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Difficulty swallowing


Bagelsmommy
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My throat has been my major debilitating symptom throughout my illness over the last 3 years. The esophagus is part of your GI tract and much of our swallowing function is handled by the autonomic nervous system. I have had several periods when swallowing was almost impossible, had a couple of trips to the ER because of it, and even had to resort to a feeding tube twice - though I am now eating and drinking again.

I am what (compared to others on this and other forums say) you would call a 'most extreme case'. I have heard of others with Dysautonomia having swallowing problems, but most of these problems are temporary. More people seem to have trouble digesting food than actually swallowing it.

I also have a history of throat injury and surgery, with a complete thyroidectomy 7 years ago, a very bad snow skiing accident 5 years ago, and cervical fusion surgery 1 year ago. With all of these things working against me I also have constant throat spasms and 'throat closing' episodes. I often wear a soft cervical collar on the really bad days.

Sorry for the long note, but to answer your question, swallowing difficulty (Dysphagia) is fairly common with us. She should still get checked out by an ENT just to be on the safe side. Odds are that this will be a symptom that will improve on its on. Good luck!

-Dan

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i had this. i would try to swallow, but it was like i couldn't make myself do it. everything worked fine, but my brain somehow couldn't send the message properly. i don't often get it anymore.

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I too had this problem more in the beginning of my illness, and it has improved over the last 2 years. I still have it occasionally when I have a flare-up though. I think it's pretty normal with POTS, that feeling of wanting to swallow, but you can't make yourself do it- and it can be especially annoying during mealtimes. Hope this improves for her soon!!

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I want to thank those of you who posted comments to my query about difficulty swallowing. One of the problems with a rare disease process is that there are all kinds of "little symptoms" that, until they actually become a crisis, are disregarded by the medical profession. Hearing similar experiences from others who have the illness is extremely helpful and most of all, validating, when one is struggling with a chronic illness.

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  • 2 months later...
  • 2 weeks later...

I also experienced the same thing when I first developed POTS. It has improved and it doesn't happen as frequently anymore. I did talk to the doctor about it and he didn't seem too concerned. Although, it was quite disturbing to me. I'm sorry that I don't have any solutions for you.

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Swallowing problems back in August were how all this first started. I had a barium swallow and endoscopy, all normal. I did not feel as bad as I do know back then, nor did I have the shakes, but I could not eat!

I took prevacid for 2 weeks and the problem went away. It felt like food was stuck in my throat and for a few weeks I was on practically a liquid diet. Took a while for it to go away. If she can't eat walmart has imitation ensure, I lived on that for a few weeks along with yogurt.

Ask your Dr. about if it could be heartburn or Gerd.

Silvia

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I had a thyroidectomy nearly 20 years ago. After that I developed spasms in my throat (my voice would sound funny when I tried to talk, like someone was choking me.) I also had a barium swallow and endoscopy looking for causes. They could actually see my throat spasming during the barium swallow. They gave me valium to relieve some of these symptoms, it works pretty well.

But that sensation was different than when I actually can't swallow. Rarely, I have periods of time where it's difficult to swallow, especially beverages. I have GERD and a hiatal hernia, so I just chalk it up to that. It always passes and thank goodness it's never been as bad as JacobyD's.

Hang in there.

Steph

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