standing up to eat

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Hi All , just wondering if anyone else has to stand up to eat.? 4 years ago i  developed swallowing difficulties  - occaisionally at first then more frequently and was sick every time I ate . I lost 3 stone very quickly . I had endoscopy , barium swallow and manometry, I was told that I had a weak and inneffective swallow but that my results did not indicate a specific condition! so no treatment suggested ! I by chance worked out that whilst walking (or running to the loo to spit up during meals the food would occaisionally go down so started to stand up for the entire meal and this helped a lot - I still needed to swallow a pint or more of warm water in order to get the smallest meal down but at least it stayed down  70-80%  of the time as long as I ate really slowly and chewed a lot and did not eat chunky meat or bread/cake etc. I thought I had cracked it but have now gone back for more tests  and have been told that my ooesophagus has distended and the lower sphincter is no longer opening so  food is being stored in my oesophagus for long periods so have now been diagnosed with achalasia  -  I still have to stand up to eat but am hoping that if I can have treatment I may eventually be able to sit down with everyone else - It may be worth trying though for anyone waiting for traetment  - if anyone has experience of myotomy and the difference it makes to swallowing would be greatful to hear it - especially recovery time . 

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  • Posted

    Hi, I've had achalasia for ten years.  Have had myotomy surgery, Botox, etc etc.  I'm better than pre surgery but it's always an issue.  I'm about 60-70% right.  I would probably have the surgery again if I'd known what I know now, but for me there was no miracle recovery.

    These days I often eat while standing, and also drink a litre of water per meal!

    i can eat while seated by must be quite upright, slouching on a couch in front of the tv with a snack is asking for big trouble...  You get use to not doing it!

    Good luck,

    Pete

     

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    • Posted

      Thanks Pete , I am glad to hear you can sit sometimes - would just dearly love to do that , I dont mind standing up at home but when there are important meals out with work or family occaisions it can be embarrassing and people stare - my family are great and I refuse to hide away at home  but  would be so much better if i could just sit down and enjoy even a small meal without having to explain why i am standing and only want the soup/custard etc
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  • Posted

    I had Heller's myotomy 30 years ago. Before that my weight was about 70% of what it should have been. Not only did I need to stand to eat, sometimes I had to jump up and down! I remember when I went for my barium swallow (to find out what was wrong) the nurses all looked at me in astonsihment as I jumped up and down to shake the liquid down.

    I'd say the operation was about 90% succesful and the improvement was immediate, but over the years it has got slightly worse again. Still, I'm learning how to cope with it and don't quite feel the need for another operation or anything yet. Maybe that day will come.

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    • Posted

      Hi Alan , yes I have had to jump up and down sometimes but usually just manage by doing circular motions like the hula hoop or swayimg back and forth whilst I eat , I am glad it was successfull for you even if limited with deterioration over the years - do you still stand upto eat all the time  or can you sit down sometimes
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    • Posted

      I sit down to eat but I need to keep my back straight whenever I'm eating. If I ate sensibly (which mainly means leaving long breaks between eating) then I think I could keep on top of the problem, but life doesn't always allow you to stick to regular habits and sometimes food gets stuck. When that happens I have to empty my oesophagus, switch to a liquid diet and be patient, but active. After a while - which could be hours, days, occasionally weeks - my stomach will accept solid food again.
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  • Posted

    I had Hellers myotomy last May at the Mayo clinic in the US. Great experience and so far a year + later, I feel very well. I am otherwise very active athletically and exercise regularly.

    The operation was extremely uneventful and I would recommend it provided the doctor doing it is highly experienced. The surgeon I saw does about one such surgery a week!

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    • Posted

      Thanks for the positive news Arif57, I hope my experience is as positive as yours , and I hope more people with this condition find relief soon .
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  • Posted

    Standing up to eat helps gravity to pass the food down, but the other side of the coin is that it might not be possible to relax quite so much.   If it works for you, do it!

    Try rising up on your toes and then dropping on to your heels to create a shock to push things through.

    Don't forget that the more you put into your mouth, the 'baggier' your oesophagus will get whilst it stores all the food that has not passed into your stomach, and this may mean that there is not such an easy and direct vertical route into your stomach.    

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    • Posted

      That has been the problem i think , my original set of tests showed weak and innefective swallow but oesophagus was normal , 4 years later after standing up for most of that time (which has enabled me to eat at least something )has left me with a very dilated oesophagus which is why i suggested it as a way to cope whilst waiting for treatment but also sometimes think that my just getting on with it theory may have caused more damage and probably should have gone back to ask for some treatment sooner  .this is just so hard to work out what to do when there is no clear evidence of what works as we all seem so different , just so frustrating , all i want to do is sit down to eat like everyone else i know !
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