food getting stuck going down slow for the past month and a half

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somebody
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/19/2010 2:47 PM (GMT -6)   
For the past little over a month I have had an increasingly hard time swallowing solid food.
Over a period of about 1.5 months, I have gone from no apparent problem eating to only eating soup and protein bars that I can mince into small bits, pureed blender food and ensure to keep from losing more weight (about 20 lbs. total now)
 
Here is what I feel: Food gets to the base of my throat when I swallow and then seems to slow to a crawl down my esophagus. Even swallowed saliva feels large and slow.
Also, it seems like I sometimes get a stinging pain feeling in throat and esophagus when air moves across it from breathing and strangely it feels like breathing moves food in there too.
 
Background: 35 m/ with asthma periodically requiring inhalers (pro-air and qvar inhaled steroid). Started at 173 lbs. now down to 153. 
Had a few sinus infections in the past 6 months.  
Also been doing postural drainage for lungs (hanging almost upside down to drain mucus from lungs) which seemed to make the reflux a lot worse and burn my throat and esophagus from stuff coming up. I've felt it get up to my throat quite a few times and once while trying to sleep on my stomach it felt like pure acid washed up from my stomach up into my throat with THE most intense burning I've ever felt in terms of reflux pain.
 
Three times in a period of about 5 years I've had bad heartburn with radiating pain to back and throat lasting for 1-2 weeks, otherwise I never felt any kind of reflux type thing. The first time it happened in approx 04, I had an upper GI and my doc said I had reflux but no hernia.
 
Been taking prevacid 30 mg solutabs for 2 weeks now since I cannot swallow regular pills.  
Saw GI doc about a week ago, described my symptoms and he said endoscopy and dilate if necessary. That happens in about a week and a half.
Gen doc just doubled prevacid dose since eating not improved and still getting some pain.
 
Lost about 10 lbs. from loss of appetite during the sinus infections, and another about 10 due to not being able to eat enough from swallowing problems now.
I'm pretty depressed and nervous about what is causing this.
I am just surviving on ensure, ridiculously chewed protein bars, bananas and pureed stuff.
 
I've wondered if reflux is what caused my sinus infections and non-stop drainage also.
 
I've read that weight loss and trouble swallowing can mean bad things.
 
* Does weight loss from low appetite and not being able to eat mean really bad things or does it have to be unexplained weight loss?
 
* Was this building for awhile, or is the frequent hanging upside down and stuff coming up into my throat what caused me the trouble getting food down?
 
* Something new that happens is that it feels like if there is pressure on my back from leaning against something even sitting up, that I start to get somewhat of a burning feeling in my esophagus and throat. Does this sound like a hernia?
 
* Anyone else experienced this or can offer some insight?

Post Edited (somebody) : 2/19/2010 3:25:47 PM (GMT-7)


coolld
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 2/21/2010 7:58 AM (GMT -6)   
I am new and just posted something similar to yours. I too have to take the Solutab because I can’t swallow pills (or much of anything else- mostly Ensure and a high protein chicken broth I found). I’ve lost 20 lbs in the past 2 months. I failed to mention in my post that I do have a hiatal hernia, but the doctor told me it was small and nothing to worry about. I’m desperate for relief. I think I’m going to get a scope of my larynx done next, but I don’t think the treatment will be much different.

couchtater
Elite Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 11604
   Posted 2/21/2010 10:26 AM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like you have a weak LES and the hanging upside down is causing leakage into your lungs and irritating your esophagus. It is also dripping into your sinuses causing the postnasal drip.
IMHO, I believe the hanging therapy is doing more harm than good.

Joy

somebody
New Member


Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 11
   Posted 2/22/2010 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
yeah I think I really set off or at least exacerbated things by doing the hanging upside down. unfortunately I figured that out a bit too late. I was so tired of the non-stop sinus drainage/infections (almost 5 months straight) that I resorted often to laying flat and hanging my head off of the side of the bed, or propping my chest up on some pillows and keeping my head lower.  

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 6719
   Posted 2/22/2010 9:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Somebody...
Here you are again! As a GERD and asthma sufferer, I can assure you that in all likelihood the two are related. Many asthma patients also have GERD. I know my reflux was making my asthma much worse. I understand your needing postural drainage...I have my husband hit my back to help move mucous when I'm having a bad time.

When I heard your description of swallowing problems it sounded like you might need a dilation. I never needed that (knock wood) but I had a friend who had several dilations and they helped her a lot.

The weight loss is not unexplained...the explanation is very clear. It's not at all uncommon to have weight loss when you're struggling with a GERD flare up. I've lost 20 pounds at a time more than once.
Hang in there...you'll find the answer. Unfortunately these things take a long time to resolve, since the tissue lining the stomach and esophagus is very delicate. Once it's inflamed, it takes a long time to calm down.
Good luck with the swallowing.
Take care,
Denise turn
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