Swallowing issues and mild widespread spasms?

Posted , 6 users are following.

Hi All, I've been having swallowing issues for around three /four months now where I find it hard to eat solids and swallow liquids. In fact, I can't really eat any solid food that doesn't break down to an almost liquid type consistency. and chewing anything solid forever.

I was originally referred to a Neurologist as I was describing problems with the oral phase of the swallow and tongue and I am still waiting on a blood test result to rule out NeuroMuscular disorders. However, in addition to that I have seen a Speech Language Therapist who has advised all seems ok with the swallow muscles themselves. Recent had a Swallow VideoFluroscopy which concluded "Difficulty initiating the swallow with tongue pumping seen and mild widespread oesophageal spasm".

My doctor has prescribed 60 mg of Lansoprazole per day and Gaviscon Advance Liquid at night but I don't feel like I can feel any actual acid reflux. Should I be pushing to see a Gastroenterologist or would the mild widespread spasm not be of major clinical significance? Since this all started I have lost 20 pounds in weight due to being unable to eat properly (probably eating around 500-800 calories per day at best).

To say I am stressed around food/drink now would be understatement of the year. Any advice please?

0 likes, 10 replies

10 Replies

  • Posted

    I am sorry to hear about the difficulty you are having swallowing. There are multiple causes for swallowing disorders. It took a while before a doctor sent me for a PH Esophageal manometry. I had a barium swallow test where I was unable to swallow "the" pill. From there my pulmonologist sent me to a major medical center where they did the manometry test and I finally received my diagnosis from a GI specialist.

    Beware, not all GI specialists are the same. It is my understanding only the esophageal manometry test can rule in or out the diagnosis of an esophageal motility disorder. Before making an appointment make sure the GI doctor is someone who does this procedure!

    It is scary when you can't swallow and you have reason to be concerned. I sincerely hope you find an answer and a solution to your problem very soon!

    Good luck,


  • Posted

    i am not medically qualified, but i think the spasms are indicating a problem that is probably linked to the muscle nerves in some way. I presume that the test you had was equivalent to a barium swallow test. i would also check with a gastroenterologist to determine a) whether there is anything that an endoscopy would reveal, and b) whether a manometry test would pinpoint exactly where the problem is occurring.

    I hope your problem gets resolved soon but they need a definitive diagnosis first. Meanwhile i would try any form of relaxation technique that might help your system cope with the swallowing difficulty.

  • Posted

    hello - request a 24 hour PH study & manometry. I myself have just had both procedures.

    The manometry will show the swallowing issues to see if it is achalasia. The PH study will show if there is any acid flowing back up. A barium swallow would also be beneficial in this instance too. They will watch to see how the liquid flows down to the stomach. Make sure you push for a referral to a Gastroentrologist too who can properly assess you.

    In the mean time have a look at Huel shakes they are nutritionally complete and might help you keep up your vitamins and minerals while you await diagnosis

  • Posted

    Many Thanks for the replies! It's clear I need to crack on moving to a Gastro consultant who knows about this kind of area and the additional tests. I will start pushing for that tomorrow. I will check out those shakes too thank you, I need to start finding ways to stem the weight loss and also to calm down!

  • Posted

    Hi Doug,

    Keeping the calories up is critical if swallowing prohibits intake. I stumbled on something that should have been obvious, but wasn't. I simply start the day with a very small bowl of raw honey (maybe maple syrup if preferred) covered in double cream. I measure the mix as about 1200 calories, so I enter the day with much less worry. And it is bloody gorgeous! ... I also take a complan later mixed with a yogurt drink to keep the vitamins and minerals up... I think getting food in early in the day prevents risk of acid later in the day/night... The advice from others above looks good. And staying relaxed is key; anxiety can cause pretty much any symptom! Deep breaths!! 😃


  • Posted

    Sounds like you have alot of different things going on. The swallowing issues could be a condition called Achalasia. The only way to find out is by consulting a Gastroenterologist and undergoing Esophageal Manometry to check your esophageal pressures.

    God bless you in your way to find answers!

  • Posted

    Thank you so much for your replies! I am just waiting for the referral letter now for a Gastroenterolgist and also been referred to a Nutrionist due to the weight loss as well!

  • Posted

    After Endoscopy in 2014, followed by swallowing studies and xrays... it was through Esophogeal Manometry that they found esophageal pressures to be abnormally high ~ the entire length of my esophagus. They called it "jack hammer esophagus". I was having horrible chest pain, having food and pill blockage and regurgitating fluids back up my throat into my mouth. First had Heller Myotomy in 2014. Two years later I started having trouble again so I had the POEM done.

    Since, I've had to make some changes in my eating habits and times.

    While I no longer have the previous problems, heavy breads, rough/raw vegetables, carbonated drinks, any snack, meal and alcoholic drink after 7pm , laying flat for nap or sleep right after a meal or drink, big meals.... can all cause problems. Depending on how much I break those "rules", will decide my level of comfort. So if I want to chance it to "play hard", I'm gonna "pay hard". It's especially hard with the holidays and special occasions to remember "a little" food at a time is worth "a lot" of comfort later.

    I pray that you are finding answers and relief from this. Achalasia is miserable. Keep pressing your medical professionals for answers. If you are still suffering and no answers, find new professionals. I was treated at the University of Iowa and would recommend their Digestive Disease Center... and the entire facility to anyone. I had incredible care!

  • Posted

    Thanks, my main symptom that stops me eating is that I have no confidence to swallow a bolus i.e. move a chewed up lump of food to the back of my mouth and always over chew to the point any food is like a liquid before I swallow it. When I went to the GP for the referral this week he seemed to be indicating he thought this was psychological . When you were all first experiencing problems with swallowing was it also in the initiation in the mouth/throat or more things getting stuck once they had been swallowed? I've never had any pain or uncomfortable feelings in the chest. But I do have a total lack of appetite and struggle to eat anything remotely normally sized for an adult. I was thinking of pushing for the Barium Swallow test as a first start?

  • Posted

    Saw the Gastroenterologist and after he reviewed the video and said it looks like a normal swallow!!! so he didn't see any reason to do anymore tests. I am trying to get him to do at least some kind of view of the oesophagus because I cannot eat well at all and only manage to eat very small meals before being unable to swallow anymore (kind of like the tank's full up!). It's very frustrating because I know there is something physical going on here but all the doctors immediately assume it's either acid reflux or psychological reasons.

    Trying to get a Transnasal-esophagoscopy because it doesn't require sedation and covers the whole throat and oesophagus. First thing in the morning my swallow definitely improves which makes me think it has something to do with what's gone into the tank during the day.

Report or request deletion

Thanks for your help!

We want the community to be a useful resource for our users but it is important to remember that the community are not moderated or reviewed by doctors and so you should not rely on opinions or advice given by other users in respect of any healthcare matters. Always speak to your doctor before acting and in cases of emergency seek appropriate medical assistance immediately. Use of the community is subject to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy and steps will be taken to remove posts identified as being in breach of those terms.