oesophageal spasms

Posted , 35 users are following.

hi im just 21 and recently diagnosed with the nightmare that is oesophageal spasm.

I have been getting sharp pains from a young age and the older i have become the worse they get and longer they last.

I have been given nitrolingual spray (usually for angina) from my doctor, however i no there are bad side affects and im scared of using it.

If anyone knows why these symptoms occur and how to help relieve them please please get in contact with me!

0 likes, 65 replies

65 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi i have just been diagnosed with oesophagus spasm, i have been in severe pain since August, i have been given motilium (angina treatment) i am preying this will help ease the tightness in throat and difficulty swallowing, i would be grateful for any support and suggestions on how to live with this horrible thing sad
  • Posted


    I too have been unfortunate to have been diagnosed with this condition after a lengthy and worrying few months of several stays in hospital. I have found that by using my GTN spray in the first instance can after 1 to 3 hits ease the pain and if it doesn't take the edge totally off I take pain releif tablets that are a form off relaxant. Most times this helps and the pain passes. I do find that having the constant pain and strain of this condition takes a lot out of me and effects every aspect of my life. I am presently trying to see if diet can help and the avoidance of fatty food and wheat products do help and reduce the frequency of bad hits. If anyone has any suggestions or experiences I would love to hear about them.

    As the condition os quite rare and a lot is not known, does anyone know of any trials taking place as I'd be more than happy to try anything to help relieve the pain.

  • Posted

    What a relief to discover this web-site! I thought I was alone with this terribly painful condition. It horrifies me to see that NO-ONE out there has been given the slightest hope of a cure. I've had o.s. for 9 months and it's got worse. I've tried cutting out acids, chocolate, coffee and alcohol, but nothing has helped. I've been prescribed Omeprazole, nifedipene and nitromin (GT spray) - only the spray helps, but it makes my heart race. I'm currently trying acupuncture, but I don't think it's helping either. There are hints that o.s. is stress- related, so I'm trying to be calm and stress-free, but that's impossible unless one becomes a hermit. Every mouthful of food or drink is agony and I've lost so much weight that I'm in danger of having no resistance to any bug which comes along. Eating in public is a thing of the past and I'm dreading a couple of wedding receptions this summer... If anyone has any ideas let's hear them! I can't go on living like this - in fact, I don't want to go on living at all if this is the way it's going to be. Bee.
    • Posted

      hi ive been recently diagnosed with this awful condition, i read what you wrote and it really hit home with me. I could have written the exact same words. I read it to my husband who said it sounds like i could have written it. I work full time and have been off work for a few weeks and wondering how im going to manage when i go back to work. Im hoping by now you are feeling better as you wrote this a year ago.
    • Posted

      I do think that if you can get to a specialist Upper GI (ie gastrointestinal tract) surgeon they can help enormously.   You will have to have all the tests done so that a proper diagnosis can be done about which part of the oesophagus is giving the trouble.   The people who have had surgical procedures (like fundoplication, which sorts some cases out) are typically very worried about the prospect of surgery, but end up being very glad that they went in for it.
    • Posted

      Hi my name is Chiffon and I've been suffering from these spasms for almost 4 yrs now. I feel your pain and when you said you didn't wanna live at all like this I completely understand his you feel but my heart broke for you. I'm hoping your better now as I'm not I just had a esophageal manometry done this morning and whew it was extremely uncomfortable and painful in the very beginning but very uncomfortable overall so I hope you don't have to get one. Anyway my goal was to encourage you not to give up. Its hard I know trust me I can't work finish school or anything right now. However I won't give up so if you wanna talk on here just send me a reply. I'll be praying for you and us all in the mean time. God Bless.
  • Posted

    :cry: Hi, my daughter is 15 years old and has for the past 4 months been suffering from what we suspect is oesophageal spasm. She gets them every 3 - 7 days and are so severe that we call an ambulance and at hospital they either give her morphine iv, because she has trouble swallowing during the attacks, or on the last 2 occasions have given her gtn which seems to stop the spasm after 20 minutes. she has just had a standard manometry which took all of 10 minutes and showed nothing. she is due to have 48 hour manometry testing done soon, but unless an attack happens during the test i am worried they will say everything is normal. She has lost a stone in weight because after the attacks swallowing food, it feels like its getting stuck. She is not a complainer and when the attacks happen, the pain is so severe she has passed out several times. They seeem to happen more at night and usually a couple of hours after eating food. Has anyone of this age ever experienced this before, im desperate for an answer, its a living nightmare.
    • Posted

      Guest, My daughter is 18 years old and has had esophageal spasm for 2 years. It's been a nightmare. Basically there is no cure. We see a motility specialist in Boston and there has not been any solutions for us. She is on Omeperzole and takes Hyosyomine when in pain but, the meds take a long time to work and are not very effective. We are considering putting her on an anti-anxiety med because anxiety does increase the symptoms. Believe me I understand your pain.
  • Posted

    :? I have had this condition for more than 10 years on and off but it has become much worse in the last few months. I have been prescribed a GTN spray today which is why I started searching the Internet as I had bever heard of GTN in relation to this condition before. Finally I am being referred to a Gastro-enterologist to see if he can find the cause which I had always assumed was stress related. I have found recently that Lansoprazole helps to some extent as it prevents the body producing so much acid.
    • Posted

      Hello there...  My name is Heather and I have suffered badly with this condition for over five years and have become disabled as a result of it...   I just joined this site in search others like me with this condition...  While happy to see I am not alone in this, I wish none would have to experience this pain...  

      The he pain is so frequent and painful...  I have traveled far to find help without any luck...  However, I did find a pain management doctor who has helped me tremendously - I have a little bit of a life again because of him (it's not much though)...  My doctor has me on a very low dose of methadone in the morning and at night after I eat...  It helps to control the spasm severity only... 

  • Posted

    I have suffered from this infrequently and only now have started to search for explanations. Most of the websites cite episodes of post sternal pain akin to MI and so forth, but none have cited the symptom I get.

    This is a sense of the oesophagus being stretched taut with a subsequent sense of going to faint. It seems it locks totally and then pulls on my throat until my vision begins to darken and fade. There is no pain associated with this. Sometimes it gets to the point where I really think I am going to pass out and then suddenly it all relaxes and is okay. Each event lasts only about 5-15 seconds but is very uncomfortable. There don't seem to be any after effects.

    I don't tend to stress out about it because I figure it will either pass or I will pass out and so what?!

    But I'd be grateful to know a) if anyone else experiences this manifestation and b) what can be done about it?

    It happens every one or two months at most.

    My GP is perplexed and simply doubled my daily dose of lansaprazole (I have reflux and have been on this for some years) from 15 to 30mgs per day. It seemed to work but today I had quite a bad episode.

    I am also 66, female and obese but do workout at a gym 2-3 times a week.



    • Posted


      i think I have exactly the same symptoms as you.  I do have bareable pain which is often related to what I eat, chocolate and bread are now a no no. Often  when I relax I can hear trapped wind being released up my oesophagus.  I feel a little better when this happens.

      However, often when I drink, especially with food, I can feel it get struck in my chest and it can hurt badly.  My sight goes and I feel detached from my surroundings.  Eventually I will pass out for a few moments.  When I come around, I feel better but I am confused for a few hours.

      mine is definitely linked to stress.  My Dr's advice when feeling this coming on was to kneel down to prevent hurting myself .  

      I am on no medication and I am trying to manage it with diet and being aware of how I am feeling. I know that if I put pressure on my stomach the pain will increase. I am 43. 


    • Posted

      It sounds like it needs some form of specilaist investigation.   I can envisage the logic of relaxation releasing trapped wind, so tension might well be an important issue here, especially as you mention stress.   But it also sounds like there is something else going on, and I would feel inclined to ask for a referral to a gastroenterologist for a barium swallow and manometry tests to try and work out exactly what is happening and why.  And probably an endoscopy as well.

      ​The painful spams could be linked to the nerve system, and I wonder whether food is being trapped for long periods in your oesophagus because the lower oesophageal sphincter is not releasing food into your stomach efficiently?      These problems, like achalasia, do not come into a a GP surgery very often.   I cannot explain about passing out unless it is some kind of nerve reaction; or even an insulin spike?  I am not medically qualified but it would be an interesting puzzle for a specialist to solve.

  • Posted

    I have just come across your posting regarding Oesophogeal Spasm. I have been searching the web for some info on this. I am 58 years old and female. During the past 2 years i have had 7 episodes of severe chest pain. Having spent varying periods of time in hospital and undergone numerous tests all I have been told is that it is not heart pain. One doctor suggested it may be OS, but i was sent home with pain killers. Icant swallow the painkillers so I just wait untill the pain subsides. This can take anything from 1 to 4 days, not good when you have a job to go to, and you can't tell your employer what you are suffering from. I am almost certain my pain is caused by the spasms, but I have no Idea what causes the spasms! I noticed you were asking the same question. If you have had any replies that may be helpful I would be grateful if you would pass them on.
  • Posted

    I have just discovered I have this, and what a nightmare, my GP wasnt really sympathetic, gave me Lansoprazole 30mg and that was it. :x I would have thought the GP would have given me some sort of anti spasm drug :?:

    I am to scared to fall asleep since it happend, I thought I was going to die, the pain was awful. :cry:

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