Food getting caught in lower esophagus, Doctor has me on PPI says no worry at my age. Any advice

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Just wondering if anybody can give me some advice. For the past 4 weeks or so I have had food get stuck in my lower esophagus that I then wash down with water. Last week I started to get pain in my upper back between my shoulder blades and some dull pain in my back in general. I went to the doctor who prescribed me 40mg PPI's. Been taking them a week now and my back pain has gone (only returns briefly after eating). The doc said he would send me for an endoscopy which is fine but he said it would be in 4.or 5 weeks. I started reading stuff online which always gets your mind going (probably shouldn't do that) which got me worried so I rang the doc and asked should I be worried enough to pay a private clinic to do it ASAP. He told me to stop worrying that at my age (29) the chances of something been seriously wrong are very low. I did a blood test as well this week. I also suffer from really bad anxiety most of the time and stress about everything. Just wondering from all I've wrote above can someone give me advice as all this is driving me crazy.

Im 29 years old

Overweight (16st) with a fat stomach

Have a swollen lymph node on my neck but thats there longer than my swallowing issues.

Im 5 foot 8.

Any advice would be great.

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9 Replies

  • Posted

    Have you had a history of persistent heartburn?

    Food getting stuck is a red flag symptom, regardless of age, so I would contact the endoscopy department, tell them about the food getting stuck, and see whether they could bring it forward.

    Statistically your GP is correct, but cancer can occur at your age, but it is indeed rare.

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    • Posted

      Hi Alan,

      Thanks for your reply.

      I wouldnt have a history of persistent heartburn. Maybe every now and again depending on what I eat. I do get indigestion sometimes as well. I would usually eat something spicy or eat too fast and get it. I would take some rennie and it would usually settle soon after.

      I had tried to push to get the endoscope done this week rather than 4/5 weeks from now but my doctor said it wasn't necessary. Im away on holiday for 10 days next week which is why im in such a panic to sort this out. Because of my anxiety I won't be able to relax and enjoy myself thinking what could be wrong.

      Thanks again for your advice

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  • Posted

    Hi, I think Nitrate sprays etc are more akin to Short (very) LES relaxation; and Calcium Channel Blockers etc for spasms. I have tried both (under my doc) and had good results. The CCBs seem to help with swallowing too; they allow the blood vessels to widen. Fairly serious drugs though, and need medical prescription. I think my Achalasia is blood flow related (there is a whole thread on CCBs on this forum somewhere); but one thing I have learned (subjectively) about this condition is that not only do symptoms vary between sufferers but sources seemingly do too...

    As you said earlier, research is not a bad way to fill the gaps between treatments..

    Hope the test goes/went well.smile 

    It does sound like you are in the right place for some advice... However, it is best not to assume anything at all!, and just try to relax yourself. I can feel your anxiety just through the text! smile So, feeling as you do makes total sense!..

    To help with both your symptoms and stress High strength Magnesium and V B really helped me, plus massage, meditation and even acupuncture. I find Watching fave films, going to a fave place, doing some photography (or whatever has relaxed you in the past) triggers some unexpected normality. Try and find some balance somehow. Or, try something new, maybe exercise related. Meanwhile, do take Alans advice and be proactive with the docs! Its just good diligence. But, try and be objective to help the anxiety. This is most likely just indigestion worsened by stress! Stress and anxiety can cause almost any symptom..Just google symptoms- it is such a minefield anyone would give up after 5 mins. It just gets bonkers..  smile 

    Wishing you healthy and relaxed karma. 

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    • Posted

      Hi... Sorry! Pls ignore first part of my last message. Not sure how that hapoened! Was from an old post! Second was intended.. Nsmile 
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    • Posted

      Hi Neil,

      Thanks for your advice.

      I want to start getting healthier but with the food getting stuck in my esophagus I worry about doing myself more damage. Can stress cause food to get blocked in the esophagus?

      Waiting on this endoscope is already driving me crazy and i still have weeks to wait.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I would advise that try to eat little and, often and, avoid eating late at night. Chest pain that radiates under the ribs and, to shoulder could possibly be a result of the oesophagus going into spasm. Avoid stress if you possibly can as stress and, anxiety only prolongs the pain, attempt to relax as best you can. The sensation of something being stuck can be the result of an acid reflux episode rather than something physically being stuck but, it is important that this is checked out. Hopefully the PPI treatment will help with any acid reflux. I understand that it is difficult not to feel anxsious but, stress will only make your symptoms worse. It’s the worst combination. I feel that something is stuck in my oesophagus after a reflux attack, I refer to it as plum stone. This obviously should be investigated by way of an endoscopy but, a barium swallow test will show the speed in which your food is traveling and, if there is any obstruction or, narrowing. A manametry swallow test is the most reliable test in my own experience as it will show how the motility of your oesophagus is working, how the nerves and, muscles are working. These are the three main tests that you should request from your GP or, gastroenterologist. I avoid any alcohol or, spicy food, pastries and, for some reason bread is a killer for me. My swallowing problems always seemed to be the first meal of the day and, then it became easier. I’ve suffered from Achalasia since 1985 and, have now developed Barrats oesophagus, I’m awaiting surgery as my oesophagus has well past its sell by date and, I require an oesopegetomy. Best thing is eat small amounts little and, often and, maybe try to tilt your head back to stretch the throat to help ease your food down. Never go to sleep immediately after eating. Do you suffer from acid reflux often? Best of luck but, request these three test and, I’m sure all will hopefully be revealed and, you can be treated. Take care Jan
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    • Posted

      I didn't think I suffered from bad acid reflux but I do remember times regurgitating food and getting heartburn/indegestion when i eat spicy food or drink alcohol. I drink a cider alcohol as well so isn't great on the stomach. The feeling of getting something stuck is when I eat food, it goes down slow and some i have to wash down with water. It's all very worrying. Will have to wait a few more weeks for the endoscopy

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    • Posted

      I was told by the technicians that performed The manametry test that some people are what they call silent refluxers and, don’t necessarily feel it all the time unless it’s a severe attack. I hate to sound like I’m preaching but, I would try to cut all alcohol out for a while to give the lining of your oesophagus and, stomach a rest and, chance to heel. I’m partial to a glass of red but, havnt touched a drop since before Christmas, partly due to the fact that I just couldn’t stomach any alcohol and, when I did it came up and, through my nose and, blew up my sinuses. It didn’t tickle I can tell you that much. Plus I’m on very strong pain relief and, liquid diet only at the moment. I’ll be a cheap date once I can enjoy a glass or, two of the red stuff again ha ha. Give it a go I’m certain it will help, best of luck x
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  • Posted

    Hi, I have found this forum a god send in the last couple of months and, you will find a wealth of great advice. Everybody has their little tricks so to speak in their own management. A large number of people immediately jump onto Google and, I’m no exception but, don’t get stressed by what you read. Achalasia is a mine field and, everybody has different problems associated with this disease. My advice, don’t jump to the worst conclusion but, have the tests as a quickly as possible so that you can manage your symptoms and, I wish you the very best of luck. Keep calm and, take care 
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