Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
difficulty swallowing
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difficulty swallowing

For the past 6 months at times I will be eating and food will get stuck.  Sometimes it takes a minute and feels like it has to go over a large lump and sometimes it takes hours to pass through my throat.  At the worst instances I cant even swallow spit and have to spit out my saliva.  I do get heartburn, have frequent diarrhea.  I did have a benign thyroid tumor in 1989 and they removed the entire right thyroid.  I have yearly thyroid checks and have not had to adjust my meds.  
My morning vision seems to be affected (dont know if this related)
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Causes of problems swallowing (dysphagia) can be caused from a mass, stricture, motility problem, GERD or hiatal hernia - amongst other causes.

The workup can be started with a modified barium swallow study.  An endoscopy can also be considered as this is the more comprehensive study to look for any strictures or anatomical abnormalities.  

If motility is an issue, specialized esophageal motility studies can be done to further work up the symptoms.

You can discuss these options with your personal physician or in conjunction with a GI evaluation.

Followup with your personal physician is essential.

This answer is not intended as and does not substitute for medical advice - the information presented is for patient education only. Please see your personal physician for further evaluation of your individual case.

Kevin, M.D.
Medical Weblog:
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8 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I feel your pain.  I am so sorry you are going through what you are experiencing.  I am a 31/m and for the past 4 weeks I have experienced difficulty eating.  I haven't eaten much at all in the past weeks, and can't even remember when I ate a normal meal.  I have too have a feeling of having a lump in my throat, and it takes a while going down.  I get nervous about being able to breath, which probably makes it worse.  I had an endoscopy this morning, and everything was "fine".  Well, I still feel a lump after I eat, a swelling in the back of my mouth, almost in my sinuses, feeling like drainage.  I am having a difficult time getting the help I need.  It's tough, because people think because you look ok, there is nothing wrong.  I pray you find the help you need.
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Avatar_m_tn
I have a problem swallowing too.  About six years now.  I've been scoped to my stomach.  No visible problem.  

I just spit when practical.  Usually only a problem after I eat.  Sometimes at night too.  I find that spitting clears my throat better then repeated attempts at swallowing.  

I work with a guy with a similar problem.  He's been more aggressive, seen about seven doctors, lots of tests, no help.

Sorry I can't offer more help.  I do hope you find an answer.
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello everyone,

My dad just got his endoscopy after a long course of symtoms (symptoms), well he is a food lover and loves to munch and also drink due to active social life in the armed forces.

He has been having trouble for quite some time, like belching, stomach ache, heart burn, acidity, chest pain sometimes, general body aches, he even fainted kind of  got disoriented last year( tripped cud not walk straight for some time, giddy , dizziness) and the doctors said it is something called vertigo, he has high blood pressure and last year he had black vomit, then things were fine but still complained of acidity, belching....suddenly while lying down he will get up and start belching non stop with heart burn.

4-5 days back he got his endoscopy and they said he has ulcer, Barrett's Esophagus  and took a tissue for the biopsy, will soon be getting the result of biopsy.

I am far away in a  differnt continent and am worried and concern, could anyone please help me understand if these symtoms (symptoms) also tells about something else and how bad is this disease?...what home remedies shud be done...
i know my mum is following the docs advise and elevated his bed,
no water between meals and befoer or after for sometime,
no oily and fatty food,
no alcohol,caffeine,choclate etc,

he exercises...like tennis swimming etc...is that ok?
he is towards the overweight side. His gallbladder was removed when he was  15 years

I would appreciate if someone can throw light on my concerned questions.

Regards,
ritz
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Avatar_n_tn
Im my opinion having a Cerebral MRI/ CT wouldn't be a bad idea.
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Avatar_m_tn
Well first wouldn't a barium swallow and  endoscopy be a good idea to rule out structural causes , motility issues etc. , maybe a manometry if needed.
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Avatar_m_tn

  Barrett's Esophagus  cannot be diagnosed visually. The biopsy results are needed , as some people have a Barretts looking esophagus and no Barrett's.

Also if your dad  does get that diagnosis,  a second opinion is always reccomended. There are many misdiagnosis of Barrett's due to not taking the biopsies from the correct place ( because it is difficult to determine where the stomach ends and esophagus begins) , and path errors.

There are no symptoms from Barrett's itself , if your dad has any symptoms , it is from GERD ( GERD is a major risk factor in the development od Barrett's)   and the ulcer , not Barrett's in itself.  As a matter of fact a lot of people don't even have GERD symptoms with Barrett's because the intestinal tissue now present  in the esophagus  it is a lot tougher and acid resistant .  

  The majority of Barrett's never progresses . You need to find out if dysplasia is present . If there is no dysplasia , his risk is very low.   Here is a Barrett's esophagus discussion board from John's Hopkins hospital . It is very good and you can ask questions or read through the archives.  There is also a lot of information on the hospital site itself.  http://pathology.jhu.edu/beweb%5Fchat/


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Avatar_n_tn
i have ahd the sensation of 'lump in throat' as if something was there when it's not - turned out i had excess mucous - post nasal drip. It was a long battle finding the cause but it turned out to be food allergies for me. I'd ofer wake up choking and struggling to breathe from the stuff. Also felt like choking when eating because the swallow didnt work - the body felt the presence of something and tried to protect itself by not allowing the swallow. Pretty frightening. 10)% better after changing diet to avoid  my allergies. Could apply to pollen allergies or anyhing that causes excess mucous I guess. antihistamines to treat the problem made it thicker and this made it feel worse. allergy tests for showed nothing unuasual but I defintely react to these things. goodluck to you all.
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Avatar_n_tn
since my last post I have been experiencing the "lump in throat" sensation pretty intensely. It's called Globus Sensation - the name derives from the ffeling of having a ball in your throat. I had had a few days of poorly coordinated diet - I had been doing really well on a diet rich in veggetables, fruit etc - balanced with proteins and 'good' fats.
For various reasons I deviated from this diet and within a few day my digestion started complaining, then the globus started. I am back on my former diet and the sensation is abating - hopefully in a day or 2 it will be back to normal. Looks priominsing at this stage. The globus it definitely feels related to the state of my deigestion - I've had a fundiplication 5 years ago for reflux and I have not noticed any reflux since the op. Hopefully getting my digestion under control will resolve this unpleasant sensation. Good luck!
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