Chiari Malformation Community
Trouble Swallowing
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Trouble Swallowing

I was just wondering how many of you have trouble swallowing and if your experience is anything like mine? I have had occasional problems with swallowing, but lately it has been much worse. I really struggle to get a pill down, it always gets stuck, and when I eat it starts to go down and then I have to choke it back up because it gets stuck (Sorry for that gross description). Also, my throat feels really tight like the muscles are clenching and it is so uncomfortable. I also have a lot of stomach pain and bloating and I'm trying to figure out if all this is due to the chiari or digestive problems. I got a script to have a barium swallow test done but haven't scheduled it yet. Between these headaches, throat and stomach issues I just feel so worn out! Thanks again for listening to me :)
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620923_tn?1393294254
Hi...I know we have several members with this issue...I get spasms in my throat..it feels tight....I do not have the feeling it gets stuck tho....I was finding I was not swallowing all I intended to.

It is very possible that u have a GERD/acid reflux issue as well as chiari throat issues....
The following condition is  also known as Silent reflux-
Symptoms of Laryngopharyngeal Reflux are:

Continual throat clearing
Chronic throat irritation
Chronic cough
Hoarseness
Excessive phlegm the throat
Dysphagia (difficulty swallowing)
Constant sensation of something in the throat
Swallowed food comes back up
Post nasal drainage
Weak voice
Cracking voice
Blockage of the breathing passage
Spasm of the larynx (voice box)
Wheezing
Heartburn
This condition is a result of both UES and LES not working correctly.
And it is possible not to have typical gerd/acid reflux  symptoms.

Many with chiari do have issues with reflux of some sort...and meds can cause a flare up.


"selma"
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1274661_tn?1301871921
Thanks Selma. I do have acid reflux which I have dealt with that for many years. I do think the tightness I am feeling is due to spasms. I am wondering also if the chronic pain and frustration is just kicking everything up.
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1063386_tn?1287882169
I don't have the feeling like it is stuck. But a lot of times I just can't swallow. Like I forget how to.  I cough a lot though on liquids.  I would deff have the barrium swallow done. Just to rule out gastric problems.  I hope u feel better soon.  
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Avatar_f_tn
I too have had trouble swallowing since my chiari surgery. Its like it gets back there and the hole just isnt big enough and the muscles wont work right to push it down. Kind of scarey sometimes. It's easier to swallow meds with carbonated, drinks for me.:) I also have reflux. I take Rx Omeprazole (sp?). It's cheaper to buy the generic Rx for me than to buy it OTC. $5/30 vs. $14/30. No brainer. Do many of you also have Celiac Disease? I found out I had this about 3 yrs. ago. Im also diabetic and have an insulin pump, so Im not quite as limited on food choices as I'd be without it, but eating is quite a challenge and gets pretty expensive. Just curious as to how many of you also have any of these too. I've been diabetic since age 13 and am now 45. NO PROBLEMS assoc with diabetes. Thank God! Eyes and kidneys are in perfect shape, other than eyes just doing normal "old folk" things - ha! Thanks so much to everyone who talks on this sight. It's so nice! Im sure all of you understand what I mean. Have a great day!
D from AR (thankful2bhere)
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620923_tn?1393294254
Hi...I also have Ehlers-Danlos and it is typical to have a hiatal hernia with that condition which I do...and that itself causes many issues including reflux....IBS ect....so I understand many issues u go thru with celiacs even tho they r diff....

I am not sure if we have another member with celiacs or not....can't remember offhand.....

I also buy my gerd meds OTC too!!

But carbonated drinks can affect ur reflux....so do be mindful of drinking some everyday to take a pill could be what is keeping u on the meds.

"selma"
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1179332_tn?1297482590
Yes, swallowing problems were one of my first symptoms, I just didn't realize it at the time. I started to lose my voice whenever I talked in length, I would feel like I couldn't swallow anything down, sometimes holding it in my mouth until I felt the urge. I would feel a lump in my throat and then these weird throat spams would start,,mainly up by my adams apple and right at the base of my throat. My symptoms expanded from there and I ended up with worse problems in my legs so I never thought about it too much until my NS told me I had no gag reflex! Then, everything fell into place for me...

Has anyone checked your gag reflex yet?

Oh yeah, I was told that I had GERD and IBS way b4  I got the Chiari dx.

Carolyn
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Avatar_f_tn
I am swallowing issues from time to time. Didn't have any till after my surgeries. The neck muscles get tight on each side. The closer I get to my year anniversay the less I have had this issue. But it still happens. Just thought it would be connected to the surgery and healing of all the muscles and everything else that is connected. My PT does a great massage on the next muscles in front below my jaw that seems to help!
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1281936_tn?1276560670
Prior to surgery I too had problems swallowing, especially pills. Could never gulp down a big glass of water like other people seemed to do.
Post surgery it's the exact opposite! Will still in hospital I noticed that I could swallow all the pills with no problem at all. I was happy with this until a few months ago. Now too many things slip down my throat without me realizing or being able to control it. I swallowed a plum stone without feeling it! I can't separate watermelon from the seeds in my mouth so I just swallow the seeds now too.
Told my GP yesterday and he's worried I might aspirate on something so I get a modified barium swallow with a speech therapist present. No idea what will be involved ...
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Avatar_f_tn
I have had swallowing problems for a good 16 years.  It started gradually and I thought I was imagining it.  Certain foods are hard to go down, but for me it's just the act of swallowing.  Have to concentrate on it.  Had the barium years ago and it was fine, but when I had the test where they run a tube up your nose and down your throat to measure the strength of the swallow, it wasn't.  It barely registered that I swallowed.  I was always told that it was my Lupus attacking my esophogus.  I didn't even realize until the last several months that it could be Chiari, which I now think it is, because they told me Chiari only would give me some headaches.  I have GERD horribly and have to take Nexium everyday and have for years.  Over the last couple of months I have also begun to have nausea and diarrhea.  This morning I'm just not eating because I don't want to deal with the nausea.  Good luck.
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620923_tn?1393294254
Hi..it sounds like u lost ur gag reflex...most seem to have lost it prior to surgery...some get it back slowly afterward...

Have u had ur post op MRI's?...wondering if u also have a syrinx that could be causing this for u.....

Keep us posted on what u find out.

"selma"
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1274661_tn?1301871921
Thanks everyone for sharing. I am scheduled to have the barium swallow done on Monday. Wednesday I am off to see the neurosurgeon again and will be having a brain MRI with cine flow and a lumbar MRI. I'll let you know how they turn out. I am praying for us all!
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620923_tn?1393294254
Good luck with all the tests...be sure to drink a lot of water once u r home after the barium swallow to flush it all out of u...it can take a while.

"selma"
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