esophageal spasms/need advice badly

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New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/25/2011 10:16 PM (GMT -6)   
 Hello everyone.
I am fairly new here and am looking for some help.
Since Thanksgiving I have had difficulty swallowing. When it started my doctor tested me for food allergies which I have. However, after avoiding all fooods I was allergic to for over 6 weeks I noticed NO difference in any of my syptoms. The dr said I should have noticed a difference after 1 month. So I had a scope done last week where they found inflammation, redness, edema and pockets in my upper stomach. However, they said nothing was wrong with my esophagus and the stomach issue isn't affecting my inability to swallow.
The doctor told me to go off the food allergy diet and eat what I can. However, I'm finding it is getting more and moe difficult to get any food down. If I get some down it almost always comes back up including water and pills. It took me more than half an hour to get half a banana down this morning and then it still didn't stay down.
I have lost 20lbs since Thanksgiving and while I can afford to lose that I can't afford to lose much more.
The doctor states he believes the spasms are due to stress and gave me something to take twice a day Klonopin. I already take it at night for seizures but it hasn't helped a bit with the spasms. I have asked several people if they believe I tend to be a person with a lot of stress. They all said no and told me the one thing they always admire about me is no matter what is going on, I always find something positive about it. I believe that to be true.
I admit I have been more stressed lately, but only when I got so I couldn't swallow. I once got down to 75lbs due to an issue with a medication and simply don't want to get back there again.
I am open to any and all info that may hhelp and that may help me convince my dr that it isn't stres.
Thank you everyone and Merry Christmas to all regardless of Religion.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5029
   Posted 12/25/2011 10:55 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Avid, and welcome to the forum.

Has your doc done a barium swallow or esophageal manometry? It would be helpful to have moving pictures or images during swallowing instead of just when the stomach is empty. This would show whether your esophagus is swallowing in the right direction.

You could search for esophageal spasms, nutcracker esophagus, dysphagia, swallowing problems, difficulty swallowing ... It would give you information about the possibilities of problems so you can ask better questions of your doctor.

We'll be here, hoping you come up with a diagnosis and treatment.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2011
Total Posts : 656
   Posted 12/26/2011 5:56 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey AvidReader,

Great job opening your own thread! :)

A 20-lb weight loss in a little over 1 month is pretty fast. I would definitely mention this to your doctor. I agree with what Alcie has said, and want to encourage you to be an advocate for yourself. If you don't think you're stressed, and those closest to you don't think you're stressed, I would go back to my doctor and tell him that you don't agree with his diagnosis (maybe not in those words :) ). Ultimately, you know yourself best, but maybe to add some extra insurance (to tell him you've given it the old college try) try some relaxation exercises, such as light yoga, deep breathing, or meditation. If those three don't thrill you, try something else - a bubble bath, listening to classical music, anything relaxing for you, and then note whether or not your symptoms have abated during those times. Even if they don't work, you can tell your doctor about the different things that you've tried so that he knows you're actively involved in your healing process.

Just an example... I myself am extremely social. I love nothing more than to sit around with a few friends and have a cup of coffee or a glass of wine. When this GERD thing all started for me, however, I noticed that I was getting little flare ups every single time I was on my way to meet friends. I never realized that I had social anxiety before because I've always been surrounded by people! Again, I know that you know yourself best, but sometimes if we just try something different from normal, we can possibly learn something about ourselves.

Good luck, and again, welcome :)

I hope you're feeling well!

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 140
   Posted 12/26/2011 12:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Well i have the same symptoms water comes back also pills food making stase and have to do what i did.Barium test the results shown spasms and eso esophagal reflux and things become worth week after my esophagus burning also my throat i cannot eat nor drink i lost 7 kg in 6 weeks.good luck

mock turtle
Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2011
Total Posts : 467
   Posted 12/26/2011 6:14 PM (GMT -6)   

i think you have gotten some wise counsel from AsheleyRose and Soliver

as Ashley said, it might be good to go back to the doctor and discuss, diplomatically what you know and what you feel about your body and question the diagnosis...keeping in mind that as she indicated stress can be a subtle and difficult to thing to perceive.

Then as Soliver said, Barium swallow...this may be just the right test for what is troubling you. Ive never been a big fan of the barium swallow test...except...for circumstance like this! Seems to me you would want a doctor to "visualize" the action of swallowing to find out just what the heck is going on and what goes down comes right back up...and the barium swallow test did just that for me.

best wishes
hang in there, its tough, we know
mock turtle

New Member

Date Joined Dec 2011
Total Posts : 10
   Posted 12/26/2011 8:03 PM (GMT -6)   
 Thank you everyone for the insight and advice. I asked my docor about the monometry test and he "didn't want to put me through it"  or the barrium swallow. I told him I was willing if it would help figure out what's going on. But he still said no. He believes it stress. My mother was with me at the appt. and she even told him she doesn't think I'm stressed. He still believes that's it.
I did some research on it and it does say stress can cause it. A nurse who has worked with me on and off thinks it's neurological. I have tried the meditation techniques and am taking the med he prescribed but no change. In fact it's seems to get worse by the day. Now it is spasming so much it's even difficult to talk.
I have had 4 brain surgeries and after the last one I developed spasms in my left arm and leg. So she now wonders if the spasms aren't somehow connected.
I guess I am so frustrated because the doctor is the one who figured out why I couldn't swallow before and now just wants to act like it's in my head.
Thanks again for all your adivce. I hope you are all feeling better soon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2011
Total Posts : 273
   Posted 12/26/2011 10:24 PM (GMT -6)   
No doctor knows everything. I think your doctor doesn't know if the brain surgeries you have undertaken could have a link with the spasms you experienced.

It's rather easy to tell if you are under stress. Please see if you answer 'yes' to the following questions:

1. Do you constantly think about your present condition all the time?
2. Do you constantly worry? about your health, work, relationship, etc.
3. Do you have trouble sleeping?
4. Do you feel anxious all the time?
5. Are your muscles always tensed up?

Perhaps it's better to seek a second opinion, isn't it?

In the meantime, could you handle liquid? You can try drinking some medical nutritional product in addition to a soft diet to stop further weight loss.
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