Food getting stuck in lower esophagus. Can anyone advise please.

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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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11 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi cian

    I would not worry at your age and probably your anxiety is to blame, give the ppi's a chance to work and hopefully you will begin to feel better, Stop worrying.

    All the best

    Robin

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    • Posted

      Hi Robin,

      Thank You for your reply. Do you have any idea how long PPI's take to work?

      I've been on them 1 week now and they were helping me but today I have pain between my shoulders again after eating. I really want to stop worrying but its very hard with anxiety. Thanks again

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    • Posted

      Hi cian

      I would say they need a couple of weeks to be really effective, I did stop mine for a week to see if I noticed any difference and have to say that I wished I hadn't as I felt really bad after a couple of days so must prove they were working for me. If I can control my anxiety they work even better.

      Robin

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    • Posted

      I started the PPIs last Friday and up until they were working well. Today I've had acidy stomach and pain in back. I'll reeally try to get my anxiety under wraps. Do you take anything for anxiety?

      Do you have any advice on what to eat?

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  • Posted

    Hey there smile

    I am due for an Endoscopy this upcoming Tuesday and have the same symptoms as you. I would hesitate to say that food gets "stuck" in the most extreme sense, but rather that it feels like things take a little longer to travel down the esophagus than normal. However, what caught my eye in your post is what you said about back pain. YES! I have been having pain and even occasional tingling/numb feeling between my shoulder blades that coincides with the discomfort I feel when eating/drinking.

    I have been on Omeprazole for a few weeks for this and other symptoms. My ENT started me on it because he suspected reflux and likely an inflamed esophagus. He did tell me when I started that it could easily take 6-8 weeks to even recover 75%. Some cases may take much longer. So yes, it is a slow process. If you are suffering from reflux and this has caused esophageal inflammation it will indeed take time to heal.

    Your doctor is also correct in saying that at 29, the likelihood of tumors being responsible are extremely low. I am 35 and my doctor told me the same thing.

    That being said, an endoscopy is exactly what you (and I) need to due to truly diagnose what is happening. So you are on the right track. Be patient, be calm ... stay off WebMD evil

    These forums are really nice though. I have seen nothing but kind and friendly responses smile

     

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    • Posted

      When did you start to notice the food getting caught? Im also on Omeprazole 40mg for the reflux but today they just don't seem to be working. Very acidy at the minute.

      I have an endoscope scheduled but the doc said it will be a few weeks before I get it done. This is what's giving me terrible anxiety.

      And yes WebMD is a joke. Everything is death on that site. These forums have been great to see real opinions and advice. I appreciate your help and please let me know how your test goes. What do you eat to avoid pain?

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    • Posted

      Honestly, I noticed it perhaps about 10-12 days ago. I had already been on the Omeprazole for two+ weeks. And even then, it was not horrific, just things felt tighter than normal. And yes, waiting to get tests done can cause anxiety.

      When this all started for me with different symptoms (almost 3 months ago) I saw my GP first. Weeks went by without improvement so I was referred to an ENT. It took 3.5 weeks to see the ENT. Then another week waiting for a CT scan appointment. Then a few days waiting for the CT scan results. And now I have been waiting nearly 2 weeks to see the GI for the endoscopy.

      The point is .... waiting is difficult, yes. It is normal to feel anxiety in such times. And many other people have to wait and endure far longer and far worse things than we are. However, the time will pass. You will see smile

      “Worry does not empty tomorrow of its sorrow, it empties today of its strength."

      Focus on what you are doing today and each day only. Focus all your energy into those things and the people around you. The time WILL pass and you will be stronger for having gone through it.

      Cheers!

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    • Posted

      I had issues with swallowing for about 4 weeks before it got really painful and decided I need a doctor to tell me whats going on. I hope I didn't leave it too long.

      Thanks for your positivity.

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    • Posted

      I have had this feeling of food not getting right down so fast as before and a drink of water helps.  Dr gave me same tablets and gaviscon and said not to rush into anything quickly and see if it starts to abate as it can just be inflammation.   I have to say that the pain in back has gone and things are a bit more settled.  I was also told to cut out fried foods of any sort, try going dairy free by the dietician and that has helped.   I will also add i am subject to anxiety too.  All of this is relevant and  has helped me.  My dr has postponed endoscope till we see if things settle as she said most of them give more anxiety and return no positive results.   Only if you are coughing and choking on food should you be concerned.  Hooe this helps
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    • Posted

      Hi Ann,

      Thanks for your reply. Having something that might or might not be serious to go along with anxiety is a nightmare. Brain just wants to think the worst. Glad the tablets are working for you. The tablets give me some relief but not completely. Maybe I'm supposed to be on a higher dosage? I dunno.

      I haven't coughed or choked on food just have it go down slowly and get caught. Again thanks for your reply

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  • Posted

    stop worrying firstly, getting stressed will be a big trigger,  when you eat try smaller bite sizes, chew throughly and drink liquid after you swallow and feel the food sticking, maybe try softer foods for a while, i have similliar to your description after being taken off omeprazole which i was on for many years, specialist showed me my barium meal swallow video, showed my esophagus was contracting in various places there fore creating a back up of food with some remaining untill i swallowed something again, now back on the omeprazole as needed and an antidepressant to relax the esophagus, i find dry foods like bread, cakes chips and such are difficult for me to swallow without liquid, meat like steaks are a nightmare if i cant chew it properly or i try to rush it if im out with freinds, i take care not to rush now, even if my freinds are getting fed up of waiting for me to finish. i also try not to eat if im stressed or in a rush

     

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