Swallowing difficulties for 5 months now suffering with anxiety and depression

Posted , 7 users are following.

I have had trouble swallowing since August now. I have been suffering with acute anxiety since June and am taking citalopram 30mg. To begin with I could have soup and shakes etc. Over the months I can now tolerate more foods but still find the process uncomfortable and have neck pain too. I have had an endoscopy barium swallow tests etc all normal. I was just wondering if anybody else had had this problem it has been hell

0 likes, 14 replies

14 Replies

  • Posted

    hi, I am 52 and since I was 16 have had swallowing problems. unfortunately in those days it was classed as globus hystericus, in other words all in my head. At one point I had to run and throw myself backwards against a wall because something got stuck. do yourself a favour and keep bugging your doctor to investigate more. I have sort of learnt to deal with it but you shouldn't have to. I got do down with it that I even thought of the unthinkable. Don't wait for that. all the best.

  • Edited

    HI June. You are doing the right thing having those tests, and it may mean repeating them 6 months apart. There is also a manometry test that looks at swallowing paterns; maybe consider talking to your Dr about this (it a fine tube passed down your nose into your throat that measures pressure waves). Meanwhile I would proactively look into natural stress remedies. High Strength Vitamin B and Magnesium can work wonders with stress related swallowing. Breathing/ wellbeing exercises too. I have used cold water therapy with great results. Cardio excersise too. Take on the challenge of calming the mind:) If this is just stress- you will fix it.

    Warmest, N

  • Posted

    Neil's suggestion of esophageal Manometry is your next step to find out if you suffer from a condition called Achalasia. It is usually performed by a Gastroenterologist. Steps can be taken following that to help ease your discomfort. Anxiety can cause esophageal stress and vice versa. In the meantime, drinking plenty of fluids with your meals, sauces or gravies help when eating meats and pastas. Bread, pizza crusts, gooey cheeses, pastries, etc can be "hard to swallow" foods to limit or avoid until you get on a better path. Avoid choking on foods whenever you can.

    Sorry to hear you are suffering so.

    Follow up with your doctor, keep regular notes of things that cause problems so that you can help your doctor- help you. Be persistent about getting answers until you get some and get onto a path towards relief. Blessings!

  • Posted

    I have had swallowing problems for 15 months now

    the treatment i received has been very poor.

    All they seem to recommend is yet another SCAN???

    I have had 2 CT SCANS & 2 MRI SCANS. all the have told me is there is no sign of cancer, which I had 8 years ago.

    The last treatment I had in Dec 2019 was to attempt to perform a Esophageal dilation

    which stretches the narrow area of esophagus, unfortunately this was aborted due to damage in my throat which could have been caused when the consultant was investigating my throat with the camera through my nose and down my throat which I remember as being very painful at the time, it feltlke the tip of the camera was scraping the wall of my throat.

    The consultant took a biopsy from the damaged area to be analysed. I was due to see what the next process would be on 2nd Jan this was canceled due to consultant being ill.

    I now have another appointment on 9th Jan. but I expect this is just another delay ???

    I just hope they will clear this up as I have been waiting long enough.

    I have lost 2 stone as I have to liquidise all my meals.with no solids.

    • Posted

      Wow Robert ! You have been through so much. The only tube I had passed through my nose was for Manometry and it was VERY uncomfortable. I did feel like the technician was scraping my throat all the way down. I've had it done twice since and have them sedate me to place the tube and then lighten the sedation so ai can respond to swallow for the actual test. Most other surgeries I've had have been done endoscopically.

      Neil32387 might have some input here.

    • Posted

      I hope your appointment goes OK. I could only have soup and shakes at the start of my problem and the doctor prescribed shakes as replacement meals. I can now swallow better but find it uncomfortable. I have had all the tests including the camera down my nose and throat 3 times, endoscopy twice and barium swallow too. This journey has been a rough ride. Sometimes I wonder if it is an effect of Citalopram.

      Best wishes

    • Posted

      I am a twenty year Achalasia survivor and want to reach out to you during your time of despair. Only now being 16 years post-op am I starting to have problems again. I believe that ultimately you will want a myotomy with fundelplication (I hope I am spelling this correctly. This gave me many years of relief from my symptoms. My understanding of a dilation is that the results are temporary and risk a tear of your esophagus. Was your cancer in the esophagus?

  • Posted

    Endoscopies can either be done by putting an endoscope down your throat via your mouth, or a thinner instrument through the nose. I think it is true to say that the instruments through the mouth are generally capable of greater effectiveness, but this would all depend on the specification of the equipment concerned.

    I can understand that the doctors may well have been concerned t establish whether Robert's swallowing difficulties were due to cancer or not in view of the history, but there is no reason why the treatment for dilating the lower oesophageal sphincter should not take place regardless of the history. The endoscopists always have to be careful about ensuring that the instrument does not injure the wall of the oesophagus. I think the answer is to press for the treatment issue to be pursued by reference to a senior clinician, using the second opinion route of necessary, but let us hope that the new appointment will resolve things. For swallowing issues, the tests are really a barium swallow test and manometry and it would be worth asking at your appointment for these tests to be considered.

  • Posted

    Agree with AlanJM.

    Praying that your upcoming Jan 9 appointment will get you some answers and some suggestions for positive resolution and intervention to stop or lessen the misery you've gone through the past 15 months. Gosh! That's been an eternity for you.

    I'm sure that considering your history with cancer, your physicians are taking precaution not to cause you further injury when trying to find answers for your current misery. That said, if you're not satisfied with the answers on Jan 9th, I would certainly press for further investigation, including a second opinion.

    I've actually been given, "I don't know" as an answer and at that point asked to be referred to someone who could help me. I insisted until I found someone who DID.

    We have this one life. No one is going to care for it more than we are.

    Get well my friend! In the meantime, try to do the things you can do. Make time to be with and enjoy the people you love.

  • Posted

    Ditto to the last reply, don't end up like me, who still has the same problem 36 years later. I have just learned to live with it but shouldn't of had to. good luck with everything.

  • Posted

    The useless consultant who has supposedly been treating me has now admitted finally that i have CANCER of the oesophagus ... it is unbelievable that I have gone through approx 18 months of pain and discomfort when I have told them I have cancer they refused to believe me.

    I am now under the consultants at the Queen Elizabeth hospital Birmingham who seem to be a lot more professional than the idiots I have been seeing up to now?

    I am unable to have radiotherapy because of previous cancer treatment so I have to have either a Oesophagectomy or pallative care.

    • Posted

      I am sorry to hear this news. QE hospital at Birmingham is a good cancer centre. How things turn out depend on the TNM analysis that they will do. There is an explanation about this process here: https://www.cancerresearchuk.org/about-cancer/oesophageal-cancer/stages-types-and-grades/tnm-staging

      The 5-year survival rate for early stage diagnosis is quite good, and there are lots of people who have a reasonable quality of life after having an oesophagectomy, but you do have to appreciate that it is major surgery that takes a lot of getting over.

      The Oesophageal Patients Association may be able to offer some support and information. There is a patient support group based at that hospital.

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