My son aged 8 can't swallow solid food

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Hazed
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/6/2007 11:49 AM (GMT -7)   
My son who is only 8 has for the past 3 years had bad problems swallowing food. His throat has been checked several times, and there's nothing wrong physically.
It started after a choking episode when he was 5, following which he suddenly was unable to swallow. He could eat only liquids for several months (soup, protein drinks, smoothies)whilst we painstakingly followed an eating plan found on a great ormond street website (for children with a similar problem). We re-introduced solids and textured foods bit by bit, almost a crumb at a time, like weaning a baby. After around six months he could eat soft foods like potatos and bread, but it took almost a year before getting back to near normal. Since then he has a couple of set-backs a year, the problem returns and we have to begin again.
 
Hes seen an NHS child psychologist  who had no helpful suggestions at all, several doctors who pretty much dismiss the problem, saying he is not underweight (hes normal weight an height as we are careful to get nutrition into him somehow!). I now feel pretty much on my own with this.
 
Right now hes in the middle of another episode which began in early July. Really at my wits end to help him. He sits and frowns and hunches his shoulders, goes so tense, swishes the food til its liquid then eventually with much head holding and grimacing gulps it down. It just took him over 1 hour to eat one sausage and some sliced potatoes..He says his throat feels tight, that the food gets stuck, he drinks a lot of water to try and dislodge what he feels is stuck. He will often cry because hes so hungry and he cant eat what used to be a favourite meal. (like roast dinners!) 'Magically' ;) the problem goes away almost instananeously when faced with a cake or bar of chocolate. Its obviously subconscious triggers that do this, he has 'safe' foods like jacket potatoes and cheese that he can eat which dont trigger the problem, but give him a carrot and he cant do it..
 
 Its so so sad to see him struggle. He trys so hard to do it. People often say to me that he is trying to manipulate me to get his own way, or use food as a weapon, but this is clearly not the case. As a former panic disorder and anxiety sufferer, i know how our brains can trick us, how certain situations can trigger subconscious physical symptoms etc. I guess anxiety issues run in our family. I know all this - i beat my own panic attacks through knowledge and acceptance (the claire weekes method) but i can't help my son!!
Has anyone been through anything like this? Or know of a good private childs therapist in the UK? I badly need help as hes suffering with every meal, but don't know where to turn. we tried an NLP/hypnothereapist, but he's far too much of an active kid to sit still! Apart from this problem he's a lovely, confident, funny, outgoing, very chatty and physically active boy.
Please help if you can, its been 3 years and im losing patience and hope
Mel
 
Im an old member who's back to get involved again - i used to be just plain 'haze', but lost all my login details!
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/6/2007 1:48 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Mel

Welcome back to Healing Well and the A & P forum. I am so sorry your son has the eating problems.  I am no expert on child anxiety but I can understand how frustrated and sad you feel re your sons swallowing problems.

IMHO I would suggest to keep looking for a physician that deals in childhood anxiety.  I know this is not the answer you  were looking for.  We have people on HW from the UK, perhaps one of them will post an idea or access to someone that may help you and your son.

Again a warm welcome back.


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
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_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


Hazed
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 20
   Posted 9/6/2007 11:57 PM (GMT -7)   
Thank you. Yes i know i have to keep trying with the doctors as well as lookign at other avenues.
Im an old member who's back to get involved again - i used to be just plain 'haze', but lost all my login details!
 

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 9/7/2007 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   

I wish I had some wonderful insight to offer you, but the best I can do is offer you understanding and support.  Hope your day is well.

I wish you peace and keep posting.


Respectfully
Kitt
Moderator Anxiety ~ Panic Disorders
*~* Not a mental health professional at all *~*
Dx: Anxiety/Panic, Depression 
******www.healingwell.com/donate******
_____________________________________________________
"If you doubt you can accomplish something, then you can’t accomplish it. You have to have confidence in your ability, and then be tough enough to follow through.” 
~Rosalyn Carter

 


H.I.P.
New Member


Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 9/17/2007 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   

Hello Mel,

While my son doesn't suffer from this, I do.  I am still struggling with the whole swallowing thing myself, even liquids.  Personally, I hate it and I am giving it wayyyy too much credit.  I have never in my life had something like this. 

A lot of doctor's don't really know about anxiety and can actually do more damage than good.  Check out the Linden Method and www.stresscenter.com.  Both have something geared for children and how to help them out.

Being a person who suffers from this (and I LOVVVVEEE food), it's a terrible thing to have.  Personally, I think that it's his habit that when it becomes hard to swallow, he fears it.  That is what happened with me.  I even went to a GI dr. to get checked out and nothing is wrong.  Help him see that this is nothing more than a muscle spasm.  He won't choke.  I am realizing this now and it's taking me a long time to recover from this.  It's been going on for me for about 8 months and trust me, that is 8 months too long. 

I am going to do hypnosis for mine.  I think it may help take the edge off for me.  I feel like my stomach is eating itself, it hurts that much. 

Maybe you can do some affirmations or something or even hypnosis downloads on a CD or MP3 player and let him listen to them as he falls asleep since he is so active.

 

Hope this helps some.. Take care, he is going to be all right.

 


-----------------------
Recovering from 8 years of panic/anxiety disorder.  Almost there! 
 
Shaky legs will still carry you.
Speak your mind, even if your voice shakes.
 
 


Howlyncat
Elite Member


Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/17/2007 2:25 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there

I totally agree with HIP on this I am sure it is a REAL fear he has and it has to be addressed by a doc that WILL listen and help you all out with this

As a mom I do feel your pain and frustration ........I wish I could do more but we both know it isnt possible

I am also here for support as are many others..........

Kitt is also right about finding a DOC that will pay attention to this real fear / phobia .........

PLZ keep us posted on your son ......I am so sorry ...........LYN
Prayers are with you and him
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YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 10/1/2007 2:51 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi hazed,
  I seem to suffer from the same thing that your son does.  I do have gerds, and LPR as well...I was diagnosed a year ago, and thought I was finally getting that under control.  about two months ago, I had a very stressful week, and developed a new symptom.  I couldnt swallow!  It was like the reflex was missing...It didnt last long only a few seconds...but it scared the heck ot of me.  It would come and go.  It started with saliva then proceeded to solid food.  My dr sent me for enhanced barrium upper gi, to rule out any major problmes or tumors.  Thankfully none were found, but my reflux is really bad, and involves my esophagus and my throat.  I dont alway feel the burn, but the acid damages my throat and my muscles in mythroat.  Now she tends to think that is what happened...or the stress brought it on.  I still have it from time to time, and I do think it is stress related.  I have  a hard time eatting now...because Im afraid Ill feel that missing reflex sensation again.  I seem to go thru the same thing as your son does.  When it happens, I go to soups and liquid diet for a few weeks and slowly add more solid foods.  Ill be okay for awhile..and then boom it happens again.  I think I have to just realize that it is stress or part of my reflux issue, and try to deal with it..but its hard. It is real.  Its not all in my head.  The stress may cause it to happen, but it is happening.  I have lost alot of weight because I dont eat much anymore.  I used to enjoy eatting,now I dread it.  When I do eat...I eat sooo slow. So as i cant really offer much advice, I can relate totallyto your sons problem.  Please know it is a real problem for him.  He isnt imagining it.  He may be afraid to eat because of the sensation he felt, and  then the stress brings it on again.  Just be patient with him, ,and hopefully in time, this will pass...That is waht I am hoping anyways!
Rose

Danxiety
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 322
   Posted 10/1/2007 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Just reading this stuff makes me realize utterly frightening this must be -- i cant even imagine. I'm sorry to all of you that suffer from this... :(

dan
---
Anxiety and Panic Disorder.

"Breathe! You Are Alive"
- Thich Nhat Hanh


Scaredy Cat
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 24631
   Posted 5/7/2012 7:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Jess,

I must say you have the most amazing spelling, punctuation, vocabulary and overall writing ability for any 11 year old I have ever met.

I ersased your posted e-mail addie, as this is not allowed in the forums. You may put it in your profile only, for your and others safety.

Please feel free to write a post of introduction for yourself so that other members can welcome you. This thread is more than 4 yrs old, and the OP is not longer posting with us.

S.C.

S.C.
Moderator:Anxiety/Panic

"Courage is not the abscence of fear, it is feeling afraid and doing it anyway!"

"It is when we are most lost that we sometimes find our truest friends"

Panic Syndrome recovery due to CBT

belleadonna
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 231
   Posted 5/8/2012 5:10 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Jess
I work in a resource centre/toy library and we get quite a few kids in with this kind of problem. I think the terms they use are feeding and/or food aversion. Some are fairly mild and others are quite bad. have any of the doctors used these terms or talked about it with you or your parents?
Take care
Belle :)
Normal is a myth perpetuated by those who fear difference

stkitt
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 5/8/2012 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
Jessica,
 
The age limit to belong to the forum is 13 years old and when you signed up that was the first question asked - therefore I am locking this post and have  notified administration re your account.
 
I am sorry for this confusion but as it is a rule of the forum I must abide by it. 
 
Kindly,
Kitt
 
 
~~Kitt~~
Moderator: Anxiety, Osteoarthritis,
GERD/Heartburn and Heart/Cardiovascular Disease.

www.healingwell.com

"Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass...
It's about learning how to dance in the rain."~ Vivian Greene

Post Edited (stkitt) : 5/8/2012 10:10:40 AM (GMT-6)

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