the esophagus but in my case, I felt some relief every time that I did vomit. And oddly, it looked like bile would come out, not food. Now, I'm not endorsing vomiting unnecessarily. I just think that in my case it helped bring relief. Obviously I still needed nutrition so I tried to only do it early in the morning before eating breakfast. That way I wouldn't be vomiting out the food that I had eaten. And again, I only vomited when I did deep breathing that gave me the urge to release some bile. I did NOT stick my fingers down my throat and force myself to vomit.

    After doing the Wim Hof method for several months, I was recommended to a chiropractor by a co-worker. This is where things start to get interesting. This Chiropractor is very unique because his philosophy is that our body functions differently depending on our state of mind. The mind causes many ailments. Sounds like quackery, yes I know. But I was desperate so I gave it a shot. He asked me about my worries, and my past. He said he thinks my condition is caused by anxiety. Then he poked around my stomach and squeezed out some knots. Yes, knots. Like the kind you get in your shoulders after a stressful day. He said my stomach was full of them. So I went to him for several months and he would find new knots every visit, get them out, and I would feel some relief after every visit. He claimed that they were muscles in my digestive system that were associated with "worry" and that they needed to be "loosened" - similar to a sports massage but on my stomach. I started to do these massages myself at home everyday as well. At first, I had a hard time because I thought I would hurt myself if I put too much pressure. Then after some time, I got comfortable and started putting a lot of pressure. It eventually got to the point where I would put a firm object on the floor and lie on my stomach on top of the object with my full body weight. I used a tennis ball or a softball and I would roll around on it until I felt the knots release. Maybe 30 min to an hour every day. After doing this with enough pressure in every tight area of my stomach (especially the ileocecal valve), I was able to release the vast majority of the knots. And again, every time I released a knot, I felt the urge to vomit bile. This lead to a significant decrease of my dysphagia. I am now feeling 90% better. Actually, I was hesitant to post my treatment until I was at 100% because I didn't want to jump the gun. But now that I feel a noticeable relief, I want to tell everyone about it as fast as I can.

    Lastly, it's important to take measures to reduce anxiety. I chose to opt out of anti-anxiety medications but I do see a therapist and practice mindfulness everyday. The Wim Hof method helps a lot too. I felt an instant rush of dopamines every time I did it. The only side effect I've experienced is some tightness around my neck muscles, and decreased sexual drive, although the latter may be due to the depression that I suffered during this whole ordeal. I'm not sure. Also, I was able to get in touch with my own body and relax my jaw muscles, chest muscles, stomach muscles, groin muscles, leg muscles, and uncurl my toes. Please pay attention to this. If you are grinding your teeth or curling your toes, you are tensing up. Try to relax. Stay aware. I would set 5 minute reminders on my phone to break the habit of tensing up. And if you choose not to do the Wim Hof Method, I would at least practice "stomach vacuum" exercises. When I did them, I could feel the muscle fibers in my stomach stretching. The pain felt similar to when I had a cast removed and I tried to stretch out my elbow for the first time in months.

    In summary: I avoided trigger foods. Drank shakes and stayed nourished as best as I could. I did the Wim Hof Method every morning before breakfast. Vomited bile when necessary. Took measures to treat anxiety. Relaxed tense muscles from my head to my core, to my toes. Practiced stomach vacuums. And I performed an ABDOMINAL MYOFASCIAL RELEASE every day for 30 - 60 minutes either through my chiropractor or by myself by lying stomach down on a softball. I think this last step was the most important but if you're as miserable as I was, I would try everything. Good luck!

     
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