probably a stupid question to ask

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I've been meaning to ask this question, and it probably is a stupid one, and a no-brainer...but, with Achalasia, should one avoid eating popcorn?  Has anyone had cardio-spasms that last for hours?

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  • Posted

    Popcorn, among other things, is one thing I can NOT eat. I was diagnosed in 2009, but have struggled for years. Even after having the HM, I still can't eat popcorn or other foods, but that's a major trigger.

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    • Posted

      Sorry! Luckily, I don't really like popcorn so I guess I'm good in that dept. However, I continue eating almonds, granola, cereal, breads etc and they can have the same outcome as popcorn. Really wish the surgery wouldve had greater success for me. Hope you find something you like just as much as popcorn. 😃

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    • Posted

      Another thing I like, just got deleted from my diet.  I haven't had popcorn for months now; figured it wasn't a good idea.  I wish that your surgery had gone better for you...

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  • Posted

    Yes, Donna I would try to avoid eating popcorn any time of day and of course no food at all 2-3 hrs before going to bed. Sorry, I'm sure you know that already. I had the P.O.E.M. surgery at NYU Hospital in New York City back in June of this year. I was getting chest spasms that were unbelievable. Everyday I thought I was having a heart attack. Yes, they would last for hours.

    I have not had a spasm since the surgery but I have a much worse problem with acid getting into the upper esophagus. Also, my cardiologist thinks that during my surgery they damaged my Vegas nerve and I have had such issues with spiking blood pressure. No doctor has been able to do anything for it. It goes up to 240/165 get the sweats, dizzy, chest pain and each time I think about going to the E.R. but always change my mind, I take some meds and a few hrs later it's close to normal. Weird huh? If you intend to have surgery do yourself a favor and check , double check and triple check your surgeon out before going under the knife. 5 years I was misdiagnosed so already you ahead of the game. Good luck, Bob

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    • Posted

      Thanks, Robert.  The surgeon who I have been referred to, is the only one in my Province [in Canada] that does the surgery.  He apparently was a 'pioneer' years ago with laproscopy surgery, so I imagine he is very skilled.  I've been having spasms that last for hours, through the night, and now, during the day.  It seems that if I don't eat something for hours [ie meals are late for some reason] I get a spasm.

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    • Posted

      Let me ask you, do you have a problem with food coming up? Are you having POEM or HM? When is your surgery?

      I'm having a upper endoscopy the 14th of September so maybe he can calm my system down a bit. I still have faith in him. Isn't it horrible? One of our simple pleasures eating..... and we can't even enjoy it. Sleep, we have to practically sleep sitting up so hard to enjoy that. I hope it ends there?? Lol.

      Just a word to the wise.... be careful who you talk to , there are people on here that are imposters and fake being sick, it's sad but true.

      I fell at work 10 years ago and injured my back, since then I've had 7 back surgeries. Have a spinal cord stimulator implanted etc etc so I've been in and out of hospitals for a long time, but you never get use to it.

      I hope your surgery is soon so you can get some relief. Please let me know how you do..

      Bob

      Brooklyn, NY

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    • Posted

      The vagus nerve does control a great deal of the digestive processes.   One thing that might be worth considering is whether you are (also) getting insulin spikes.   There is something called 'late dumping syndrome' caused when relatively undigested food reaches the intestines earlier than it should, triggering off production of insulin to counter-balance the sugar content.   This is complete unqualified speculation on my part, but it would be possible to check this with a sugar:insulin meter for when you are feeling dizzy, sweating etc.   So this might be a red herring.

      It is great that you are now free from the spasms.

      ?Once things settle down, in a year or two, it would be worth reviewing the medication you are probably on to combat the acid reflux to make sure that it is still at the optimum level.     There are devices like Linx that are magnetic bracelets that can be fitted to recreate a valve effect, but it would need a lot of consideration as you would not risk triggering the achalasia effects off again.   It might possibly settle down on its own.

      ?As I understand it, the spasms are caused by one of three factors a) blockages eg the lower oesophageal sphincter being clamped shut, b) reflux, or c) some other unknown causes triggering off the muscles through the nervous system.   But that is probably not much immediate help.

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    • Posted

      Thanks Bob, for the 'heads up.'  I haven't seen the surgeon I've been referred to, yet.  Wait-times are long.  I'm using a wedge-pillow at night, and have been surprised that I'm able to sleep, perhaps better than lying flat.

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    • Posted

      To help with spasms (and for me avoid trips to the ER) I highly recommend asking your doctor to prescribe Dicyclomine Hcl 20mg tabs, 4 per day or as needed.  I rarely take this but it has been a lifesaver.  Also, I usually start with a 1/2 tab when I feel the spasm starting.  Mine are usually brought on by stress, dehidration, stuck food. 
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  • Posted

    I suspect that the texture of popcorn just would not be soft enough to slip through into the stomach and would therefore block back in the oesophagus.

    ​In relation to the spasms, I wonder if the delay in eating might affect the saliva, and therefore make the lining of the oesophags more irritated?

    ​Plus, eating little and often is probably the best way to cope, as having larger portions puts more strain on the system.

    ​Once you have the spasms I think trying to relax (!) will help reduce the tension.   Some people have a piece of banana and it helps.   Others use Buscopan or a spray to help.

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    • Posted

      Again, thanks, Alan.  I've found that if I get busy with something, or am running late, and its beyond the normal meal-time, the spasms start.  Actually, as I key this in, and I've just had breakfast an hour ago, I am feeling a spasm.  They used to be only occasionally, now they are happening more frequently.  I am eating smaller portions, and more often.  What is the 'spray' that you mention in your post?

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  • Posted

    My spasams last for hours. I had a HM 2 years ago and have gotten no relief from them. The other day I had 8 spasams in 24 hours. I'm on Lyrica and Viagra for them. I also hiccough right after a spasam which makes me think the vegas nerve is involved. I can eat to stop them and have resorted to carrying food with me. But I have a job that doesn't allow me to carry food with me. It's quite debilitating. I also wondered if I need a larger incision on the HM to h help stop the spasams.

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    • Posted

      I am waiting for the consult with a surgeon I have been referred to.  My spasms are coming more frequently now.  Alan has given some suggestions.  what is Lyrica?
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  • Posted

    To the best of my memory the spray was a GTN spray but I have not had any personal experience, and definitely consult a good doctor before going any further.   But it might be worth considering?

    'Lyrica (pregabalin) is an anti-epileptic drug, also called an anticonvulsant. It works by slowing down impulses in the brain that cause seizures. Lyrica also affects chemicals in the brain that send pain signals across the nervous system' (quoted from the internet).

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