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Swallowing Question
I have a question about swallowing. I have a tendency to eat rapidly and sometimes swallow pieces food that are "too large"
This is very uncomfortable and sometimes causes coughing and
gagging. My question is....Can this cause permanent damage
to the upper GI tract?

Thanks
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Avatar universal
Dear mark,
Eating rapidly and swallowing large pieces of food will not damage the GI tract.  However, sometimes, the food sticks because thetre already is a structural change in the esophagus.  Narrowing of the esophagus by inflammatory or congenital strictures can cause the sensation of food sticking, cough and gag.  We suggest that patients with these symptoms undergo evakuation of the esophagus by upper endoscopy and barium study.

This information is presented for educational purposes.  Ask specific questions to your personal physician.
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Hi Mark,

Don't have the answer you're looking for but just wanted to tell you that I too have the tendency as you to eat rapidly and swallow much too large pieces of food.  Sometimes they actually block the airway causing choking and gagging much like you describe.  I've never had anyone else ever mention to me that they suffer similarly so it's nice to hear that I'm not alone out here.  I'll be curious to hear the doctor's response and other's too.
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I have been to the Emergency room 3 times to have MEAT removed from my esophagus.  Because of acid reflux the inside of the exophagus became filled with scar tissue and became narrower thus the meat could not pass thru.  BE SURE to chop your meat into small pieces and/or chew chew chew.  I make my family remind me to chew.  A doctor specializing in gastroenterlogy can remove the meat and at the same time they can sometimes stretch the esophagus a bit to widen it.  I have to go in for a tune up about every two years.  I have choked on chicken, bacon and beef.
I recently has a physician go into my esophagus with a small tube/camera and look at it.  You can get cancer of the esophagus from acid reflux so be sure you do this.  I am now on PROTONIX, a new drug and it is wonderful!!!  I can sleep at night and not throw up into my throat.  My sister and brothers suffer from this malady also.
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For years, I have been throwing up while eating. It happens about eight times out of ten. I eat small pieces and chew them up very fine, but my throat constricts and I start choking, then start throwing up. It seems that for the most part, foods with a rough texture present the most problems, but simply drinking a glass of water has caused the same thing. I have been to doctors, had a scope pushed down my throat and they all say nothing wrong. Believe me, there is something definately wrong and I am suffering for it. There have been a few times when I thought that I was going to choke to death. I have thought that the problem was anxity, but I don't think so. I also seem to have a lot of catarrh, phlem, etc. in my throat and I was wondering if this had anything to do with my problem. I also have acid reflux problems, especially when I lay on my left side. Can anyone advise me about possible solutions to this problem. Thanks for your help.
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I read about a new procedure in this week's Woman' World- its called the EndoCinch. "Studies show it can end heartburn for up to 75% of patients and compared to traditional surgery for chronic heartburn, this procedure takes just 45 minutes and carried a much lower risk of complications" explains gastroenterologist Anthony A. Starpoli, M.D. To find an Endo Cinch trained doctor near you call 1/800 826-2273. The article also says of the over the counter meds Pepcid is 77% better than Zantac- keeps it under control for 9 hours and works within 1/2 hour of taking it. Good luck!! I am calling the 1/800 number on Tuesday! Just got the magazine! I'll let everyone know if I get it done!
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I have had an esophageal "disorder" for 14 years now....I was hospitalzed after becoming dehydrated and losing 27 lbs in ten days..Every time I would try to swallow, the food would get stuck or I would choke on it and have it coming out of my nose..The doctors were less than caring, claiming I had an emotional disorder...Being a woman, thats a great cop out for them...I saw a shrink for a year, who proceeded to tell me nothing was wrong with my mental health...yet I still couldn't eat...In one year I dropped 100 lbs...I finally met a wonderful Dr who believed that I really did have sort of "real" problem..another round of all the usual tests,but with a few extra that the many other drs over 4 years failed to even acknowledge... It turns out I have vigorous achalasia, or esophageal spasms...At least it has a name.... They never looked before, because it is primarily a male disease...I've been doing ok for the last ten years with a few dilitations...Unfortunately, today I ended up in the ER...now I have gall stones....I am sooo very afraid to go under the knife even though its laparoscopic now...well i'll keep battling onward...Keep your chins up...you're not alone....
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I am an ent in Toronto and i find that many people have this problem just eat slowly other wise you will need endoscopy to find out the problem and that gags alot
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For several months, I have had trouble keeping food down.  It seems to seep back up and the only way I feel comfortable is when my stomach is empty.  Finally, today my doctor had me undergo an endoscopy and found that my pyloric sphincter is contracted, which means that the food drains really slowly into my small intestine.  I have a lot of immflamation in my esophagus too.
    Has anyone else experienced this problem and can you tell me what I can expect for treatment options?
   Thanks,
Dee
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Dear Suzi,
I have been experiencing just about the same thing for 3 years now.  I had my gallbladder out 3 years ago and a couple of hours after surgery I experienced this awful pain and squeezing pressure in my chest.  It lasted a couple of hours, then I vomited and was very disoriented and then I was just exhausted.  The nurse told me it was just gas. (bull!)
Anyway I have had these painful attacks in the middle of the night at first and now it can happen anytime during the day.  I have had the endoscopy(2 years ago) and an ERCP(last August)and nothing was found.  After extensive researching on the internet and this website, I believe that what I am experiencing is esophageal spasms.  I had read about achalasia and vigorous achalasia.  They sound like what I am experiencing.  only the worst one.  Yesterday I was driving my husband to the airport and had to pull over because one of these attacks suddenly started.  I have been given a drug called Levsin for spasms.  Only yesterday I had taken two and the attack was full blown anyway.  The third pill I put under my tongue because at this point I can't talk and barely get air into my lungs.  Another 20 minutes the pain started to subside just before entering the ER.  When they checked me out I was very happy to be able to breathe and talk and they kept telling me to shut up!.  Needless to say, they had no bedside manner and the nurse obviously got up on the wrong side of the bed!!! How rude!! Also, when the attack starts to subside I shake uncontrollably for about 1/2 hour or so, my teeth chatter and my arms and legs shake.  Sound weird??    Anyway, is there anything I can do to get my gatro. doc. to look at this achalasia being the culprit??  I honestly feel like I am going to die when this happens to me.  What tests have you had done to diagnose this?  I am scared to death to drive anywhere alone(especially with my kids)!!  Is there any doctors in the Nashville area who specialize in esophageal disorders??  Please let me know!
Thanks
Kristin
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BRT
I had a Hiatal Hernia where the stomach pushes up into the asophagas and causes pain similar to Heart attacks.
I had other health issues and decided to have a Gastric Bypass 3years ago.
Since then SWALLOWING became a problem and the acid reflux.
I have searched and searched for an answer, after the doctors all shrugged their shoulders not knowing what to say.
Finally it started to give me attacks that would increase my heart rate, make me shake and pass urine extrememly fast which causes the body to lose it's very important nutriants and then I would become very fatigued after wards, sometimes up to 3 days.
These attacks can happen from 2-7 times a day.  I also have food that gets stuck, like it's very dry in the travel down the asophagas.

I went onto a site for VAGAL ATTACKS OR VASO VAGAL SYMPTOMS AND  what I found was that in your asophagas there is a Vagal nerve that runs down your digestive track that can get aggravated by either the bulk of food in the asophagas or by repeated scopes being done.

Try getting more information on the Vagal symptoms....I go to www.yahoo.com and search under Vagal attacks and you will be interested in the information.
I am currently trying to find a cure, however ALPROZALAM is what calms the attacks while they are happening.
I have another scope being done tomorrow and will let you know if i have any new information.
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BRT
I had a Hiatal Hernia where the stomach pushes up into the asophagas and causes pain similar to Heart attacks.
I had other health issues and decided to have a Gastric Bypass 3years ago.
Since then SWALLOWING became a problem and the acid reflux.
I have searched and searched for an answer, after the doctors all shrugged their shoulders not knowing what to say.
Finally it started to give me attacks that would increase my heart rate, make me shake and pass urine extrememly fast which causes the body to lose it's very important nutriants and then I would become very fatigued after wards, sometimes up to 3 days.
These attacks can happen from 2-7 times a day.  I also have food that gets stuck, like it's very dry in the travel down the asophagas.

I went onto a site for VAGAL ATTACKS OR VASO VAGAL SYMPTOMS AND  what I found was that in your asophagas there is a Vagal nerve that runs down your digestive track that can get aggravated by either the bulk of food in the asophagas or by repeated scopes being done.

Try getting more information on the Vagal symptoms....I go to www.yahoo.com and search under Vagal attacks and you will be interested in the information.
I am currently trying to find a cure, however ALPROZALAM is what calms the attacks while they are happening.
I have another scope being done tomorrow and will let you know if i have any new information.
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I too have been having stomach pain related to acid reflux for about 3 weeks now.  The Doctor that is treating put me on zantac and mylanta 3 times a day.  I have not had any test done as far like the barium test etc.  I was shopping at the mall and felt tightness in my chest to a point where I could not breathe.  I took tums and that just made me belch and gave me a little relief.  the next day I experienced tingling on my hands and foot so the advice nurse told me to go to emergency.  Well on the way there I my whole body got numb (felt like I was paralized for an hour) because i was not taking in enough oxygen.  They said that I was having a panic attack.  They gave me mylanta and 10 pills of valium for panic.  For a whole week I could not swallow food or water.  If I drank water it just comes up and makes me feel like I am drowning same thing with food.  I started eating less just crackers and baked chicken for atleast a week and a half.  I was so scared to drink water or eat food!!!  I just seen my Dr again and she recommends that I see a Pschyiatrist she thinks that i am having anxiety attacks.  My sysmtoms are numbess in my hands and feet ,fast breathing, fast heart beat when I get heartburn (this is when I dont get that much oxygen), , joint pains, belching, stomach aches (upper), bloated feeling that never goes away, feels like my stomach got pushed up.  They keep on asking me if I am deppressed which I am not Im happy with my job, family nothing going on that's stressful.  They seem to want to treat the anxiety rather than the acid reflux.  I have had blood test done, but all the test where not for my stomach acid reflux.  it's crazy!!!  If there is anyone out there that is experiencing this please post a comment.  Need to find out if there is anything that I can do.  Thanks
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I'm not a doctor. I just remember reading on another forum that sometimes the use of meds for acid reflux have the side effect of causing tingling in the extremities among other things. These are very rare side effects, but nonetheless exist in some people. Why don't you research the meds you were/are on? Maybe they're causing this?
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my son has Gi Reflux. He was diagnosed at 4 weeks of age with this. His reflux was so bad that is cause him to have apneas (stops breathing) Bradycardia ( slowing stoping of the heart) and techicardia ( speeding of the heart) he was out on zantag and another medicne. Like any mother I got the meds and kept him on them. All he did all day and all night was scream in pain and the drs had no idea why nore did I. Well the one day I went out and ended up spending the night over my mothers. I had forgooten his reflux meds. You know what though, he didnt cry all day or at all at ngiht. He was actually happy. The next day we went back to the meds once we got home and the screamng started less than 1 hour of him taking them.. after 1 more week I decided to take him off of them myself. When I did this his apnea monitor was not going off so much. The reflux was still there  but the meds were the problem. I told the dr at the next apt he was not going back on them. He still stayed on the special formula to keep more of it in him. But the throwing up was less the pain stopped and he was happy again. to this day he is not on any meds for his GI reflux. He is now able to drink liquids like any normal 21 month old and he does fine.. water still gags him at times but he does well.
Well the point of this is meds may not be the answer and fix all for the problem some of you may be having. I think that you need to ask questions about GI reflux, hynatal hernia (most likely spelled wrong) is also a big one that will cause throwing up and major pain and gagging, it can be fixed with one simple procedure. This will allow you to eat what you want when you want and it wroks. so this I hope made you think of some more questions to ask your drs. Always remember though there is nothing wrong with you mentally and never let a dr make you think that. Also another thing to rember that when you are in the drs office the only stupid question is the one you dont ask. SO ASK QUESTIONS.. be sure of what you are taking and side affects of it.. and I found out what made the baby scream... the meds he was on for the GI reflux can eat the lining of the stomach.. that is why he was screaming.
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I just had a balloon placed in my lower eshophagus and the stricture was opened.  This solved years of choking and painful swallowing.  Go to the ENT doctor now!!! Entire procedure lasted 1/2 hour.
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It's 1:30 am and I can't sleep cause of my problem.  I got on the internet and found this site.  I read with interest all of your comments.  I have a slightly different problem.  I too frequently have problems swallowing when I eat too fast.  The food seems like it gets stuck and doesn't want to go down.  Usually a beverage will help get things moving, then I'm all right.  The other day I started to come down with a cold.  Instead of the usual sore throat, I had the feeling I was being choked.  I didn't have trouble breathing, just swallowing.  The saliva felt as if it wouldln't go down very easily.  Eating something seemed to actually help "stretch out my throat" a little and I felt better.  But after a meal, swallowing was again a probelm...and I seemed to have a lot of belching.  That feeling went away when the cold got worse and the sinuses flared and I had much sneezing, but now that that is all over, the choking feeling has returned.  Laying down only agravates it and I have to belch so much that my stomach feels bloated.  This is the first time a cold has ever brought on this choking sensation.  I'd rather have a sore throat!  I hate not being able to swallow normally.  I'm off to the doctor tomorrow, but in the meantime, have anybody else experienced this sensation with a cold??
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ccc
can anyone help me im 41 year old male, suffering from  esophagitis, i think, constant burning left side lower area of back constant burping etc, feel lousy irritable all the time will be glad when my life is over, lost confidence in my doctor just gives me zantac, and gavisgon feel tired i have no quality of life, iam a christian, pray a lot no help. i dont drink alcahol or smoke, am i eating the wrong foods, can anyone help me  with many thanks,  kevin.
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My problem has been it started about a month ago.
I started choking on things and I really choked on a vitamin that I though I was going to die also.I thought it was that
caused it.At first after that incident,I couldn't eat food for about a couple of weeks,just little bits,I would drink ensure,
that keeps me alive.I lost about 7 pounds that time and the other time I lost about five pounds from that,I thought I was so
dehydrated I though I was going to die,they did a barium swallow,
and an endoscopy.And I founf out that my doctor is saying that I have a blood vessel that, causes it.The blood vessel wraps around my esophagus and it binds it up and then that's why I have these problems.So,I need surgery.I keep burping to when I swallow.Tomorrow I am off to the doctor too,having a thyroid ultra-sound done.Oh ya,the choking is gone,and I can swallow comfortably now,but my throat gets very dry,and it feels swollen
sometimes,I think I'm getting better at times,my symtoms are not from the dysphagia,but,it's just that blood vessel,the doctor said that I had that problem all of my life,they just have to fix it.So,I just came back from ER,I think I am locing calcium in my nails and teeth feel very week.So,I don't know why I am eating,okay,and maintaining my weight and being regular.But,I'll let you know about the tests results.
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Found this website and was very impressed.  I too have a ton of questions.  I had nissen fundoplication done approx. 3.5 years ago.  This was done to repair a large paraesophageal hernia as well as GERD.  This was not able to be done laprascopically due to the size of the hernia.  Everything was going find until about 2 months ago.  I started having difficulty swallowing (this all happened after I enrolled in a high impact aerobics class).  I have had three dilations, which show alot of ulceration, inflamation, scar tissue, etc.  They have done biopsies and everything has come back "normal".  The GI doc would like to try and "strecth" this yet again.  I have lost 20 pounds in the past 6 weeks.  Sometime even water, and saliva is difficult to go down.  I have alot of retching.  Has anyone ever experienced this type of problem associated with the fundoplication before.  I have made an appt with my surgeon for 5/24 to discuss my options.  It truly is a hopeless feeling not being able to eat.  Any input would be appreciated.
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I have experienced alot of what people describe of as swallowing problems. I have been diagnosed with acalasia or spasms in my esophagus a few years back. They gave me 3 options surgury, dilation (where they expand w/ ballon) or BO-TOX injection. (injections are recommended 1-2yrs)

I was concerned about acid reflux at night w/ dilation so I had the BO-TOX injection; After the procedure It was like night and day. I would eat steak,fajitas and anything else.

The most important thing to do is to visit YOUR DOCTOR EARLY. I had put it off for a while as gas or acid reflux but after my upper GI I could actually see my esophagus had streached from its normal size by overflows of food.


Chris Smith
chris_m_smith***@****
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