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Difficult swallowing

I feel as if something is caught in my throat around the glottis area. I do not have a cold or sore throat. It causes me to want to swallow alot. This only leads to gas in my stomach and belching problems. I have a problem at times swallowing foods the constistency of mashed potatoes. It actually gets caught and I have to take small amounts of water to push it down.
If I eat ater 6PM, I can't sleep for the intense pain and burning in the midsternum area. Sitting up doesn't even help. I have to stand and sometimes hold my hands over my shoulders. I have tried Tagamet (over the counter) and it does help with the acid discomfort but the feeling that something being in my throat never goes away. It usually takes 3-4 days for food to pass through my system. Should I take laxatives?
26 Responses
Avatar universal
Dear Linda,
If the underlying cause for your symptoms is a swallowing proble, it is unlikely that laxatives will help.  You may wish to see a gastroenterologist to determiine the cause for the swallowing problem.

Also, laxatives are unlikely to help the burning pain that you describe.

Avatar universal
It may be that your esposphagus has narrowed, which require some stretching.  See your doctor to have this situation evaluated before you take laxatives or anything else.
Avatar universal
Linda, sounds as though your system if hyper acidic and this could be one of the causes of your problem. Taking laxatives will only mask the symptoms - you need to get to the root cause of the problem.

If you'd like to e-mail me with any additional info. which may be useful, I have a wonderful book on treating problems with natural supplements, and may be able to offer some advice from this book.

Let me know if I can help.


Wendell      < ***@**** >
Avatar universal
Linda,  I am having the same problem as you.  Four months ago I was sitting at my computer working and I suddenly had this strange sensation in my throat almost like a burning feeling on one side.  It put me in bed.  Then the "something stuck in my throat" sensation started and for a couple of weeks I thought I had a chicken bone or similar stuck just below my swallowing tube. I went to see my GP and he had me in the hospital the next morning for a endoscopy....It showed nothing but some sore spots and a hatial hernia (sp) I kinda always knew I had a hernia because I had had on and off problems with a burning sensation just at the entrance of my stomache since I was 25 years old (I'm 50 now) He put me on 20 mg of Prilsec a day,but it doesn't do much for the problem.  I am also wondering about if I need to take it twice a day as it seems to time out at about 12 hours after taking it, does anyone suggest this.  I also have good days and bad days with this thing, and the bad days are BAD.  I can't get out of bed because it just drives me nuts to feel so bad.  The swallowing problem just doesn't go away.  It's almost like I had to keep sniffing up at the back of my nasal passage and then clearing my throat to feel a little relief only this has been going on for months.  I am at my last straw with this and am wondering if I will get better...Is there any operations that can be done to help cure this????  This is ruining my life.
Avatar universal
I feel that for a long time I have had a hiatal hernia. Maybe, right after my first pregnancy in my early twenties. The acid burning in my belly starts before I wake up in the morning. I eat a little and it used to go away. Sometimes I have to eat denser foods at more frequent intervals and use lots of antacids (causing constipation). The pain actually felt like lightning pain across my breasts and back shoulder blades. I went to a doctor who said my breast were too large and reducing them would take care of the pain. (I was on the thiner cyle of my lift at this time.) Well it didn't. But this is not the sad part, frequent small high calorie meals, is. Weight gain only has compounded my problems.  Now I feel like my pyloric value is shot and my gallbladder hurts. (CT scan of belly was negative) Long term irriations to my esophagus causes this painful presence caught in my throat and even small meals are not small enough. Now, how do I look at a complete stranger (gastroenterologist) and tell him this embarrasing story?
And, why have a $500 deductible endo to tell me what I already know. I am afraid of surgery. I need an alternative.
I will ask my internal medicine doc to give me prisolec (sounds expensive), try to lose weight but is there anything that will tighten up the valve on top my stomach besides surgery? I have long since given up carbonated drinks and gasey foods. Can you give any other suggestions?
Thanks, for being faceless for me.
Avatar universal
My 15 year old son has had a swallowing problem for several years.  He drinks lots of water when he eats anything.  He has no other symtom other than that.  After having an endoscopy I have been told that he has idioathic eosinophilic esophagitis, which as I understand
it is an alegeric reaction to foods that has caused inflamation of the esophagus.  The doctor has recomended that he be put on a liquid diet of just shakes that she will perscribe and then after that six weeks, have another enoscopy done and then introduce one food ever 2 weeks. Also, she has recommended steroids for 3 or so months.  This sounds very drastic to me but she said this is very danagerous.  Has anyone ever heard of this and/or have any advise on treatment.
Avatar universal
My mother has the same problem.  She cannot swallow.  It doesn't happen all the time but most.  She can't even swallow water sometimes.  She has had an endoscopy and it showed the she had a narrowing of the esophagus and she then went and had it stretched but it is still the same sometimes worse.  She is in her late 70's and is very depressed over this.  It could be very painful at times.  We don't know what to do or where to turn. Help!
Avatar universal
I have the same problem last year. I had unbelievable burnign for 3 months in my throat and tongue. Took prilosec ( up to 4 a day) did not help. All the sudden one day I was fine.  Appoximately six weeks ago I got very sick. I started taking penicillian and got the " stuck in my throat feeling" I have ct scans done and barium swallows all for the doctors to tell me nothing is wrong.  Now I feel as though I am being choked and someone is sitting on my chest. I am only 35 and I feel like I am dying.  I also went to the hospital to have them check my stomach I also have a h. hernia.  Has anyone ever had success for treatment.  They did say I had mild reflux but in only occurs in the winter
Avatar universal
I've tried the Prilosec for a week now.
The difficult swallowing is gone and the heart burn!
Doctor says losing weight SLOWLY will take care of my
problem. Ten minute walks a day.
I still refused the Endo though.
Does anyone know if there is natural food or herbs
with the same properties ans Prilosec? The medication
is very expensive.
Avatar universal

I am glad to see your feeling better. How long did you have the pain before you went on the prilosec.
Avatar universal
My husband has a swallowing problem from time to time caused by a narrowing of the esophagus - cause unknown.  He is only 40years young and in very good physical shape.  He has had his throat dilated about 3 times but is always reluctant to have it done.  When he has severe spasms, he can't get anything up or down ,salivates like crazy and has terrible sternal pain.  He gets very sweaty , red, and panicky.  Eventually, it resolves but in the meantime it is horrible to experience and witness.  Are there any suggestions to help resolve these episodes outside of an esophagus transplant? (smiling)

We would appreciate any help you could give.
Avatar universal
I have had the problem on and off for years. The heavier I get the longer it lasts. This time, I was considering the ER for help.
Avatar universal
Hi Nancy,

I am a member of a support group for people with Eosinophilic Esophagitis (or "EE") and Eosinophilic Gastroenteritis (or "EG") because my husband has EG/EE.  Check out http://home.beseen.com/community/razzle00/eg.htm for a link to join the support group, and more info!  I hope this is helpful!

To everyone posting about swallowing problems,

I too have experiences with swallowing problems.  Seems like I can't even keep water down at times without it refluxing as hot burning liquid all the way to the back of my mouth.  Cannot lie down or even lean back a little bit when this is going on, or else it feels like I'm going to vomit.  I have a hiatal hernia and reflux problems, Crohn's disease, and struggle with appetite problems, but no specific diagnosis or explanation has been provided for my swallowing troubles.  When I decided to avoid wheat and all foods containing wheat products for a trial of 3 weeks, my esophageal spasms and constriction disappeared - and I've had these symptoms my entire life!  I still struggle with severe reflux, but don't seem to have trouble getting things to go down any more.  I hope this info is helpful for you!

Take care,

My homepage: http://home.beseen.com/community/razzle00/index.html
Avatar universal
I have pain in the middle of my throat when eating mostly any solid heavy foods.  I try to stay away from meat.  That is the worst.  At this time I am going to a GI doctor to try to find out the problem. I had a barrium test done and that is normal and am going to have the scope exam in two weeks.  I push the food in my throat down with water and at the worst have to make myself sick.  If anyone else has had this and has had results please let me know.  Maybe I need to go and have a swallow study.  Does anyone know what that intails?
Avatar universal
I have had problems with stomach ulcers with reflux in the past, but have not had any problem with burning for years (since I took the antibiotic and acid reducing "cure" - it apparently was viral - E-coli(sp)in nature)  However, for the past couple of months, I've felt as though I have something caught in my throat.  Not painful, just kind of irritating.  Might I have a stomach problem or reflux problem again without the terrible burning I suffered with in the past?  Any ideas?
Avatar universal

Hi Diane: I have the same kind of symptoms that you have. Feels like something stuck in my throat, and have trouble swallowing food unless I chew for a long time and drink lot's of fluid. Went to specialist and had a scope done, says narrowing of the esophogus and some scaring on the walls. I've been taking Pantaprazole 40mg since and find it gets rid of any acid reflux,which could cause more scaring and they also said that you could get a style of cancer if that isn't kept under control.Still get that feeling of something stuck in the throat at times, they also told me that stress can cause that feeling. Got to live with the Pantaprozole[aka pantaloc] for the rest of my life and they say I won't cause any harm, or will it? Does anyone know the answer to that?
Avatar universal
I have had a feeling like a lump in my throat on and off for about 2 weeks. I have no problem swallowing food. I was bulimic at one time and have a fear that possibly something was damaged. I have been under a great deal of stress caring for my mother who was hurt in an accident recently and thought perhaps it could be nerve related. Should i see an ENT or Gastro dr.
Avatar universal
Six months ago, I felt like I had a lump in my throat which was very scary.  I also had back pain and heartburn.  I went to the ENT and he did an endoscopy.  Nothing was found.  I had bloodwork done to check my thyroid, but that was normal.  I was told that it was post nasal drip.  I was put on Claritin D and the symptoms dissapeared in a week.  I thought it was wonderful.  A week ago, I stopped taking the Claritin D and returned to the Dr.  He noticed that my next was "thick".  I once again am going for thyroid testing.  I am having the same symptoms as before.  The Dr. told me that blood tests for thyroid problems are not always accurate, and the best way to determine what it is, is by doing an ultrasound.  If anyone knows more about this you can email me at ***@****   Thanks
Avatar universal
I had swallowing difficulties a few years back.  I had a history of ulcers, esophagitis and hiatle hernia.  I went to my gastro. docter.  That docter performed a procedure to stretch my esophagus.  I had strictures he said.  This caused a narrowing in my throat which caused a great deal of diffuculty swalling food.  I have had the procedure 2 times in the last 5 years.  I am only 39 years old.  Please have your docter do the test for strictures.  It has brought great relief for myself, and for my family, now that I am comfortable eating again.
Avatar universal
I have the same symptoms as most of those here.  I once choked on an aspirin and couldn't breathe for about 1 minute!  I have found out that I am allergic to "sulfites".  It is a common preservative in many foods.  Please email with any questions.  ***@****
Avatar universal
I would also like to hear if there are problems with staying with  pantaprazole ( Pantaloc ) for a long time.
Avatar universal
I have the same problem as some of you. I have gotten food stuck for more that a day and can not swallow water or even slavia. I once went in and had a piece of meat removed after a day and a half through the ER with a scope. I awoke during the procedure and paniked. Doctor tells me I need to have my esophagus stretched but told me he will not put me completely under for the procedure. I have a very low gag tolerance and am afraid that I can not have the procedure done. Are there any other alternatives that you have heard of to treat this problem. I drink alot of water when eating meat - that seems to be the food that gives me the most problem. As I am writing this I have had a piece of hot dog stuck for over 24 hours. Please help!
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
My father stopped wanting to eat solid foods around a month ago. Although he has dementia, he had always enjoyed his regular meals.  After 4 weeks in two different hospitals with several specialists, an endoscopy confirmed that he had an inflamation of the esophogus.  Would anyone be able to tell me first hand what it feels like to have this?  Due to his dementia, it is difficult for him to describe his pain, and all he has said is that his stomach is feeling a little rough. I thought for sure he had an ulcer, but the endoscopy did not reveal any stomach problems.   He has since only been able to eat a few spoonfuls of food.  Eventually, he gets irritated and flatly refuses to eat.
   Any information would be greatly appreciated.  He is being released from the hospital soon, and I pray that he will be able to eat again with the proper medication.
Linda    ***@****
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