Help please

Posted , 6 users are following.

I have had achalasia for at least 10 years now, but I am careful what I try to eat. sometimes things get stuck, but I have always eventually got them down usually with cold water and fizzy drinks. i have had something stuck now since yesterday and its starting to hurt, has anyone any tips for moving stubborn food down? Please help!

0 likes, 17 replies

17 Replies

  • Posted


    It goes without saying to involve med help if not sorted soon, but I find a few things can help:

    • warm water, the heat will help break down any glupey stuffs.
    • a gentle jog
    • do something to confuse/stimulate the symptom; a couple of paracetmol; cafine; vitamin B, or even Viagra (really).. All of these have worked for me at some time.

      Do take care in trying stuff, but sometimes the smallest things can help a shift..

      There is a new achalasia charity, just google 'achalsia action' - you will find a great booklet there!

      Best wishes,


    • Posted

      Thank you for answering. Yesterday I was in despair and pain. this morning the blockage has moved! After 3 fizzy drinks of various temperatures, gaviscon, a muscle relaxant and massage. Thank you.

    • Posted

      Thats nice to hear! Can I ask what you used as a muscle relaxant?

      I find a deep/heavy massage up and down the muscles that run up/down the spine can really help too!:) I have always felt these muscles are involved somehow...

      N P

    • Posted

      I used a 2mg valium, which I am prescribed for something else entirely. I think it helped. Thank you for your reply.

    • Posted

      Amazing what we will all try to move the food bolus. I focus on straight posture always always when eating. Plus lots of fluids. The website below is interesting. They are apparently doing some research. Have an appointment with top achelesia doc in Canada plus dietician and will report back if anything of relevance.

      Happy Thanksgiving to the Canadians.

  • Posted

    You could try standing on tip toe and then drop back on to your heels?

    Massaging your chest area?

    It probably all depends on exactly how much liquid and food has built up; you may have to regurgitate it. I have not had any experience of this but I wonder whether trying to get gravity to help might be something to try. If it does not dislodge downwards, and it free itself going upwards if you hang your head and chest down somehow perhaps? Massaging with a very different posture?

    Far easier said than done, but getting some means of relaxing the system would almost certainly help.

    Be careful about swallowing extra things - it might just add to the overload.

    I have heard that peppermint can relax the sphincter.

    The nuclear option is to get a hospital to remove it with an endoscope.

    It is very debilitating and i hope you can get some relief soon.

    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. After 3 fizzy drinks of varying temperature and gaviscon and massage and a muscle relaxant , the blockage finally moved by this morning. Yesterday I was in despair, today I am much better! It just shows how vigilant we have to be with what we eat.

      Thank you to those that replied.

    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I was desperate yesterday and in pain. after 3 fizzy drinks at varying temperatures, gaviscon, a muscle relaxant and massage, the blockage finally moved this morning! It just shows how careful we have to be with what we eat. Thank you.

    • Posted

      The fizzy drinks are undoing the good work of gaviscon. I suggest you keep away from fizzy, and limit your intake of caffeine, chocolates, spicy and fried foods. Do you take gaviscon liquid at night? That works for many people.

    • Posted

      On fizzy drinks 8 out of 19 achalasia patients reported trouble with them, so although they might sometimes be helpful in clearing the system there are also other problems with them for quite a lot of people.

      In the same survey, coffee scored 4, and spicy curry 9, so your experience would be shared by some others, but people's experience can be very individual.

      The survey, for what it is worth, is in 'A Patient's Guide to Achalasia' that you can download from the website of Achalasia Action charity.

      I think one of the things we might do in the future is to try to extend this survey.

  • Posted

    Have had achalasia over 30 years. My experience....generally nothing will move it. Get yourself to Emergency at nearest hospital with an endoscopy unit where they can deal with it. If you don't deal with immediately, you run risk of not being able to eat/drink and can become weak and dehydrated. Don't wait...this is advice given to me by gastroenterologist.

    Good luck. Just usually takes about 5 minutes to clear blockage and is not painful at all.

    From Mississauga, Ontario, Canada

  • Posted

    I had POEM surgery done in the Spring of 2016. To live a life "with a good measure of comfort" after POEM taught me some basic rules.

    1. Drinking plenty of fluids with meals, snacks and medications is necessary.
    2. Nothing to eat at least 3-4 hours before bed. I head to bed between 10-11pm. My last portion of food shouldn't be later than 7pm. No late night or middle of the night snacking except light fluids.
    3. No horizontal reclining immediately after any meal or snack. Napping has to be done in a chair or propped up in bed with pillows.
    4. Heavy breads, rough foods/raw vegetables, carbonated drinks have to be limited or avoided.
    5. Intermittent small meals/snacks throughout the day are better tolerated than a few heavier meals. I eat less and less as the day goes along so that by my 7pm all eating for the day is done.
    6. Drinking alcoholic beverages can also cause digestive problems. Just like food, being done with "conservative" consumption (not alot and not late) is always, ALWAYS, the wiser choice.
    7. I take a prescribed and over the counter medications to assist with the control of stomach acids.
    8. I cannot exercise vigorously, walking, swimming, running, etc within the hour or two after eating.
    9. Life is unpredictable and when sometimes my time table and/or "rules" are 'bent' or 'broken', I just know that there are consequences. How much do I want to "pay" for how I "play".

    I underwent Esophageal Manometry and then a Heller Myotomy in 2014 for problems from Achalasia but by 2016 another Manometry showed that I was having trouble again. Food was getting stuck, pills as well. The awful chest pain had returned.

    Since the POEM, even with my new "rules", and some new medication, my life is so much better.

    I have no regrets. Today more than ever, we have to be our own Patient Advocate. See something, say something...? Notice something not resolving, make an appt and get some answers. Keep a notebook and take it with you to the doctor appointments. I see that it has been a few weeks since you posted this note. I pray by now you have gotten some medical help and some relief. If you're not getting results, keep pressing your medical professionals for answers. God Bless!!

    • Posted

      I like the list. Very good advice.

      In (2) I would suggest to add: no fluids 3 hrs before bed.

      Just my $0.02

    • Posted

      I mentioned "light fluids" because there are a handful of pills that I have to take the last hour before bed. I try to get away with drinking the least amount I can but one of the pills (Sucrafate) literally dissolves in my mouth if I dont swallow it quick. I used to dissolve it in a teaspoon of water and get it down but then it costs the entire inside of your mouth. yuk!

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