Aa
Aa
A
A
A
Close
Avatar universal

esophageal spasm?

I have been experiencing what I think is esophageal spasms. Symptoms are excessive spasmodic belching, discomfort in the center to upper chest area, almost like a knot. This becomes most pronounced during periods of stress.  I have been prescribed Prilosec which doesn't seem to relieve my symptoms. However, alprazolam at .5mg eases the feeling and it eventually goes away.  My question is then, is there such a thing as stress-induced spasm of the esophagus?
118 Responses
Avatar universal
I have what sounds like the same symtoms. I recently had a upper G.I.. Everything came back normal. How is this diagnosed? What kind of tests need to be done? I am very anxious to get some feed back. Is it stess related?
Avatar universal
I've had a similar problem for the last 6 years.  It started out as VERY occasional (every few months) but progressed to every few days.  I'd get the feeling of food rising back up my esophagus about to the level of my Adam's apple.  At first I though it was just stress, or what foods I was eating or how fast I ate, but not much of that seemed to make any difference.  It got so bad that it usually made me vomit.  I went to a Family Practice doc at a World Famous Medical Center where I was working at the time, did a barium swallow, and was told I had a hiatial hernia, was given a perscription for Zantac, told to cut down on caffene, and that was that.  It provided some relief, but I still experienced episodes every few weeks.  I have since quit taking the Zantac and am still experiencing the problem.  Meat and fast eating do seem to bring the episodes on, but sometimes I can just be drinking something and it will happen (though usually not as severe).
Is this something normally assiociated with hiatial hernia, or might I have something else wrong?
Avatar universal
Looks like I'm in the right site.I've had "gastritis" for 5 years now. I was on Prilosec for about 8 months at first. It relieved heartburn-like symptoms, but that was the least of my discomfort. Mostly, I have terrible gas, spasms and pain in my entire abdominal area, centering around the duodenum . An endoscopy revealed a hiatal hernia and some minor esophagitis, but didn't account for the degree of discomfort.  Eventually, I went off Prilosec and stayed off for 3-4 years. I never lost the symptoms, but it didn't seem to make much difference when I went off Prisolec. Symptoms vary from mild discomfort to unbearable. Feels like a cattle prod to the duodenum.  Stress does seem to exacerbate the problem. However, there are times when I'm totally not stressed and I still have the symptoms. Recently, the symptoms became more severe and I developed higher spasms that may be esophogeal. I get them if I sniff in hard, (which suggests that it might be my diaphragm.), when I move suddently. or sit down hard.   I'm  on Prilosec again, but I don't think it's helping very much.  This is all terribly uncomfortable. Any suggestions?
Avatar universal
A few notes for those suffering from esophogeal disorders. I was diagnosed with diffuse esophogeal spasm about 6 years ago. It began suddenly one night -- a heart attack like event. The family doctor and GI specialist ran many tests, but I stumped them all for about 2 years. An expert at a major research hospital finally diagnosed it after 2 days of testing. The issue was compounded by rapid stomach emptying. The solutions were diltiazem (smooth muscle relaxant used for high blood pressure, but with some side effects worth considering) for the spasms, and apple pectin (health food store tablets) for the fast food problem. After about 3 months, it took effect, and both spasms and a long-time problem with irratable bowel went away. I have problems rarely now. So, be encouraged.

I now have an unusual related phenonomenon. On most days in the mid-morning, I experience an acid taste in my mouth, accompanied by facial sweating. The sweating is as if I had eaten very spicy food. The over the counter pepcids, etc. have some effect. Any thoughts about the vagal nerve connection with the facial sweating. It has stumped all of the physicians and the naturopath.

Best wishes.
Mark
Avatar universal
I've recently had my gallbladder removed ( Dec. 10 ) for something called a "strawberry gallbladder". They found 3 stones and lots of what the Dr. called sandy/gravel-like bits that are supposed to eventually clear themselves out. The problem is I still get some very intense waves/spasms of what feels like a shot of adrenalin or something. They seem to come and go quickly and randomly and occur around the sternum area. It almost feels like my heart is stopping or something. I really notice it if I bend over or turn my body a certain way or even breathing sometimes. It's NOT anxiety and that I'm positive about. The Dr. says its cardial spasm? I too, like so many of you have been told this is all in my head and his advice to me was to "get on with it". I am very concerned and fear for my life as I have been dealing with this for over a year now. It's starting to get worse and more intense than ever. I know my body and I know this isn't in my head. I had to beg for the test that diagnosed my gallbladder problem.
I wonder about my bile ducts and pancreas? This is so depressing to me and I'm starting to wonder when and if I'll get my life back. I'd appreciate any comments or suggestions. Thank-you.
Avatar universal
Seems to be quite a few of us with esophageal disorders. Anybody know of a support group, website or bulletin board for this? Any of you interested in setting one up so we can exchange info on treatment: what works and what doesn't?  Judging from the responses to this one question there would be no shortage of willing participants.  Have browsed the archives and numerous queries there also re; esophageal disorders.  After 4-5 years of progressively worsening symptoms would seem that esophageal dismotility is my problem.  Would like to be in touch with others suffering in same area. My email is;
***@****

You are reading content posted in the Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Forum

Popular Resources
Learn which OTC medications can help relieve your digestive troubles.
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
Discover common causes of and remedies for heartburn.
This common yet mysterious bowel condition plagues millions of Americans
Don't get burned again. Banish nighttime heartburn with these quick tips
Get answers to your top questions about this pervasive digestive problem