Anybody Else Get Esophogeal Spasms?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dhcpolwnk, Nov 4, 2002.

  1. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I periodically get esophogeal spasms, especially when I swallow pills, and sometimes just when I drink water. Does this sound familiar to anybody else? It feels like something gets stuck in the chest area, and at first, I was a little afraid that it might be a heart attack. I did some reading and kind of concluded that what was happening was an esophogeal spasm. Then it happened to my husband. But he was eating solid food. He was sure he was having a heart attack, and I was about to call 911 when it calmed down. When we asked his ENT about it, she said it was an esophogeal spasm and agreed when I described my experience that it also sounded like this kind of spasm.

    Recently, I think I've found something that helps. I find that if I bend forward when I'm having a spasm, the pain seems to go away more quickly. (I remember reading something about peristalsis working *against* gravity--that it actually works best if somebody is hanging upside down! I don't know how true that is, but it made me think about bendint forward, and that *does* help.)

    Anyway, for those who do get esophogeal spasms, I was just wondering whether you tend to get it more when you're eating solid food, when you're drinking liquids, or whether it doesn't matter one way or another.

    --Laura R.M.
  2. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    I periodically get esophogeal spasms, especially when I swallow pills, and sometimes just when I drink water. Does this sound familiar to anybody else? It feels like something gets stuck in the chest area, and at first, I was a little afraid that it might be a heart attack. I did some reading and kind of concluded that what was happening was an esophogeal spasm. Then it happened to my husband. But he was eating solid food. He was sure he was having a heart attack, and I was about to call 911 when it calmed down. When we asked his ENT about it, she said it was an esophogeal spasm and agreed when I described my experience that it also sounded like this kind of spasm.

    Recently, I think I've found something that helps. I find that if I bend forward when I'm having a spasm, the pain seems to go away more quickly. (I remember reading something about peristalsis working *against* gravity--that it actually works best if somebody is hanging upside down! I don't know how true that is, but it made me think about bendint forward, and that *does* help.)

    Anyway, for those who do get esophogeal spasms, I was just wondering whether you tend to get it more when you're eating solid food, when you're drinking liquids, or whether it doesn't matter one way or another.

    --Laura R.M.
  3. marcus1243

    marcus1243 New Member

    Though I experience spasms (or that is what I assume they are) higher up than the chest, more in the thyroid zone or even higher, nearer the lymph glands. I usually get them at rest rather than eating, but they can be quite painful. I think you'll see lots of posts in the forum (some recently) complaining of throat pains or lumps, or a feeling of the throat closing. I'm not sure whether such spasms are more typical of MS (did I read that you have it in a previous post?) or FMS, but certainly muscle spasms in general seem very frequent in FMS, so it's entirely possible that it's FMS-related. Hope you don't get them very often!
    Marcus
    [This Message was Edited on 11/05/2002]
  4. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    Yes, I have MS. And it's certainly true that some people with MS have swallowing problems. At first, that's what I thought was going on with me, but when I read more about MS-type swallowing problems, it didn't seem to be the same thing. (I think the biggest swallowing problem for people with MS is a tendency to aspirate--i.e., inhale--food.) That's why I was wondering whether esophogeal spasms might be related to fibromyalgia. But I never did ask my neurologist whether these spasms also might be related to MS.

    By the way, sometimes my swallowing problems have been higher up than the chest. It feels like a lump is stuck in my throat, but it's not a solid lump. More like swallowing a bubble of air--which may be exactly what's happening. The pain seems to ease if I burp. I was concerned enough when that started happening to get a swallowing test. But of course, when I had the test, the problem didn't occur, and the test came back normal! (Sound familiar, anyone? <grin>)

    Thanks for answering, Marcus.

    --Laura