Stretching of strictured esophagus and hiatal hernia...
by tjj3761, Nov 07, 2010
Hi everyone,

I had been having a lot of trouble swallowing the last few months.  It got to the point that I was having gurgling sounds in my throat even with liquids and my own secretions.  Food had become very difficult.

I went to the GI doctor.  Thursday I had EGD, which showed immediately strictures upon entering.  He had to stretch my esophagus several times and then found I also have a Hiatal Hernia as well.  This had been putting extreme pressure on my diaphragm/stomach for awhile I think.  Lying down after eating always made it better.

So now, I will have to live with episodic esophageal dilatations in the future.  It was absolutely no fun and it has taken me about 4 days for the inflammation to go down in my throat.  I will also have to stay on OTC Prilosec in the future.

My question is who with MS has had this as well?  

The esophageal spasms must play a role into the narrowing of the esophagus is what I am assuming.

I hope in January my neurologist will use this information to diagnose what stage of MS I do have.


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Member Comments (13)
by slightlybroken, Nov 08, 2010

My mother has this issue, but she doesn't have MS, but does have Sjogren's Syndrome.

I think on the pamphlet that they gave her from the GI doctor about narrowing of the esophagus, they aren't sure what causes this. It's just one of those weird unexplainable things.

She has to go in every so often to the GI doctor & have the condition rechecked to see if it narrowing again. She also has a peptic ulcer which acts up as well. She has several GI upper and lower digestive issues complicated by her Sjogren's disease.

I hope that the surgery was a success for you. I know that when my mother had it, she no longer choked on food and had the swallowing difficultly she had before.

by tjj3761, Nov 08, 2010
Hi and thanks for writing....

Sorry to hear your mother had this as well with Sjogren's.  Not being able to swallow and eat is very aggravating.  When the gurgling sounds started in my throat, I knew something was wrong and that is why I went.

I did find somewhere on the internet, still researching, that there is an association with autoimmune diseases and the stricturing of the esophagus.  The body certainly comes up with strange things, doesn't it.

Well take care of yourself...

by tjj3761, Nov 08, 2010
Hi Ess,

Sorry to hear that you have this as well.  It can be very painful when the food goes down as well.

As soon as I got home from the procedure, I started vomiting about 5-6 times what looked to be old dark red blood clots, basically black material, which was terrible.  If it would have been bright red, I would have know to go to the hospital.

I told my GI doctor that my last relapse at the end of summer, I almost could not swallow "at all."  My neuro sent me to the ER because of it and he wanted me to have a "speech pathologist" look at me, but at the time I refused because I didn't know why he wanted that.

Ess, when I go back to my neuro, do you think he might possibly use this towards giving me the stage of MS I have, instead of saying, benign MS?

by essdipity, Nov 08, 2010
I have had an esophageal stricture for the past couple of years at least. Had esophagus dilated once and the GI doc wants to do it again but things seem fine right now, so I'm letting sleeping dogs lie.

Never have had swallowing problems, but have experienced great pain once past that point. Not at all recently, though. I also have industrial strength GERD, but am virtually 100% helped by prescription generic prilosec once a day.

FWIW, the GI doc says none of this is related to MS. Go figure.

by essdipity, Nov 08, 2010
If your doc believes this problem is related to MS, that might move him to get off his keister and give you a real diagnosis. As you may know, I have no use for 'benign' as it applies to MS. We've discussed this many times here.

Anyway, you have nothing to lose by getting tested by the speech pathologist. I had that done. It was painless and quite interesting. They have you swallow bits of stuff in liquid to solid form, and use imaging (flouroscopy?) to watch the stuff go down. You can watch as well. Mine bounced around at the bottom several times before making it through the sphincter to the stomach, thus indicating the stricture. On that day I wasn't having trouble with pain, which I personally am convinced came from the muscles in the esophagus malfunctioning and spasming, so nothing of that sort showed.

Speech pathologists are very knowledgeable about the whole eating process, and can produce good reports for your doctor. The issue of whether MS is at the basis of problems is not one they'll get into. Doctors disagree on this one.

Good luck,
by coffeeom, Nov 08, 2010
Hi.. I had trouble swallowing was very difficult, it would get stuck and  if I tried to drink water  to push it down it would gurgle and I would start to choke untill it moved down or  it would come back up slowly.I had to buy the health master to get me through those few months...I had smoothies and soup...even that would get stuck..but at least it didnt feel  as bad as solid food.

They found a small  Hiatal Hernia..which the doctor says is to small to cause any problems...the swallow test came back good too.  I am on Prilosec..I take one each day..but never noticed any reflux symptoms??

The GI doctor thinks the reflux is causing the ms to act up amd cause esophageal spasms ....I found out I have ms in July..The same time my esophageal spasms showed up...  

I have been feeling much better and have been able to eat solid food again..but there are days when I feel it acting up and I watch what I eat ...

Love&Light, Linda
by tjj3761, Nov 08, 2010
Good morning all,

Thanks for the replies....

Ess, I hope you stay on your same path and do not have to be dilated for a long is no fun....  Ess, I agree with what you are saying.  I have thought about the whole "benign MS thing" and I now truly want neuro to say is that I have secondary progressive, which I know is my stage.  Now with this actual visible finding/documentation, I hope that in January he will step up, so that I can get something disease-modifying.  

Linda, hello... I do not know if we have ever talked.  Sorry to hear about your swallowing problems as well.  Over the past several years, I have had lots of problems with swallowing due to spasms that is for sure.  This time with not being able to swallow food or liquids, I knew there was a problem and glad that I went to the GI.

I have found some interesting links that I will be posting sometime this morning as far as pathophysiologic findings on difficulty swallowing, strictures etc.