ESOPHAGEAL SPASMS! WHAT MEDS WORK?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia and ME & Chronic Fatigue Syndrome' started by CarolK, Jul 7, 2005.

  1. CarolK

    CarolK New Member

    DOES ANYONE GET ESOPHAGEAL SPASMS...and if so, what meds work for you?? They can be extremely painful and scary!!

    I was just chatting with Gravitychallenged and she said she was taking Protonix for quite a few years. I also take Protonix... but my doc wants me off them for some reason... not sure why, but need to ask her.

    I've tried Prilosec (OTC) and an Rx of Ranitidine... neather do the job that Protonix does. I have found that Protonix does the job quite well... but I'm interested in alternatives.

    Got any suggestions... I would love to know what works for you.

    Thanks... CarolK
  2. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Can you explain what it feels like? I had an episode back in April where I had intense pain behind my breastbone (not a burning pain at all--more like a spasm of some sort), and my docs think it is a reflux problem. They said that burping, passing gas, or eating would make it better, but for me, it seemed that burping is what CAUSED the pain. My doc said that if it was an esoph. spasm, it was a very difficult thing to treat and then he moved on. :shrug:

    Anyway, it lasted for a couple weeks, maybe three, and then they mysteriously went away. I took the genereic Ritinadine or whatever and it did seem to help me. I have since started using Beano. I don't know what is helping, but I haven't had that pain since April. Maybe less stress?

    Nicole
  3. CarolK

    CarolK New Member

    The pain I have with the esophageal spasms is much different. It feels like your throat and upper chest (just below adams apple) are being squeezed. It literally constricts and will not allow food, saliva or water to pass.

    Whatever you try to swallow just sits in your throat, you CANNOT swallow it at all... that's when I run to the bathroom and vomit it out. Then there is a burning and pressure feeling that radiates from the neck until the muscles finally relax. NOT FUN AT ALL!

    What you are describing sounds like something different. But do follow through with your doctor to rule out any other problems! What women sometimes think is heartburn can indeed be something more serious... ie...heart problems.

    That is why I went to emergency one time... my hubby thought I was having a heart attack! The nurse at the ER said I was wise to come in cause too many women dismiss upper chest or throat pains thinking that it just acid reflux. She told me that she also had esophageal spasms and that they do mimic a heart attack.

    So take care of yourself Nicole and get everything checked out with your doc!! I really hope this does not scare you.. just want you to be cautious!!

    Blessings to you Nicole.... CarolK
  4. lvjesus

    lvjesus Member

    his doc said it was from a hiatal hernia, but he also has GERD and Barretts esophagus and is on Prevacid. Well, actually Prevacid is $50 a month with his insurance so he takes Prilosec OTC.

    Usually he can wash whatever is stuck down with a drink, but one time he got a piece of chicken stuck at my Mom's house (2 hours from home) and we waited hours for it to go down. Never happened. So we drove home and went to the emergency care center (doc in a box) then they sent us to the ER where he finally had to have it taken out by endoscopy.

    He could not swallow anything either and whatever he drank came right back and periodically he would have to spit out his saliva too, so he had to ride home with the trash can in his lap. Not a good day.

    You need to go to a GI doc to have this checked out though. Some of the things he was told to do (but does not) is to take smaller bites and chew very well. That way you do not have too much going down at one time.

    Sonya
  5. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    Those spasms are the very worst part of this dx for me.

    The spasms mimic a heart attack.

    From reading other posts it seems that for some, the spasms occur further up the esphagus.

    I was checked out for my heart, it's ok.

    Anyway if it was my heart I would have been dead along time ago.


    Stress, being over tired or woking too hard[even typing] can bring it on.

    What works for me? Deep breaths, monitering stress levels and my dr. suggested L/Glutimine.

    That took some time for it to kick in, but it did seem to prevent attacks.I am much better than I used to be.

    Oh yes, magnesium too
    Hope this helps! arrlyn
  6. lighthouselady

    lighthouselady New Member

    I spent last Friday and part of Saturday in the hospital for observation. I went in with chest pain about 4:30 a.m. on Friday. I had a stress last December and eveything was okay but the pain was acting just like a heart attack. One of the reasons they kept me was that Nitro & Morphine took away the pain. My doctor later told me that those meds will also take away the pain from esophageal spasms, so it mimics a heart attack many times. Now that I know it isn't my heart I feel relieved. I have to go back to the doctor on the 13th to find out what he wants to do. I've been on Prilosec, then Prevacid, then Protonix, now Aciphex. Nothing seems to really help it to totally go away.

    Is this just another symptom of FM? If it is, I don't think that's quite fair.

    Judy
  7. Denamay

    Denamay New Member

    I think caroleye has it right. Those spasms have something to do with stomach acid. That is why the dr. suggested L/Glutimine for me. That stuff is good for things like IB and ulcers. Cheers arrlyn
  8. CarolK

    CarolK New Member

    THANKS TO EVERYONE FOR YOUR IMPUT!! I appreciate all of you for giving me ideas.

    Caroleye... Thanks for mentioning the tyroid thing... I never even considered that my thyroid meds might be too low and contributing to this spasm problem!

    Lighthouselady... well I don't know if these spasms are a part of fm or not... I've never read anywhere that the two are connected. But since fm affects every part of your body, I wouldn't be surprised if they were somehow related.

    Arrlyn...thanks for you imput too!

    Sonya...Sounds like your hubby has has a rough time with these spasms too! And YES! I have gone to a GI doctor, who did a laproscopic procedure and dilated the muscle rings in my throat. They did find that one of the muscle rings was greatly enlarged. That is when they started me on the Protonix.

    So thanks to you all for your thoughts on this.

    Blessings to all.... CarolK[This Message was Edited on 07/08/2005]
  9. Shellz

    Shellz New Member

    I just got told yesterday that i have esoph. spasms its terrible pain....im only 19 so i thourt i was dying, but my doctor prescribed me BUSCOPAN and they worked well.
  10. Sue50

    Sue50 New Member

    Esoph. spasm and my friend took me to the ER because she thought I was having a heart attack, from what I understood from the Dr and a paramedic is that it had to do with what I was eating-peanut butter and bread that brought it on, the Dr. said he would give me his esoph. spasm cocktail, didnt ask what it was, but it worked, he didn't have any suggestions on medicine to take, just advised me if it happened again to come back to the ER.
  11. Gail8899

    Gail8899 New Member

    One thing that MS patients are taught about E spasms is to slightly tilt the head forwards when swallowing anything..even a sip of water. Generally people tilt the head backwards, and this can cause the spasms to start.

    I take no meds for mine, just use the head tilt.

    When you forget, and something gets stuck you need to breathe slowly, but not deeply through the nose while trying to swallow, and waiting for the spasm to pass. A big inhale like you would need to cough, or vomit can cause aspiration of the food partcles or liquid into the lungs.

    ..Gail
  12. CFIDSNicole

    CFIDSNicole New Member

    Well, I didn't have E spasms then I guess. i did have the feeling that I thought food was getting stuck on its way down, adn I could definitely feel it moving down there, but that wasn't the painful part. The painful part was something else.

    I did go to the doctor about it--I talked to my GP and my CFIDS doc about it, and they both think it was probably just a reflux problem--I never get heartburn and it didn't feel like burning, but they didn't think it was anything big.

    I guess I'll just forget about it until it comes back some day.

    Thank you,
    Nicole
  13. fairydust39

    fairydust39 New Member


    I would go to the Herb shop and get Pure Peppermint Oil.About $8.00 for a 2 oz.bottle,which will last for a very long time.
    Just put a drop on the back of your hand and lay your tongue on it. It is wonderful for any kind of digestive problems and the nice part is,that it won't stop your food from digesting. They also have "Enternic Coated Peppermint Oil Capsules" that will stop intestinal spasms.
    Hugs Shirley
  14. CarolK

    CarolK New Member

    Thats a great idea about the peppermint oil... never thought of that before! Not sure what it would do for the spasms... but I will give it a try!

    Thanks so much! CarolK
  15. CarolK

    CarolK New Member

    Thanks for the tip about tilting the head forward!! In the past I have tried to sit up extra straight in my chair.. or stand up and straighten my neck out tilting it slightly back.

    But if tilting it back makes it worse, then I will try the forward tilt.

    How did you find out that MS patients are told to do this. Do you have MS.. or someone you know??

    Right now the Protonix is doing a good job of keeping the spasms away. I am just concerned cause my pc is trying to wean me off the Protonix.... I hate the thought of ever having another spasm... they are most painful!

    Blessings to you Gail! CarolK
  16. Gail8899

    Gail8899 New Member

    I've been dxd with "possible" MS. I know it's Lyme, and the drs know it too, but they can't treat it, and won't discuss it. The Lyme causes the same symptoms as MS right down to brain lesions. In my case I have no insurance, and can get no medical card so I haven't had an mri to confirm brain lesions.
    So they dx possible MS according to my physical, and neurological symptoms.

    Have been having the E spasms for over two years now. Other people with MS told me about the tilt trick, and it does work if you remember in time. It still helps after a spasms has already started too. Main thing is to not panic.

    ..Gail
  17. lil45

    lil45 New Member

    does it feel as though someone is grabbing you and the releasing just behind the breastbone and a burning sensation.
    i have had these things happen twice and it has scared me.
    thanks
    louise
    [This Message was Edited on 07/29/2005]
  18. Sue50

    Sue50 New Member

    that is what it feels like, you should talk to you DR about it just to make sure.
    Sue