Swallowing problem not from GERD?

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friendlygal
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Date Joined Dec 2006
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   Posted 2/19/2008 12:02 AM (GMT -6)   
I was diagnosed with very bad GERD (as seen in the PH study and barium swallow)...
 
I have had a lump in the throat feeling for AGES now.  And NOTHING helps it, not Danie's suggestion of taking DGL, and not all PPIs!
 
Recently I was told that I might be low in magnesium!  Does this mean that it isn't my GERD afterall that is causing my pain in the chest, irregular heartbeats, trouble swallowing, and breathlessness??
 
I know that some digestive disorders can cause malabsorption of Magnesium, but does GERD?
 
Could it be possible that low Magnesium could be the cause of some of my symptoms, rather than my GERD? 

marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 2/19/2008 6:21 PM (GMT -6)   
I guess the answer here would be to get more magnesium and see if your symptoms improve. Isn't there a lot of magnesium in antacids? If so, I am probably loaded with it....lol.

I think I have heard that potassium levels can cause heartbeat troubles. Never heard of magnesium but is certainly possible.

That lump in the throat problem is the worst. I wish we could find a way to eliminate that one for good!

friendlygal
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 2/22/2008 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   

Thank you guys for posting, for some reason I didn't put that I should get notified if someone does so, so I just saw your posts now.

I have just tested negative for a magnesium deficiency, although I read on the internet that testing blood serum is not enough to find out.  My doctor thinks that it is a sufficient way to check though.  I still would like to do the magnesium loading test, this is the test that was suggested on the internet.

To answer marthamae, low magnesium can cause irregular heartbeats.  I don't think that this means that the heart itself is damaged though.

I am having such an awful night with my lump in my throat and bloating beyond belief.  It seems that when I relax my throat muscles my chest hurts, so even when I relax there is always something going on. 

The GI doctors don't think that all of this is from my awful GERD.  The PCP does.  So, who  do I trust?



marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 2/23/2008 8:43 AM (GMT -6)   

Did you see a doc about the irregular heartbeats? if someone has told you your heart is okay, then i wouldn't panic. Maybe just give it a little time and try some different GERD solutions and see if time helps at all.

If your PCP thinks all of this is caused by GERD, asks him what he recommends you do about it.

If your GI guys think it isn't GERD, ask them what they think you should do.

Then use your best judgment and figure out what you want to try first. Or maybe you just want to wait a while to see how you do.

I will tell you that I was struggling with severe GERD a while back after an esophagus dilatation. I had spasms in my esophagus and was panicked and worn out. I had been in the ER and they had run a bunch of tests to make sure the dilatation had not poked a hole in my esophagus, which it hadn't. I was still in a lot of pain and unable to swallow much, so I called the GI guy back. His snotty nurse wouldn't even let me talk to him. Instead she told me he wanted me to go in for three more procedures, including another scope. I was worn out and decided I couldn't handle it. I went to our local urgent care where I met the kindest doctor. She told me to relax and told me it would take many weeks for my esophagus to heal after the dilatation. She told me not to worry about not eating--that my body would let me know when I could do solids. She gave me some xanax to help with my nerves and the stress. She also taught me some breathing techniques. What a difference!

And you know she was right! My situation has slowly gotten better without all those expensive, painful, and invasive tests.

Sometimes you gotta trust your gut. Doctors sure don't know everything! :)


friendlygal
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Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 2/23/2008 9:02 AM (GMT -6)   
marthamae said...

Did you see a doc about the irregular heartbeats? if someone has told you your heart is okay, then i wouldn't panic. Maybe just give it a little time and try some different GERD solutions and see if time helps at all.

If your PCP thinks all of this is caused by GERD, asks him what he recommends you do about it.

If your GI guys think it isn't GERD, ask them what they think you should do.

Then use your best judgment and figure out what you want to try first. Or maybe you just want to wait a while to see how you do.

marthamae, unfortunately it's not that easy.  I have tried ALL of the PPIs on the market, and also every antacid.  So if the PCP is right and it's the GERD, there is nothing left for me to do.
The GI does NOT have a CLUE of what to do if it isn't GERD, it's the PCPs job...
How come you got your esophagus dilated?  Is it because of the lump feeling that you had?  Did they actually see that it was tight during the endoscopy and then suggest to do it??

marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 2/23/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -6)   
No, I had a problem with food getting stuck in my esophagus. I think my problem was called Schatzi's ring or something like that. Not sure if I am spelling it correctly. Basically, the bottom of your esophagus forms a ring of scar tissue at the bottom- sort of like a little shelf...and the food can't get through. So they go in and break up the scar tissue and stretch it out.

This was all fine except that I developed terrible GERD after they did this. I had heartburn before...way before...but i took Prilosec which relieved it. But once they opened the bottom of my esophagus the GERD started. What a nightmare. I am slowly getting better, but it has been awful.

I hope you get to feeling better.

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 2/23/2008 8:08 PM (GMT -6)   

Thanks, marthamae.  And I hope you are enjoying your weekend.

Did an endoscopy show that you have this ring problem??

Because I also feel that I am getting food stuck, but would my endoscopy had shown if I have this ring problem that you have?

That's too bad that the dilation made the GERD worse!  That tells me that I should for sure not get my esophagus dilated!  Because my GERD is already bad!

I hope we all get better soon.

I'm going to ask my GI doctor if I can get tested for potassium.


marthamae
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 285
   Posted 2/24/2008 10:21 AM (GMT -6)   
I would think your endoscopy would show the ring problem.

If you have this "ring" thing, you have no choice but to get your esophagus dilated. You really don't want to choke all the time. I'd rather deal with the GERD problem than the choking.

My GERD really has been varying. I had the dilation on Dec 12th and the GERD was horrible till about the end of January. Then it got a ton better--almost disappeared. (I was using the vinegar drink and taking Protonix.) Now it's back but not nearly as bad as it was.

My main symptoms now are occasional tummy pain after I eat, that lump in the throat, and some acid coming up in the throat (not too often). I also have that dry cough, especially when I lie down.

I have to really chew my food thoroughly, be careful of my diet, and not eat too much at once.

One problem I have is that I wait too long to eat. I know my stomach might hurt after I eat so I put it off. Then I am starving so I sort of gobble my food and my stomach tenses from eating too fast. It's a bad cycle. A lot of my stomach pain is caused from stress, in my opinion.

If there's one thing I'd like to get rid of, it's the lump in the throat. I always half think something is stuck there, even though I know it's not. Sometimes I even wake up with that lump and I know I have not had food stuck there all night. It's a total pain.

Good to chat with someone who understands.

friendlygal
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 2/24/2008 12:34 PM (GMT -6)   

I guess I don't have that ring then, since it wasn't seen in the endoscopy.

My tongue is white and there are lesions on it, too.  I also have the lump in my throat, ear aches, and chest pains.  Oh, and I burp a lot.

All my problems happened because of starvation after bad experiences.  I have these symptoms even when I'm relaxed.

 

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