difficulty swallowing pills/choking

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by DizzyS, Aug 30, 2007.

  1. DizzyS

    DizzyS New Member

    Does anyone have trouble swallowing pills and certain foods? I almost choked to death today taking my vit B (it was only a 1/2 of one)! I never used to have problems until the last year or so. I even choke on some foods. I had my esophagus stretched in June but it didn't help. I thought it might be a fibro thing. Its so frightening. I'm afraid to go to sleep in case I choke while sleeping. I have awoken unable to breathe a couple times...reflux? Anyone else suffer with this?
  2. ETN

    ETN New Member

    esophagus....when I read that that kind of alarmed me.

    What was the reasoning? I am just wondering because my dad died last year of esophageal cancer and they call it the beast...and it is...it's one of the worst cancers that you can get..I am not saying that's what you have..I just think it's a shame that no one really "knows" about this cancer unless someone they know is affected by it.

    The big thing is that it's usually silent, and the first sign is that you have trouble swallowing.

    There is such a thing as Barretts Esophagus which is a "precursor to getting esophageal cancer" it just makes it that much easier to get.

    I have had reflux problems for a long time. I sometimes have trouble swallowing too. It only happens every now and then.

    My dad ate tums like crazy when I was growing up and I don't think he every mentioned this to the dr at all...
    Hope you feel better....

    Could you just be having like spasms? I know that happens sometimes too...
  3. DizzyS

    DizzyS New Member

    They stretched it during an endoscopy(a scope down your throat and into stomach)because of my difficulty swallowing. It is very commonly done. I had it done last year too, but neither time helped much. I think they would have been able to see if my esophagus was cancerous. They did find mild reflux and hiatal hernia. I'm very sorry about your father. My uncle died of throat cancer also. Thank you for your concern.
  4. JLToland

    JLToland New Member

    I have had some difficulty swallowing and some difficulty getting a full breath in, which oddly enough along with my throat being swollen is what they sent me to the rheuma doc for. I go in tomorrow for my test result (they ran dozens and dozens of tests) so I will come back tomorrow and post what they find. She did refer me for a swallowing study to find out why I couldn't swallow very well.
  5. greeneyeslk

    greeneyeslk New Member

    I also have difficulty swallowing food, drink and capsules. The other pills seem to go down ok. I have had GERD (acid reflux) for almost 10 years. I had my first endoscopy 10 years ago and the MD also stretched my esophagus and they usually take a biopsy of tissue while they are down there. Mine did come back negative. I have been on Prevacid and now Nexium for the past 10 years to control the GERD. From what I understand, if you control the GERD, then you lower your risk for cancer in the esophagus. I had another endoscopy this year along with stretching and biopsy and it also came back negative. I asked my GI MD why I still have difficulty swallowing. He said that it appears that I have a spastic esophagus which he says is probably caused from fibromyalgia muscle spasms. It seems to happen more on days when my muscles are really locked up. Do you have sleep apnea as that can cause you to wake up choking. I do and use a C-PAP machine and it helps alot.
  6. DizzyS

    DizzyS New Member

    Has anyone had the swallowing test done? they want me to have it but it sounds horrible! A tube up your nose/down your throat for 24hrs? Is there another?

    I did have a sleep study done 2ys ago..showed mild apnea...tried test again with the machine and couldn't tolerate it.

    I sometimes think my swallowing problems are psychological. There is a fear of swallowing/choking. I looked it up and got some good info...like how to swallow pills easier. A hint that worked...when you go to swallow the pill...don't throw your head back, instead, tilt your chin toward your chest. Simple.

    My biopsies came back ok too.

    i have suspected the FM as a cause. I finally got an appt. with a specialist but its not until November. I pray she can shed some light on what's happening.

    thanks for caring!
  7. donna10

    donna10 New Member

    I have read in a couple sources that fibromyalgia has this as a symptom. I too have the problem but thought I had an irritated esophagus or it was caused by my thyroid/small goiter. It can be extremely painful. Look up Fibromyalgia and Dysphagia (Difficulty Swallowing). Hope it gets better for you! Mine comes and goes.
    <br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 09/01/2007</i>]
  8. slagran

    slagran New Member

    Hello, I also have trouble swallowing,however not all the time. I usually have the most trouble with breads. I saw a specialist and he could not tell me any reason why I have this trouble. Drink alot of water with food, is the only advice I got.
  9. 545

    545 New Member

    Hi DizzyS and others,

    I have trouble swallowing pills too. It's particularly gotten bad as I've been prescribed more meds. The difficulties kind of make sense in terms of issues regarding mucus, esophagus, and neuro-muscular damage.

    I've adopted a lot of physical movements to help me swallow them. At first I simply jerked my head back like normal; but now I'll do little hops, skips, or I'll brace myself on a door frame as I push back.

    Another thing that helps me is doing is a little fake-swallow while the pill's still in my mouth. I find that if I put the pills and the water in my mouth, and then do a swallowing movement with my throat, but without really swallowing anything, it kind of primes me to be able to do a strong swallow next.
  10. hi all,

    i have problems swallowing pills and food,and i notice it happens when my fibromyalgia has flared up,when the flare eases,i can swallow pills ok,but food has to be chopped up.

    im having a bad fibro flare just now.i know it will ease in a few days with rest,but im having quite a bad time with pain/swellings and burning sensations in my elbows,(inner part).im using biofreeze pain relieving gel on my arms,and lower parts of the legs,to try and ease the pain and muscle stiffness.

    ive only found that resting eases the pain,but dosent soften the leg muscles.

    the swallowing problem just goes away when its ready too.

    kind regards

    fran
  11. harmony21

    harmony21 New Member

    my meds and need to have something solid after swallowing pills otherwise they just stay stuck, sometimes my throat feels very thickened

    I did read somwhere that its a fm symptom or at least may be at times

    hugs
    Connie
  12. barne

    barne New Member

    Hi,
    I find when I am really struggling that applesauce is the answer. Crush up pills or empty capsules into it and mix. It doesn't taste the best, however, goes down much easier. You do have to ask pharmacist if you can crush and empty pills that way. Some meds have a matrix and should not be cut or crushed. Usually an extended release type of medicine should not be crushed. Sometimes instruction on your med bottle will say do not cut or crush. Hope this helps.
    Blessings,
    Barne
  13. DizzyS

    DizzyS New Member

    At least I know I'm not alone...but I pray we all could be normal again. I guess its just something else I have to learn to live with.
  14. DJM07

    DJM07 New Member

    and I also have TMJ. By my research TMJ can cause swallowing problems. I also cannot swallow certain foods or I my throat gets tired. I had the swallow test done twice and nothing showed up. It has gotten worst right along with my fibro. It is so hard to get a doctor to understand I cannot swallow big pills. I cannot eat grainy meat or tough meat. Even sometimes small pills will get hung. I do have dry throat, with severe dry eyes.

    Research TMJ and see if you hit any other of the symptoms. As far as me have Reflux...not so far that I know of.

    I wanted to add the first time I got a big ole pill stuck in my throat and I thought I was going to choke today from that day forward I started my pill swallowing phobia. Could it be that when it happens we are so afraid it will happen again that we tense our throats up. I think I do so that would just make it worst.<br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 09/02/2007</i>]
  15. ISTI

    ISTI New Member

    As a Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in swallowing disorders, I have seen many pills stuck in people's throat/pharyngeal area and yes it can be life-threatening. If you frequently choke on pills or can not swallow then easily, ask your doctor for a referral to a Speech Language Pathologist who specializes in swallowing disorders.
  16. znewby

    znewby Member

    lyme does cause swallowing problems, as you can see from this chart which outlines the digestive symptoms in one of the columns.&lt;BR&gt;
    &lt;BR&gt;
    http://www.lyme-symptoms.com/LymeCoinfectionChart.html&lt;BR&gt;
  17. ameilie73

    ameilie73 Member

    Had the swallowing test done, it was a while ago, they put quite a large tube down your throat then the have you sip some water and hold it in your mouth until you are told to swallow. Whst makes it diificult is the tube makes you want to keep swallowing. Depending on whether you can complete the procedure without taking an extra swallow its over relatively quickly.
    Sounds like your getting confused with that and the 24 hr acid reflux test that measures the strength of your acid. The swallowing test isnt pleasant as ive said its over quite quick. The 24 hr test starts of ok, the tube is alot smaller and yes your right it goes through your nose and hangs at the bottom of your oesophagus.its ok at first but by the night time and next morning you are desperate to get the tube out. However id do it again if i had to.&lt;BR&gt;
    &lt;BR&gt;
    I have trouble swallowing had acid reflux for years. I also get a problem were sometimes i'll drink something and i end up coughing like its gone done the wrong way. I think like whats been already said its muscle spasm or tightness. I to wake in the night feels like i cannot breath, i keep swallowing and swallowing like i am choking. I had a sleep study but they were only able to record a small amount of data because of insomnia.&lt;

    i also wonder if its because the acid affects the mucus lining in the throat hence why it can wake me up but why when i get up and have a warm drink it seems to produce mucus and coats my throat. It feels like during the night the mucus gets dry and congealed and aggravates my breathing too. Thats how i experience it. I feel better after a cup of tea in the morning. However, my throat always feels dry its even changed the sound of my voice. I avoid fruit juices or citric fruit which can aggravate reflux.


    &lt;BR&gt;
    Ameile
    &lt;br&gt;&lt;br&gt;[&lt;i&gt;This Message was Edited on 04/03/2013&lt;/i&gt;]
    <br><br>[<i>This Message was Edited on 04/03/2013</i>]
  18. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    &lt;BR&gt;
    I realize this post is old, but just happened to stop at this board today. I also have trouble swallowing pills that are not coated or in capsule form. I had a cervical spinal fusion almost 3 yrs ago, and that's when it got worse, probably because they went in through the front of my neck.&lt;BR&gt;
    &lt;BR&gt;
    I do have Fibro, and also have Scleroderma with Acid Reflux, and my Rhuemotologist always asks how my swallowing is because of my Scleroderma. I find I have more trouble getting it stuck in my throat, then when I eat food and it feels like it's stuck after I swallow. &lt;BR&gt;
    &lt;BR&gt;
    I hope you have your problem resolved by now OR have asked your Dr. if it could be crushed, etc. &lt;BR&gt;
    &lt;BR&gt;
    Have a good day all !!&lt;BR&gt;
    Donna :)