swallowing problems..I need reassurance

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YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 7/31/2007 1:21 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi everyone,
  I have had gerds probably most of my life, but was diagnosed last Fall.  I have had all the symptoms from pain between my shoulder blades to lump in throat feeling.  I also get esophageal spasms that can range from annoying to down right painful.  It can be a very intense squeezing feeling up and down the esophagus.  I do notice that when Im stressed, this seems to get worse.  I have been on protonix since last Fall, and have done pretty well on it.  I felt that I was almost getting my life back.  Even though, I did still have my share of bad days, I felt this was under control.  That is until about a week and half ago.  That week, I had more stress in my life than ususal.  Then the spasms started...I assumed they would pass.  But this time, along iwth the spasms was a new symptom.  I felt like my swallowing reflex was off.  Its not the usual tightning of the throat feeling, that I have come to live with from time to time, or the lump in the throat feeling, but its almost as if part of my swallowing reflex has disappeared sometimes.  It seems to hesitate when I go to swallow.  I cant tell you how unnerving this is.  I am so afraid to eat or drink anything that I have gone days without food becaue I am afriad i will get that sensation again and maybe even choke.  When i get that sensation its like a full panic attack overtakes me.  I am sitting here trying to eat a small amount of icecream, and I cant tell you the amount of anxiety I am feeling as I force feed myself.
  I saw my Dr yesterday and she thinks it might be from stress, or induced by the spasms which makes the swallowing irregular.  Or may even be from a hiatal hernia.  I have an upper gi scheduled for next week, but I am so frightened.  She put me on anti anxiety meds, hoping to calm me down and possibly to reduce the spasms.
  Since I joined this forum, I have gotten so much relief in reading posts from others recognizing symptoms that I have, and it has made me feel so much better so many times knowing that I am not the only one who is suffering from a certain symptom.  I really could use to hear from any of you that have experinced any of these similiar feelings or symptoms.  I need some calming reassurance friends!!  Please help.
Thanx
Rose

jfit
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/20/2007 5:33 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Im new here but a read this and had to reply, I have exactly the same thing. It started about 3 months ago when I was eating and suddenly I just couldnt swallow it scared the hell out of me a few days later it happened again then it was hapening all the time after I would get say a piece of toast down then it would start just like my swallowing reflex would no work, I freaked out really bad then all of a sudden I started to get a feeling that my food wouldnt go down into my stomach it just felt full all the time and now I have dveloped heartburn eating the tinest amounts of food, I feel like  cant breath, gassy all the time..... I had a barium swallow done and am waiting on results, I have lost 10 kg in 2 months and am currently eating around half a bowl of custard and maybe a bannana and some soup Im so hungry but just cant eat. I hope your feeling better, have you figured out what it is yet ???

Julie


YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/20/2007 1:51 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi julie,

  I had an upper gi done, which showed that I had full reflux from my lower esophageal sphincter all the way to the upper esophageal sphincter.  Meaning, I have gerds and lpr.  The acid can not stay into my stomach, because that sphincter does not work properly.  It shoots straight up into my esophagus and into my throat.

  The test also showed that I have gastritis and a hiatal hernia.  The Dr.told me that the reason why I couldnt swallow properly was probably due do the acid doing some damage to the soft tissue in my throat, and it wouldnt work properly.

  What had me confused was that I had been diagnosed with gerds almost a year ago, but I had never had that type of swallowing problem.  The Dr. thinks that it was because I was really stressed out and when you are anxious and nervous your body reacts to producing even more acid, which in turns creates more damage. 

  I was put on zoloft (anti anxiety medicine) before I even had the test.  It seemed to help a bit.  After the results, my dr changed my medicine from protonix (which i was taking for gerds) to nexium.  She wants me on nexium for one month, and then I am to go back to her and see what the next step is.  She said that nexium is stronger and should help heal all the tissues.  She doesnt want me on nexium forever because it prevents calcium absorption into the body which could result in osteoporosis.

  As of today, I have been on the nexium for 6 days,and today I actually feel pretty good.  I guess the medicine is kicking in.  I am able to eat pretty normal again, but it was hard psycologically.  I was afriad I would choke,and sometimes I am still reluctant but Im getting there.  As nervous as I was to have the test done, I am so glad that I did.  Now I know exactly what it was, and if the same symptoms happen again, I know it is nothing serious...and I dont feel as anxious about it.

  When did you have your barium test done?  I know its hard, but try to relax.  Stressing out only makes matters worse.  I know its easy for me to say now!!...but, please know that you are not alone and Ive been thru the same thing.

  Write back to me on here whenever you get nervous, and Ill write back to you.  It really does help.

Keep in touch, and keep me posted!

Rose


jfit
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/20/2007 9:15 PM (GMT -6)   

Hi Rose, Im really glad to hear you are feeling better. I got my barium results back today nothing abnornal no hernia nothing which is good on one hand bad on the other as I still dont know what the hell is wrong, Im so paranoid it could be something more serious like MS or ALS or something lol yes I do diagnoise myself on the internet nono   well I go and have the camera down my throat on the 29th and until then I have bought some sustingen (spelling redface ) see if that helps, I guess what makes the weight loss worse and lack of energy is Im breatsfeeding my 5 month old, bit I really dint want to stop yet, I guess if it carries on I will have to for him and me. Its weird that acid can make your swallowing stop isnt it, I just feel like my throat muscles stop working after a fe swallows or get weak or something then other times I just cant swallow at all, even saliva. I also have a really stickin throat lots ofphlegm in it especially of a morning, it feels like food just gets stuck to the edges of my throat its horrible. Thanks for wirtting back, I will update after camera.

 

Julie


YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/21/2007 5:30 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi julie,
  What you describe is exactly what happens to me!
Now, the swallowing issue seemed to be gone, then last night it happened a little bit again.  Its almost like the muscles stop working, or arent strong enuff to complete a full swallow.  And, yes...even with saliva!  Which drives me crazy because I start noticing every single time I swallow.  I am really thinking that stress may cause some of this to happen.  But its like that old question, whaat came first the chicken or the egg?  In my case, what came first gerds or anxiety??....These symptoms cause so much anxiety for me, as I am like you and diagnose myself on the internet!!..lol...And, I always think i have the worse things!...so, its a vicious cycle in that anxiety makes the symptoms worse, and the symptoms make me worry!!!
  You mentioned something called sustingen.  Can you tell me what that is, and if it is helping any?
I know what you mean about lack of energy.  Its from not eatting.  I was getting so weak it was hard to walk around or climb stairs.  I would feel my heart beating so hard, i thought I was going to have a heart attack!
  Please keep me posted.  Its good to have someone to talk to!
Rose

jfit
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/21/2007 6:13 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Rose, Im glad to have someone that can relate to :-)   though I am sorry you go through it as well. Sustagen is a meal replacment formula that they use to give people that cant sallow right due to surgery, dental reasons so forth to help give them energy and vitamins, they have it for just "normal" people to but I bought te hospital formula one from the chemist here is a link to their sight http://www.sustagen.com.au Im going to get the pudding to as something diffrent, I so sick of custard and soup I cant even have the soup properly now I feel like I cant breath or something after I eat now and just feel awful, like Im so full but Im still so hungary. And after I do manage to eat something, then its like my swallowing is worse for an hour or so after I have eaten like swallowing in general. I dont usually have a problem with thin liquids like watermilk ect once or twice I have. And I also have something else its like when I eat little bits stick in my throat and it just annoying then when it hits a part in my throat I feel like I cant swallow and have to rush for a drink. I feel like my intestines are really full and pushing up onto my stomach sounds weird but its the only way I can explain it. Maybe you should try some sustagen I feel a little better energy wise after it, I do try normal food to though. I have anxiety issues really bad I have for 8 years I was agaoraphobic at one point and didnt leave my house for 2 years....but I sort of had that under control until all this crap started happening now Im feeling really anxious and horrid again. Also after I talk for a while I seem to get a sore throat and get all hoarse like Im losing my voice and my voice gets really weak....does this hapen to you? Well better finished my hands getting tired.

 

Julie


YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/21/2007 6:40 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi julie,
  Have you tried eatting any pasta?  Im usually okay with this.  I get so tired of the puddings and yogert and soups.  I was eatting a bit better, and had a ham sandwich last night when the swallowing problem occured again. Now,  I am afraid to try and eat again. Sometimes I think I am going crazy.  Does my anxiety cause this?
  How are you when you are sleeping?....Sometimes when I am sleeping, i wake up feeling like something is forcing me to swallow when I really dont have to.
  My throat almost always feels tight,and I almost always have that sensation of a lump in it.  As if I am going to cry.  When I was first having gerds problems a year ago, Id have the sensation of food getting stuck half way down, and it was like i could feel it going down my back.  I dont seem to have that anymore, but who knows.  Ive learned with this condition, that things change so fast.  One minute Im feeling okay, the next minute Im feeling awful.
  As if feeling like this isnt bad enuff, what is even worse is that my quality of life has gone down.  I cant go out to dinner anymore, I feel like I dont have energy to do things....And, sometimes I get so depressed by all of it.  I just wnat to feel "normal" again.  I guess we have to take it one day at a time.
~rose

jfit
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 8/26/2007 7:21 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi rose, sorry its been so long my bubs been unwell but on the mend now thank god. I do eat pasta and Im okay with it for a certain amount of time then I cant swallow again...I think anxiety is a big factor in it but not the main cause I guess it can amplify it though. I dont have problem when I am asleep sometimes falling asleep I get this odd sensation like I stop breathing or cant breath and freak out but my husband has panic attacks and wakes up feeling like he cant swallow when he is asleep and the only thing that helps i a drink. I have the same lump sensation but I am used to that as I had it constantly when I was having bad panic attacks all th time a few years back its horrible though. Your right with the good then bad thing, I have actually had a fe good days even ate soem pizza todays is pretty crap though. Got my barium results back ....nothing...go for the camera down my throat in 3 days...nervous about that the old panic attacks starting I hate having any drugs put into me it freaks me out ....lol Im a wuss...hope ur feeling better

Julie

YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 8/27/2007 6:06 AM (GMT -6)   
Hi Julie,
  Good to hear from you again.
I know you must be really anxious about the test.  I do not do well with tests.  I totally freak out...so,I do know how u are feeling about them.  I almost cancelled out of my uppr gi tests, but Im glad now that I didnt.  It does ease my mind knowing that there is nothing "bad" in my throat or esophagus making all this happen.  Not that gerds and LPR arent bad, but my mind plays tricks on me and I get to where I imagine all kinds of terrible things!  So, when the swalloing thing happens, I have to remind myself it is the LPR because the test would have shown if it were anything worse.  I got so bad at the time of my upper gi that I actually started to cry in the x ray room!...I am having terrible anxiety.  I think that I was always an anxious type person to some extent, but having all this going on, has sure made it a thousand times worse.  I know that the anxiety is making this condiiton worse, but its a vicious cycle and I want it to end!
  I know that I will eventually have to have a scope done too.  I am dreading that.
  You asked about cracking voice, and I never answered that question in one of your other posts.  Yes, I do get  a cracking voice.  I also get where my voice sounds hoarse, or kind of muffled.  I suppose it is the acid affecting our vocal chords.  Also, a feeling like phlegm or something is on my vocal cords and i try to swallow to get rid of it...doesnt work.
  I also have plugged ears that is so annoying.  They get so plugged as if I am underwater.  This comes and goes.  This symptom is annoying too!   but, I have to say the worse symptom  is not being able to swallow, and it makes me so afriad to eat.  I still dont know if it is the anxiety doing that or the LPR.  I have to get the anxiety under control in order to feel better.
  I also get a very odd sensation in my lower throat.  I am assuming it is spasms...it feels as if something is crawling inside of it, and I feellike there is a puddle of liquid there somnetinmes.
  Yesterday I felt pretty good, but this morning i feel crappy already!  I am sooo sick of this tihng!!!
Please keep in touch.  good to have a friend to talk to about this.
I will be thinking of you on your test day.  Please let me know how it goes.
Rose

ecarroll
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 9/3/2007 11:03 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Rose and Julie. I am not trying to horn in on your conversation, so please forgive me.....but reading your posts was like watching a conversation between me and me.....sounds funny I know, but that is how much of me is in both of you. I also have all the anxiety and choking sensations, everything....period. But, there is one thing that I haven't seen mentioned anywhere on the forum, and it's kinda scary. I have this feeling of a raw, open sore at the back of my throat. It feels like something is sticking me there, and also when I make myself belch ( so that I can get a deep breath) it hurts really bad for the air to pass back up through my throat. Is this a part of this dreaded gerd, or does it sound like something really bad. I am supposed to see a gastro Dr for the first time Thursday, and I am so scared of what he will want to do and of what he will find. Any ideas/opinions/advice welcome....


Thanks In Advance

YankeeRose
Regular Member


Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 63
   Posted 9/4/2007 3:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Hi Ecarroll,

  Please dont feel as if youre intruding into our conversation.  I welcome everyone and anyone to reply.  It helps knowing there are others out there with simiiar symptoms.

  I have not felt that open sore sensation that you are referring to..(yet anyways, as I have learned with this condition, new things seem to flare up on a moments notice!!)  But, I do alot of research and reading on this subject, and I have seen others with similiar symptoms on other boards.

  Try and relax...I know its difficult, and I am no one to talk because I still worry, even though Ive had the upper gi done and I know there is not anything else bad going on there...but, my mind still tends to wander and create all kinds of terrible things when I let it.

  This acid does alot of strange things to us and creates alot of strange symptoms.  Im afraid to eat too,and Im losing alot of weight.  I dont think that the nexium is doing much of anything different than the prtonix did....Ill have to see what the dr says when I go back.  The swallowing problem gives me the most anxiety out of all of this.  If I could only get rid of that, I could cope with this alot better.

  Please continue to write, it does help....and please let me know how your appt goes.

***And Julie, if you are out there...Please let me know how your test went!!!

Hang in there Ecarroll...try and think positive.

Your friend,

Rose


Canyonbabe711
Veteran Member


Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1451
   Posted 9/5/2007 10:45 PM (GMT -6)   
Just a quick note. No one has mentioned things that are supposed to be avoid with GERD, the main ones being peppermint anything, alcohol and chocolate. There are for everyone as they relax the LES valve that allows the acid to come back up. If you find other things bother you then eliminate them but these are the 3 most important.
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