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Problems With Esophagus Closing Shut?


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#1 jackaroo

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 05:45 AM

Does anyone have problems with the esophagus closing shut around a food bolus? It can be quite painful and if the esophagus will not relax on it's own, an egd is needed to pull/push food out. This happens quite often with me. That coupled with the scaly skin patches on my arms and legs, intestinal/digestive problems and my feet turning blue/purple when exposed to cold or a/c leads my doctor to suspect CREST. Or at least REST since I do not appear to have calcinosis. I also have HTN. He has ordered blood tests for ANA and will perform biopsy of lesions in 2 weeks. I am a little scared, but also relieved that maybe someone has finally "connected the dots" with all my little complaints.
Chris

#2 Sweet

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 06:41 AM

Hi Chris,

Welcome to the Sclero Forums. I'm glad you found us. You will find a lot of good information, support and friends here.

I'm sorry to hear about your swallowing problems. Many here have that problem as well. Here is a link on Dysphagia (swallowing problem) that may be of interest to you.

I look forward to knowing your better!
Warm and gentle hugs,

Pamela
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#3 WestCoast1

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 07:47 AM

Hello and Welcome Chris. I am glad you found the forum but so sorry to hear about the symptoms.

I agree that it is a relief to finally have a grip on what is going wrong with our bodies. I can relate to your food getting stuck. It happens frequently and when I asked the doctor about it, he didn't really get what I was saying...probably because he has never experienced it! Anyhow, he sent me off to an endoscopy and barium swallow to find some hemangiomas and a hatial hernia, mild esophogitis and reflux.

Please feel free to ask lots of questions. Finding out what is wrong is the first step to feeling better.
*WestCoast*

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#4 jefa

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Posted 23 May 2007 - 09:11 AM

Welcome to the forums, Chris. I am sorry to hear about your problems with what may be a variant of CREST glad you found us. Quite a few forum members have CREST so I'm sure they will be willing to compare notes. Here is a link that gives a lot of information on CREST. I see Sweet has provided a link on Dysphagia. Please keep us posted on the results of your tests.


Warm wishes,
Jefa

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#5 kramer57

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Posted 28 May 2007 - 03:39 AM

Hi Chris, I might know what you mean. Back in '94 I started having trouble swallowing, especially meat & bread. It felt like it stuck in my throat & had a hard time getting through into my stomach, I had to rinse everything down with a lot of water. I was told it was "psychological", in other words "all in my head." I also had a lot of acid reflux. 4 years later, the problems had worsened, I lost about 40 lb. from not being able to eat. Went to a surgeon to ask for surgery for the Acid Reflux. He did a test called manometry and found out that I have Achalasia: no motility in the esophagus, and the muscle between the esophagus & stomach was clenched shut. That's why it hurt so much trying to eat! So I had a surgery to fix the swallowing problems, now it's easier to eat. Still a little painful, but not as bad as before and I've gained the weight back. So my suggestion is, maybe you'd want to consider asking your Dr. for Manometry testing for your swallowing trouble. Good luck!!
Karen

#6 relicmom1

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 01:49 AM

Hi Chris and welcome!! I have CREST and I know EXACTLY what you are talking about. It gets stuck right in the middle of my esophagus right behind the breast bone. Water won't push it down, it won't even get past it. Even the small amount of spit that goes down backs up (sorry for the graphics) It is SUPER PAINFUL!! It stays stuck for a couple of minutes to almost 30 min. but so far, it has always eventually gone down.I have to have an egd about every 6 months or so and they stretch my esophagus. That gives me relief for awhile. I don't know how many more times they will be able to stretch it because that makes it weak and thin and then I will be at risk of it rupturing. I am sorry thqat you may have this , but it is nice for someone to finally figure out what is going on. You will find this website and the people here wonderful and very supportive. Hang in there!!
Peace :)
Barbara aka relicmom1

#7 jackaroo

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 05:30 AM

Hey Barbara!

Yes, you're right. The food does get stuck halfway and nothing will stay down, including saliva. When it happens, I have to just hang out in the bathroom and SPIT, SPIT, SPIT! Twice, it has stayed stuck for 8 hours. I had to go to the emergency room and have a doctor forcibly remove the bolus. They stretched my esophagus once. It hurt so bad I said I would never go through that again. My family constantly reminds me to chew. Does yours happen more often during times of anxiety or stress?

I'm sorry you have this, but nice to know I am not alone. I felt like such a freak. It has happened twice on dates, and even during my wedding reception!

Chris

#8 relicmom1

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 07:38 AM

When I've had my esophagus stretched it was done during an upper endo, so I was "out" and I didn't have any pain after the procedure. I've only had stuff stay stuck about an hour at the most. But I don't care if it's only one second, it's an excrutiating pain!!!! I couldn't imagine having it stuck for 8 hours!!! It hurts to even breath because it's right under my breast bone. I don't go out to eat very often anymore because of it. I feel safe going out for the first month or so after I've had it stretched, but much longer after that I'm a little leary. When friends invite us out or their house, I always make excuses. I don't think they would understand just how painful and embarassing it would be. My family and close friends that know me well have seen it happen and know how bad it hurts. Have you had an upper endo done when you weren't in an emergency situation?
Peace :)
Barbara aka relicmom1

#9 janey

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Posted 29 May 2007 - 11:39 AM

Chris,
I'd like to join the others in welcoming you! I'm sorry you went searching for us due to your suspected diagnosis, as you mentioned, at least you'll finally have a diagnosis. It took 8 months for my diagnosis and that was extremely short in comparison but for me it felt like years.

Having experienced the food getting stuck (fortunately not for 8 hours!), I'm going to support your family when they say "chew your food!" Not only chew your food, but cut it into tiny bites. Eat slow, don't put more food in your mouth until you've completely swallowed the previous bite. All this I learned from experience. I hope you can solve this problem, because it's no fun.

Again welcome! Please visit us often and let us know how your test results turn out.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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