I am a 27 year old female, in decent shape. This is a long story, and pardon my lack of complete medical terms. I have had this problem for 9 years now. In this time I have graduated from college, traveled Europe, and lived in California and Florida. The first time it happened, it was an Advil pill, it felt as if it were stuck. It stayed that way for almost a week and then went away with my throat being very sore the entire time. It did not happen again until almost a year later, then a piece of carrot got stuck. By the time I saw the doctor a week later, it had gone away. A year later it happened again. Then the frequency increased. I saw a gastro, ENT, and GP. Every tes t in the book was done. Barrium swallows with thin to thick liquids, I had a scope done with dialation, and a test to see if I had nutcracker, plus X-rays of everything, and blood tests of everything (thyroid included), even an MRI. Results were that I had a spastic esposhogus and I had spots on my brain on the MRI. So they suspected MS. Many medications later- anti-acids for reflux (which every doctor's first guess), calcium channel blockers, anti-depressants, and so-on (which resulted in various side effects)- not one medication made a difference. During all of these rigorous tests I was afraid to eat, because I did not know when it would happen again. Finally, I gave up. I realized that I was not going to choke to death, and that the symptoms were not bad enough to warrant all of that I was going through. I decided to live with the illness. So, I ate normally while trying to chew very well, never eating pills, and taking very good care of myself. What would happen is about every few months something (a raw vegetable, a piece of pasta, etc.) would feel as if it were stuck. I would drink a lot of warm liquid with honey, and in a few days (usually 3-4) it would work its way out. By the way this feeling is in the exact same spot each time. Somewhere near and above my voicebox, because if "it" happens and I yell or sing it seems to affect the spot. I have read as many medical books on the throat that I can get my hands on. The closest thing I found was a diverticulum, but the gasto. dr. said that a barium swallow would show it. Why I am writing now is because over 3 weeks ago, something felt as if it got stuck. I was not even eating when it happened. I was driving chewing on my nails and a pen top (nervous habit). After 1 week I went to the doctor (new doctor- I've moved) he put me on anti-biotics, thinking it must be post-nasal drip. After another week and while on antibiotics I had so much mucous in my throat and head (mucous seems to form when I get something stuck) that my nose was full and so was my throat. I went back to him and he put on stronger antibiotics. At this point I can not feel if anything is still there, because there is so much mucous. After another few days on the stronger antibiotic the mucous goes away completely, AND it feels as if something is stuck in my throat. The feeling does not change at all no matter what I do. This must be so rare, because no one seems to get it. I could have lived with this condition if it was only about 9 to 15 days out of the year- BUT THIS IS now constant. It gives me a slight headache and is painful. I praise you for going through this entire explanation (if you have), because I have never had a doctor listen to the entire thing. You will be my hero if you can figure this out. I am getting married in 3 weeks! Desparate!!! P.S. There have been no other symptoms of MS in the past few years.
We will not be your heros because ther eis no simple explanation for your symptom (which by the way is not that unusual). The barium studyes and presumably a movie of your swallowing have excluded many of the upper esophageal causes. There are many proposed treatments for esophageal reflux because of the frequency of failure of the different regimens. I think that it is important that a physician evaluate you as soon as you sense something is stuck. This evaluation, which will require endoscopy, will allow for the determination whether material is actually stuck. Some people can have the sensation of a foreign body when the only abnormality is irritation to the upper esophagus.
This information is presented for educational purposes only. Always consult your personal physician for specvific medical questions.
*keywords: swallowing, chest pain, esophageal spasm
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