Giving this forum another try and making another post about my problems (issues with esophagus)

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Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/7/2012 4:15 AM (GMT -6)   
Its been almost 2 months since I last posted on this forum.  partly because I found that not too many people really shared the same issues I did. I also realized that this health board has limited forums about gastro issues in general. Its very generalized. There should be an overall group for "gastrointestinal disorders" but that is just my opinion.
 
Basically Ive had reflux off and on for seven years that was controlled with milk and at worst an OTC acid reducer. about 4 months ago my reflux got pretty bad and it was only controlled by taking Dexilant PPI. I developed issues swallowing solid foods shortly after that and eventually ended up on a complete liquid diet (blending all my foods) due to the food moving too slowly down my esophagus and it also regurgitating back up into my throat (not vomit) without hitting my stomach (hasnt mixed with stomach acid yet so its not reflux and it happens shortly after eating not an hour to hours after eating) eating solid foods is just too difficult without complications.
 
What it seems like I'm dealing with is an esophageal motility disorder where the muscles are not working correctly in my esophagus to push down the food. I fear that if this is my problem I have a life long disorder ahead of me to deal with. I'm going soon for an esophageal manometry test to determine if its motility. Ive already had a barium swallow, endoscopy and larynoscopy so no hiatal hernia, no strictures or narrowing. achalasia was not seen on barium swallow or endoscopy either so thats also not the case.
 
My question is, does anyone out there have an esophageal motility disorder or some type of problem with their esophagus that limits your way of eating, or even possibly on a liquid diet because of it? How doyou cope with this new way of living? Also, how were you diagnosed, by esophageal manometry? what was your overall experience with that test? I have heard its not a nice test to have. Hoping I have as good of an experience with the test and get through it quickly. thanks for any help.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/7/2012 12:51 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Jennuine,
Welcome back to the GERD forum.  Yes, this group is a kind of catch-all, but it seems that people respond to the posts they can relate to, and just provide support to the ones they don't.  We do our best to help everyone!
 
I can only relate to your swallowing issues in the context of recovering from my Nissen fundoplication in February 2009.  Those of us who have been "wrapped" have experienced just what you're experiencing during the healing period.
 
What you describe does sound like a motility issue, and as I was reading a manometry test came to mind immediately.  I think you'll get lots of information from that.  If it turns out that motility is your problem, I believe there are some medications that can help get things moving a little better, but unfortunately I'm not very knowledgeable on the subject.
 
The manometry isn't fun, but I've had it done three times and I'm still here. wink It involves the placement of a probe, then the swallowing of sips of water.  The trick is not swallowing in between required swallows, or those swallows have to be repeated, and the procedure takes longer.  It's very natural to want to swallow when you feel something in your throat, but it gets easier with practice.  Bill, a moderator here, has gotten really accustomed to having them and is quite the speed demon getting through the test these days!
 
As far as eating..I'm wondering if you could follow my surgeon's protocol for post-Nissen, and take very small bites and chew, chew, chew until whatever it is is chewed to a liquid/creamy consistency.  If you have some (non-iced) water or tea (especially warm tea or warm water...it can calm down the esophagus and help it work more efficiently.)  If anything doesn't chew to a liquid, don't swallow it...deposit it in a handy paper napkin.
 
Just a thought...it might make your eating more enjoyable.  Basically, your mouth and teeth become your blender.  The key is very small bites, and chew, chew, chew.
 
Hopefully others will be by soon to share their own experiences and provide support.
Best wishes,
Denise

Alcie
Veteran Member


Date Joined Oct 2009
Total Posts : 5028
   Posted 1/7/2012 9:34 PM (GMT -6)   
I'm surprised the barium study didn't show something, but the manometry should pick up a swallowing disorder, although if it's only triggered by solids, it's possible that both tests could miss it.

My swallowing's weak, but not backward. Meat like beef disagrees with me, and soft uncoated tablets don't go down well and often get stuck. Mine's from polio. It will get worse with time as the nerves continue to die. I am learning to not panic when stuff gets stuck. A couple of sips of milk usually gets it down. Manometry's not fun, but to find out the problem we have to be willing to try all the tests.

I hope you are in a large university center where they see lots of patients with swallowing problems.

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/7/2012 10:26 PM (GMT -6)   
Digestgirl,
Alcie's comments regarding barium swallow made me think.  There must be tests that can watch you swallow solids.  I came across this URL with some good information regarding swallowing issues and tests:
 
You may have already seen it, but if you haven't it might provide some useful information.
 
Take care,
Denise

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/7/2012 11:27 PM (GMT -6)   
A good tip on getting through the manometry faster is to either push your tongue to the roof of your mouth right behind your front teeth hold the tip of your tongue between your front teeth. I've done both and work well, but I prefer holding my tongue with my teeth the best.

Take care,
Bill
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/8/2012 10:44 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey, Bill!
I never heard that tip from you before...wish I had!  I'll keep it in mind the next time (and no doubt there will be a next time) I have a manometry.
Thanks!
Denise

psych58
New Member


Date Joined Jan 2012
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 1/8/2012 6:08 PM (GMT -6)   
I had the manometry test Last year, I found that the thought of it was worse than the actual experience. For me it was only mild discomfort when the tube was inserted and removed. I have a lot of problems with swallowing since my op and try and eat small amounts. Denise is quite right tiny pieces and chew. I understand your frustration and am trying to fit in eating around a normal life. Before I had my op I had a barium swallow test. But it was not one of the tests that was routinely done in my local hospital.
Good luck with the tests.
Take care

opnwhl4
Veteran Member


Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 4961
   Posted 1/8/2012 11:44 PM (GMT -6)   
Denise-

You are very welcome my friend!
I figured this out back in July when I was in the hospital because the hole reopened in my esophagus. My esophagus was so sore from the tear I kept double swallowing. After 5 unsuccessful swallows I bit down on the tip of my tongue out of desperation thinking if my tongue can't go back I won't double swallow. It actually worked!

So when I did the manometry a week or so ago I confirmed it really does work. The nurse saw what I was doing and said she had never seen anyone do that before. She said she was going to recommend doing this to anyone who struggles with the swallows.

Take care,
Bill
devil
opnwhl4
Moderator: GERD/Heartburn
Nissen 6/06 and 5/09
#3 on 8/24/11

Post Edited (opnwhl4) : 1/8/2012 9:56:58 PM (GMT-7)


dencha
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/11/2012 11:02 AM (GMT -6)   
Jennuine,
We haven't heard from you.  How are you doing?
Denise

Jennuine
New Member


Date Joined Nov 2011
Total Posts : 15
   Posted 1/18/2012 12:07 AM (GMT -6)   
hi everyone. thanks for all your feedback. sorry I havent been able to reply sooner.
 
I'm done with my esophageal manometry now. it was uncomfortable but not too bad. luckily the hospital I went to was up to date with technology and had the newest tubing for the test so it wasnt the old thick one with the big sensors at the end. it was much thinner and went in easier!
 
I definitely have a problem! The tech couldnt tell me what it was because my GI doctor has to interpret the results (next week), but there were several swallows that were not normal within the esophagus. I'm relieved to have the test out of the way & I'm glad that the test caught my problem, but at the same time still sad that I have a problem & this really confirms it. Now I just have to find out what exactly it means for me. I hope whatever it is can be treated over time & I can get back to some quality of life and start eating food again!
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