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Trouble Swallowing & Esophageal Dysmotility

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#1 Sports5



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Posted 17 September 2007 - 06:19 PM

Hi. I am "almost" getting the official diagnosis, finally, after feeling so dreadful for many years. I'm 35 years old and I think I've had symptoms of this disease for at least 10 years now. I've had joint pains forever, and GI issues, cold hands and feet, skin rashes, and a positive ANA and elevated sed rated but they called it "inconclusive" as far as what connective tissue disease I had.

Anyway, I recently had trouble swallowing and went in for an UGI and found out I have dysmotility in my distal esophagus, the last part of the esophagus right before the stomach, and it's called "ineffective motility" since the barium just sat there not going through. What I don't understand is why, in addition to having extreme fullness and bloating I also have THROAT symptoms as well. I do have GERD and have had this for many years but the throat symptoms seem to be connected directly to the dysmotility issue. I was doing the barium test and when I had to lay down and drink, I felt like I was drowning in the barium since it was collecting my my throat and I had to keep swallowing to get it down. In general when I eat anything, liquids or solids, I feel like food is getting stuck in my throat. Sometimes I feel like it collects in the back of my throat even in the beginning part of my nasal passages, it's such a weird feeling. Anyone get this as well?

So my symptoms start right in the throat, I feel sticking and almost choking sensations although I haven't really choked yet per se, but I feel like I could at any moment. Then once I feel like most of the food and liquid has gone down into my esophagus it's still traveling VERY SLOWLY, and it stops at the lower end, I literally can feel this. I get bloated and nauseated until it goes through and I feel relieved of the pressure.

I understand why I experience the contents slowly going through the esophagus but what I don't understand is why I'm feeling symptoms all the way up in my throat if that's not where the dysmotility was found? Does anyone have the same diagnosis as I do, with the lower esophageal dysmotility AND the throat dysphagia too? And if so, has a doctor explained why it happens in your throat?


Oh and I guess the radiologist suspects given my history of symptoms and the exact symptoms of scleroderma in other parts of my body, but mostly what he saw during the barium study, that there's strong evidence pointing towards the fact that I have this disease most definitely. I go back to my rheumatologist in a week, who I talked to over the phone about this recent UGI result and he definitely thinks this is what I have so I see him in a week to make it official.

#2 Sharonvandee


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Posted 17 September 2007 - 10:27 PM

Welcome to the forum you will find it is a great source of support and information.

I can totally relate to the symptoms that you are having as I am having the same symptoms. I am currently waiting for an endoscope to confirm diagnosis of dysmotility.
Kindest Regards


Diagnosis Scleroderma-crest, Scolliosis, Asthma, ILD, Plueral Fibrosis, GERD, Hiatus hernia, Anticardiolipin positive, ANA positive

a little bent and broken and almost beyond repair!

#3 Sheryl


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Posted 17 September 2007 - 11:59 PM

Sports5, I just want to welcome you to our online group. You will receive so much information here. I don't have a severe case of dismotility of the esophagus but I do get the swelling and hard to swallow feelings. Mine hasn't bothered me much in the last 8 or 9 months. I am getting a reprieve from the painful swallowing and swollen, painful bloated stomach. Live and Learn Sheryl
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#4 jefa


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Posted 18 September 2007 - 12:41 AM

Welcome, Sports5. I am glad you have found us. As the others have said, this is a great place for information and support. Thank you for taking the time to tell us so much detail. It can all be very confusing, so the more information you share, the more likely someone will be able to answer. A good place to start is our medical page on Gastrointestinal Involvement. There is a section on dysmotility towards the middle of the page. As for your symptoms, even though they have identified the point of difficulty (distal esophagus), that problem will naturally cause problems elsewhere. Consider your inhouse plumbing. There may be a clog in the place where the kitchen drain pipe meets the main drain. This is clearly the problem, but until it gets fixed, every time you pour something down the pipe (esophagus) it will not flow correctly and will back up and even overflow into the sink. If there is also reflux (stomach contents flowing back into the esophagus) the acids and enzymes may irritate or even damage the esophagus causing discomfort and pain. Did you also have an endoscopy or just the barium swallow. If not, you may need to get one for a complete picture.
Warm wishes,

Carrie Maddoux
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#5 LisaBulman


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Posted 18 September 2007 - 01:44 AM

HI Sports5,
Welcome to the forums! As you can see we are a friendly group here just waiting to help out. I too have the same issues as you and Jefa explained it perfectly. My lower esophogus is awful as I have had GERD for years along with sclero and because of it, I have Barrett's esophogus too. I am sure when you go back in your dr will order an endoscopy. I have my esophogus stretched every few years which does help quite a bit.

Welcome again and please keep posting!

Lisa Bulman
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#6 janey


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Posted 18 September 2007 - 05:06 AM

Welcome Darlin'! Like you're already finding out, it's a great place for support and information.

What is going on in your throat couldn't have been explained any better than Jefa's analogy of the clog in the pipe. If you food isn't allowed to dump into the stomach, then it's just going to fill up the esophagus. This was one of my initial symptoms. I couldn't eat very much at one sitting. I ended up eating a little something every 2 hours because it took so long for the contents to pass through the esophagus and into the stomach. Once I started on an immunosuppressant, that symptom went away. Now I just deal with GERD.

It sounds like you have some good doctors at this point. Please let us know how the appointment with the rheumatologist goes. I'm so sorry that you are having to deal with this at such a young age (or any age!), but having good doctors, good support and access to information are important factors in learning how to manage and live with this.

Look forward to hearing more from you and about you.

Big Hugs,
Janey Willis
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#7 Sweet


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Posted 18 September 2007 - 06:11 AM

Hello Sports 5 and welcome to the sclero forums. I'm so happy you have joined us.

I'm very sorry to hear about all the symptoms you are having. Jefa gave you a good link, I hope it is helpful to you.

Again welcome.
Warm and gentle hugs,

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#8 Sports5



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Posted 18 September 2007 - 06:13 AM

Wow, you guys are so great here. "Special" is the word that comes to mind when I think of what you all are. :)

Thank you so much for the replies. They are so incredibly helpful. I will certainly let you know how my apt with the rheumatologist turns out.

As far as the testing goes. Yes, you guys are right, I am having an upper GI scope on Oct 3rd as well to rule out other problems like Barrett's, strictures, etc. About 10 years ago when these problems started I had severe GERD and a stricture that they had to stretch, but only once, and I was ok. But now my problems are worse than ever since this dysmotility has surfaced. The difficulty swallowing is very much getting me down, it's so tough. I almost feel like I have a severe neurological condition given that my throat muscles seem like they're not working right but I know it's related to the esophagus, still, the sensations are just horrible.

Thanks again, everyone, please keep talking, I love reading your posts. :)