What does an esophagal spasm feel like?

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girl_geek
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 12/7/2009 4:36 PM (GMT -6)   
I've heard several people on this board mention esophagal spasms so I was just wondering if someone could describe what they feel like -- or is it one of those things that's different for every person?  I haven't been diagnosed with spasms but am wondering if that could explain some of my chest pain and other symptoms.
Diagnoses: GERD, small hiatal hernia, allergies (haven't been tested yet)
Medications: Nexium (GERD), Singulair (allergies), Tazorac (acne)
Note: I suspect my GERD was caused by taking antibiotics for acne.  Please be careful about taking antibiotics when not necessary!


nasalady
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Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 1176
   Posted 12/7/2009 4:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I suspect they may be different for different people but I can tell you about my own experiences. For me, an esophageal spasm just starts as a pain in my chest, usually behind the breastbone. It's sort of sharp, but also achy....I'm not sure how to describe it. It generally gets worse and worse for several minutes then it begins to go away. Feels like a fist in my chest that is squeezing tighter and tighter, if that makes any sense. They last about 20 to 30 minutes for me.
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Lowdown
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 31
   Posted 12/11/2009 12:00 AM (GMT -6)   
girl_geek
 
Pretty much the same thing for me when I had them.  Only thing I can add is that I always had a kind of nervous or anxious feeling along with my spasms.  Stress made them worse.  Since my esophyX procedues though I haven't had one again, thank goodness.
nasalady said...
I suspect they may be different for different people but I can tell you about my own experiences. For me, an esophageal spasm just starts as a pain in my chest, usually behind the breastbone. It's sort of sharp, but also achy....I'm not sure how to describe it. It generally gets worse and worse for several minutes then it begins to go away. Feels like a fist in my chest that is squeezing tighter and tighter, if that makes any sense. They last about 20 to 30 minutes for me.


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couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12390
   Posted 12/11/2009 5:07 PM (GMT -6)   
I used to feel like I was going to blackout. I would have a sharp pain in my chest and it would start getting dark around the edges of my vision. I would start feeling like I was falling over. Then it would fade away.

Joy

rijssel
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 90
   Posted 12/18/2009 12:06 PM (GMT -6)   
I get sharp pains in my chest, but that is from GERD. Esophageal spasm is different, you can feel your esophageal go into spasms, a vibrating feeling. The times I had it, it would start when eating and go away when stop eating and it would last for a couple of days.
I find will peppermint work, but it also gives me heartburn smhair

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 3536
   Posted 12/18/2009 12:27 PM (GMT -6)   
I used to get sharp pain below the breastbone - just like a heart attack, minus the radiating down the arm, but sometimes radiating up to the jaw. Since I found my food triggers I rarely get them anymore. Also I was put on Toprol XL because they were triggering tachycardia and other arrhythmias. It seems the Toprol works for me to reduce or stop the spasms in the esophagus as well as the heart. Some patients are given nitroglycerine to stop the spasms.
It's more than just reflux but for me at least, it started with reflux.

Some people get backwards spasms going up the esophagus. A barium swallow can show what is happening - if it goes on during the test.
Alcie
 
 


girl_geek
Regular Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 58
   Posted 12/19/2009 4:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks for all the replies! The chest pains I have aren't as sudden, they're more gradual and constant over a period of time, so I'm sticking with my original suspicion that it's my HH (since the pains are always worse when I bend over, better when I stand up, etc...)
Diagnoses: GERD, small hiatal hernia, allergies (haven't been tested yet)
Medications: Nexium (GERD), Singulair (allergies), Tazorac (acne)
Note: I suspect my GERD was caused by taking antibiotics for acne.  Please be careful about taking antibiotics when not necessary!


Medora
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/16/2011 3:11 PM (GMT -6)   
Been reading all these thoughts on esophageal spasms.  I've been diagnosed with this but have a variety of different symptoms.  If anyone has an encouraging word, would surely appreciate it.  Last May 2010 I was awakened with much pain in my shoulder spreading around my neck and in my chest.  Head ache.  My husband took me to the hospital.  I had every heart test they could do.  It was not a heart attack.  My family doctor thought it was esphageal spasms because tums would ease the discomfort.  I had been on Zantac for gerd but it did not stop my acid reflux.  The doctor put me on Nexium.  I was fine for a month, but just had another episode this weekend.  My episodes last for three to four days with almost flu-like symptoms.  Slight temperature, aches and pains all over, headache, and sweats.  I've had nearly 10 episodes since last May and would really like to rid myself of the whole condition without going from one doctor to another, so would appreciate any help from the readers here.  Thanks so much.  >Medora

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 12390
   Posted 5/16/2011 3:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Your spasms could be from a food allergy. Make a food journal and write down the reactions you have.
Joy

Medora
New Member


Date Joined May 2011
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 5/16/2011 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Oh, that's an idea! I'll get my steno pad out and keep a journal on what I eat and reactions. Thanks, Joy!
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