Reflux & swallowing problem (possible motility issue?) consuming my life! HELP

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Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/22/2011 5:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Trying to make a long story short without leaving out important details, so thanks if you read this and for any advice. or like experiences.
 
 I've had a bad flare up of acid reflux/GERD these past 3 months. before that I had reflux off and on but was controlled very easily. right before the flare up, I swallowed a pill that seemed to have felt stuck in my throat below my adams apple. It could have been just a sensation or it scratched on the way down but it really did feel like it was stuck there. of course it freaked me out as I was thinking it could move into my wind pipe and compromise my breathing. After about an hour, I continued to have this sensation, didn't even eat lunch. later that night the feeling seemed to let up some. I ate dinner fine. after this pill incident my reflux blew up BAD. Never had reflux that badly. GERD friendly foods weren't even friendly. Over the week I realized my food was moving down slowly after swallowing. its very uncomfortable and I can feel it moving down my esophagus. It alarmed me because I never felt my food moving down so slowly like that and never had an issue swallowing. I chalked this sensation up to the pill incident and reflux. I went on a soft diet as I was scared to eat anything really hard incase it made problems worse or got stuck.
 
I've been to a GI doc who told me after endoscopy that I had no strictures or narrowing but some esophagitis (at the bottom) and gastritis. told me to stay on the soft diet awhile longer so my esophagitis could let up. after endoscopy I guess from being inside my stomach and messing with my LES, it seemed to blow up my reflux even MORE. Doc changed my PPI to Dexilant. Which I am currently on. I told him my symptoms got worse after endoscopy and I developed a new symptom of the dreaded "lump" feeling in my throat. He told me I may want to consult with a ENT if it didn't let up. which it didn't.
I had to go on a completely blender liquid diet (blended oatmeal or cereal, yogurt smoothies, ensures, blended meats and potatoes into creamed soups) because I am still having problems swallowing and because of this new lump feeling in my throat and the reflux that was bad for a week after the endoscopy, it made the issues swallowing that much more troublesome. Tried to eat the soft food again and it felt the same- going down slow, but I just didnt want to deal with it anymore.
 
Went to ENT had laryngoscopy which he said was normal. ENT thinks that I could be having a "motility" issue with my esophagus. I did a barium swallow to check for my problems swallowing but nothing was said about the motility or swallowing but my reflux was "moderate to heavy" Which is crazy cause I've been on PPIs over the course of these 3 months, which some didnt work, but I've been on dexilant for a month and a half now.

So I've been so depressed and worried about what is wrong with me because none of the tests are stating anything about my swallowing problems which I still have and also, I'm not having problems really with acid in my throat, but I'm still having reflux (as the swallow test confirmed) of food from time to time but with no acid from the stomach. sometimes it feels almost like the food refluxes within 2-3 minutes of swallowing, which makes me wonder if it really could be a motility problem because the food is taking longer to  go down.
 
I've been on the blender liquid diet for a month now and I'm really depressed and scared. I'm worried if I do have a motility problem that I will have to eat the rest of my life like this! I have an appt with my GI doc and I know the next test he might do is a manometry test for the motility which I've heard is really uncomfortable. I just dont know what to do anymore. this is really putting so much stress on my quality of life. I never knew acid reflux could be so bad! If anyone is going through this or has gone through this please share your story. I need all the help I can get. I feel so helpless. And now I feel I'm going to develop anxiety towards eating. Also, to anyone who has been on a liquid diet for months at a time or is currently doing this, how do you mentally cope with it? I think out of everything this is what is causing me the most grief. I can't even enjoy thanksgiving with my family this year =o(

bcfromfl
Regular Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 417
   Posted 11/22/2011 7:09 PM (GMT -6)   
Cricopharyngeal spasm is a common manifestation of LPR when it progresses to a more acute stage.  It can be annoyingly persistent, but will subside as you manage the reflux.
 
I experienced this, and also the dysphagia you seem to describe, although mine was not quite as bad.  Reflux can cause this, as well as eosinophilic esophagitis, which often occurs side-by-side with reflux.  Symptoms overlap.  Biopsies will tell if your eosinophil count is high, and it can be treated by swallowing a corticosteroid inhaler.
 
Sounds like you need to find a GI who's better-informed about GERD issues.  Not always an easy task, as most of us have found.
 
Best of luck!
 
-Bruce

CamiO
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 11/22/2011 7:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jennuine,

I have a motility disorder (gastroparesis), which doesn't sound anything like what you are explaining. I agree wtih bcfromfl above! I have been on a liquid diet several times and can say I think this messes with the mind, HANG IN THERE! I hope Doctor will get this figured out for you soon =)

Take care,
Cami

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5004
   Posted 11/22/2011 8:09 PM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like the pill dissolved in your esophagus and caused some esophagitis. I have pills get stuck if they are uncoated tablets or something I've broken in half and has rough edges. A little damage can give you a bad feeling for days. Been there, done that. The secret is to butter the pill. They taste pretty good that way too! If you think something might be stuck, try milk, preferably nice and warm, maybe some yogurt or applesauce - something to help wash it down before it causes irritation. My mother used to eat a bit of bread, but that can get stuck on top of the pill.

PPIs don't stop reflux. They only stop acid production. Then you become a nerd, oh no, it's NERD, non-erosive reflux disease. You just don't feel the reflux and hopefully it doesn't erode your esophagus. At least, that's my opinion.

I kept a really good food journal and found my food triggers - my diet is not even close to the so-called GERD friendly foods, not bland. My stomach stopped jumping. Of course I still had to take the PPIs until I was in a wreck and had to have the surgery. I still have to avoid my trigger foods, but that's OK. My food digests much better with normal acid. Do a search for "food journal" in the search box at the top of the page for details. There are many threads and posts.
Alcie
 
 

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 11/22/2011 11:10 PM (GMT -6)   
Jennuine,

I had an incident happen to me like that two weeks ago. I sat down to have dinner and out of nowhere while I was eating, I felt a strange sensation just below my adam's apple while swallowing a piece of chicken and freaked out. I then began experiencing the lump sensation and intermittent throat tightness. However, I have extreme anxiety and it is often difficult for me to tell what's caused by my reflux and what's caused by my anxiety. However, during this time I began weaning myself off prevacid so I'm not sure if that was to blame. Like you, I started blending all my foods and increased my PPI dosage and am now going to the ENT tomorrow for an FEES swallowing evaluation. You are not alone and I know how mentally difficult this can be, as I often find myself worrying that I too have a motility issue and/or some form of dysphagia. Is this the first time this feeling happened to you? If so, it possible that the pill you swallowed just went down the wrong way?
Feel Good,

-Faith

Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/23/2011 6:29 PM (GMT -6)   
hi everyone thanks for your replies.

Camio what I meant by motility disorder was a motility disorder of the esophagus with the muscles not working properly for transit of food to the stomach.

Faith- To answer your question, after I swallowed the pill which seemed to stick on the way down, thats when my reflux got really bad. and over the week (this all started 3 months ago) I realized my swallowing issues. its not just the lump sensation and throat tightness, but I also feel my food moving down my esophagus slower than it should. last I knew you shouldn't be able to feel your food move down your esophagus to the point that you know where it's located while it's moving. It's so uncomfortable and has eliminated me from eating foods as I mentioned due to anxiety of there being something wrong with transit and worrying if it will just get stuck going down. so with all those factors combined it really makes one not want to eat anything with texture.

so you are eating blended food too? I've been doing this for a month now due to my problems. like you said it really does put mental strain on you. Ive been so depressed. I cant even enjoy thanksgiving with my family. are you still eating the blended food?

I went to my GI doctor and he's sending me for the manometry test to check my motility. I'm kinda hoping that my motility is okay and that there is something else going on that can be fixed. my GI doc told me theres not much that can be done if there is a motility problem. that really made me more sad and of course more worried. I can only pray to God that I can get some type of answers and that He can heal me. if you don't mind me asking how old are you?

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 11/23/2011 6:38 PM (GMT -6)   
Jennuine,

I'm so sorry you're suffering with this. Yes, I have been blending everything up until recently, as I have started to incorporate some soft foods back into my diet. I'm no Dr., but there are treatments available for some motility disorders, so please don't lose hope though I know how hard this is because I share your concerns. Are you feeling the blended foods go down as well? I would check with a Dr. first but wonder if what you're feeling is the inflammation you have. When I weaned off my PPI, I started experiencing difficulty swallowing and my Dr. told me this was due to the inflammation in my throat.

You are not alone =(
Feel Good,

-Faith

Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/23/2011 6:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Faith- I'm hoping eventually I can start eating more foods with texture if they find nothing wrong. but yes, I even had to stop eating the soft grinded food because after my endoscopy my symptoms seemed to get worse. I'm blending everything into liquids. like I blend my oatmeal or cereal so I can drink it. I'm drinking ensures, yogurt smoothies, and I blend chicken and mashed potatoes into creamed soups. so its pretty bad. I'm scared that I'm going to have major anxiety of food now and if they do tell me everything is okay I'm going to have to slowly start eating foods again. I've been eating this way for so long because of whats wrong with me physically that I dont even remember what its like to swallow real solid food! does that sound silly? well, I'm only 27 years old and this all happened over night for me- my reflux out of control and swallowing issues. its really a nightmare

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 11/23/2011 7:35 PM (GMT -6)   
Jennuine,

I empathize with you so much. I'm only 26 and my first flare-up came when I was 23 and scared out of my mind. My initial symptom was difficulty swallowing, where it felt like food was sticking in my throat. I was afraid to even drink water but can assure you that there is light at the end of the tunnel. I have major anxiety and eventually forgot most of my swallowing difficulties after a few months of treatment but came back with this flare-up. I think you will feel better once you have the manometry done (I need one too). No, forgetting what solid food feels like does not sound silly at all! Until this day, I am afraid to eat meat, though I'm not sure if this is actually due to the fact that I am traumatized or to the reflux itself.

We will get through this one way or another =(
Feel Good,

-Faith

Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/23/2011 8:05 PM (GMT -6)   
aww, I'm sorry you have had to go through all of this too. I never had any problems with my swallowing until my flare up of reflux. And its actually causing me to be depressed. so, while you may have some initial anxiety, I wouldn't doubt that your reflux is definitely causing a lot of the reasons for your swallowing issues and maybe you may have something going on with your muscles or something. I'm actually getting anxiety FROM these problems.

you and I are so close in age. too bad we cant keep in touch out side of this board, like through email for support. Is there a way to send private messages on here? we could could really keep each other encouraged. and you really should try to have the manometry test done. I heard its a really uncomfortable procedure though. hope you have a nice thanksgiving tomorrow despite these problems.

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 11/23/2011 8:18 PM (GMT -6)   
That's a great idea I was actually going to say that...I believe we could put our e-mail addresses in our profiles and contact each other via e-mail. I will go ahead and add mine now, please e-mail me when you can.
Feel Good,

-Faith

Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/23/2011 10:52 PM (GMT -6)   
Okay, I confirmed your email. I will emailyou tonight. I,stay up somewhat late so I dont know if you will get this message or not but I look forward to hearing from you.

Faith224
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 299
   Posted 11/23/2011 11:00 PM (GMT -6)   
Sounds good, looking forward to it.
Feel Good,

-Faith

Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 11/28/2011 7:29 PM (GMT -6)   
does anyone have any problems with eating solid foods right now while dealing with reflux issues, or has a esophageal motility issue that causes you the same issues? I would really like to talk to someone who can relate or has been through this or is going through it right now.
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