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Achalasia and voice
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Achalasia and voice

I have had an undiagnosed vocal disorder for 50 months.
I was diagnosed with Achalasia 9 months ago but told this would not cause vocal problems.
My voice is generally strangled and strained but gets instantly worse when I swallow food or fluid.
I was told that there is not a problem in the upper part of the oesophagus but the spasm I feel on swallowing is in the base of the throat and basically knocks my voice out altogether.
So I am confused. I dont have reflux, I have had extensive testing for that.
I have also been told I do not have Spasmodic Dysphonia despite a visible spasm in the vocal cords was captured on film a year ago. Since then I have been told I have movement in my cords but it settles down and that my vocal cords were not meeting and then that they were normal.
I also have a lot of other really strange things happening to me ie movement, problems gripping, violent headaches and arm jerks.
Help needed.
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Avatar_n_tn
I'm sure that you've had extensive testing done to evaluate the problem, especially since you've had this for over 4years.  Without personally seeing what you're doing when you swallow or knowing the results of your tests (sounds like there's a lot of conflicting test results), I can't make an accurate diagnosis with the information provided.  Someone needs to sit down with you and talk to you about the test results and what they mean.  Or consider a second opinion at a major academic center where someone can have a fresh look at you, including an ENT evaluation and an in-depth swallow study. As I'm not sure where the primary problem appears to be, it's impossible to recommend treatment.  BUt for some patients with vocal cord dysfunction, botox injections have been helpful. If the other symptoms appear to be a problem, then consider seeing a neurologist for a formal examination.  There may be a possibility that everything ties together somehow, such as that seen in a neurodegenerative disorder.  But this is only speculation and should not be considered an accurate medical opinion as I have not examined you nor have I reviewed your history and diagnostic studies in detail. Good luck.
-6 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree with Neuro MD JT;

  Sometimes your most pronounced symptoms may only be secondary to a disorder that isn't necessarily presenting with major symptoms. Many Neuro disorders present w/sympathetic symptoms only. A good Neuro workup seems indicated. When the neurologists continues the examine, question and you, you would be suprised that you also have the symptoms of a particular disorder, however, your pronounced sympathtic symptoms seem to get your notice and you may not be noticing other symptoms, think they are not related, or just not important. A good Neurologist will be able to pickup on this. You would be amazed at how much you overlook until asked, then think, oh yeah, I do have that but attributed it to someting else or didn't think it was important.
  Good Luck!
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Midsummer -

I have been diagnosed with Achalasia for about three or four years now and I also have a lot of trouble with my voice.  My voice is quite weak and goes hoarse quickly when I talk.  I suspect the issues are related, but I haven't been able to find anything out about it.  I constantly feel the need to clear my throat as well - do you do that also?

I am a member of an online Achalasia group (about 350 people in it currently) and we often talk about our symptoms and treatment.  Join us if you are interested:  http://groups.yahoo.com/group/achalasia/
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Avatar_n_tn
Hi Jenniee, yes I too have been trying to find a connection between the two with no luck as yet. My voice is very strained and it feels as though my entire gastric system is going to be pulled out of my mouth when I speak.........that much effort. After 50 months of this I am getting a bit fed up and now the Achalasia. What next?
Will go to the site you mentioned....Thanks
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