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Food and pills hurt badly to swallow

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  • Food and pills hurt badly to swallow

    Has anyone ever had what I'm experiencing currently?

    Namely, swallowing a pill - just a little ppi pill, feels like a rock getting stuck in my esophagus. And then I tried chasing with plenty of water, but did not help. Then tried a few bites of solid food to try to sweep it down, but it just felt like the food got stuck too and hurt badly.

    My gi is booking my endoscopy late November. The nurse I spoke to on the phone advised me to back off to clear liquid diet.

    Can someone put this into perspective for me, as far as when I should go into the ER and demand to get scoped? It's just incredible the wait times nowadays to get scheduled for appointments, procedures, etc.

    No doubt the 10 days in the hospital in August with the NG tube down my throat was a tremendous irritant on my LES.

    Any suggestions?

  • #2
    Can you tell where in your esophagus the pill is getting stuck? Is it near your stomach or higher up?

    Lots of things can cause dysphagia. A stuck pill can cause 'pill esophagitis.' You may have a stricture from reflux. Another possibility is eosinophilic esophagitis, an allergic condition of the esophagus. That can act up in the fall when mold and ragweed are a problem. It's not common, but young males (35 is the average age among adults) are susceptible. Food and pill impactions are a classic presentation. If you are biopsied, they may be able to tell if you have this, but the research is showing that biopsy is not as reliable as once believed.

    I have had a tremendous amoung of LPR, but this is relieved by avoiding food allergens. Ever been tested?


    • #3
      By the way, if you are insured and you are in tremendous pain during an impaction, a trip to the ER is not unreasonable.


      • #4
        I've noticed the last week or so it hurting more and more even when swallowing saliva. Today caught me by surprise how bad it hurt to swallow the pill and the food though. It's tough to tell definitively where the pain is due to the nerves down there not being real precise. My best analogy is simply when you swallow a chip and maybe it's too big or goes down sideways and it hurts. You can't tell exactly where. But in general, I believe the pain is at or near the LES. I'm kind of guaging this based on the pain I had in the hospital with the NG tube, which had a 1-inch caked on bloody spot at the point on the tube that I figure matches up with the location of the LES. This pain seems very similar to that pain. I'm sure it's just massive inflammation at present. Now here I go again down the path of praying it hasn't become cancerous since my last scope 2 years ago.

        I can't even seem to take ibuprofen or aspirin without it making my body go into a bit of shock.

        I was trying some turmeric powder last night, just a tiny bit of it. When I swallowed some with a bit of water, I noticed it caused my worst lpr symptoms, such as cough. And last night I had coughing when sleeping, which I only have when things are inflamed at their worst, which I haven't had for a year or two. So I'm absolutely convinced by now that symptoms such as coughing are not due to vapor getting into my airway - it's totally a reflex due to little irritants finding their way into my open LES wound.

        I guess my only hope is to find some way to calm things down as much as possible down there. Solid food is out. Egg whites are the most benign source of calories and nutriton that I know of.

        But anyway, I'm just in pain currently. Just the general sensation of a piece of gravel stuck down in my esophagus somewhere. No idea whether anything is actually down there or not. Last time I got scoped, I felt that my ppi pill was still stuck in my throat but it was not. Based on the pain I felt tonight when trying to swallow my pill, my best guess is that my LES tissues are simply very swollen and inflamed.


        • #5
          Hi Mark- I am of course new here, but I have seen enough of your posts here to know you are intelligent on the subject of LPR/GERD. So hearing that you are having increasing difficulty is discouraging for me and probably others. I wanted to ask if you have ever heard of Active Manuka Honey? I have seen at least one site which claims there is extensive research that shows AMH heals the lining of the esophogus. If you would like me to send the link let me know. Hope things get better.


          • #6
            I'm always open to ideas Matt, yes please post the link thanks.

            I did by the way head in to the hospital the other evening but they took the xray and said it's not life threatening. Since then I've scaled back my consumption and my esophagus is rapidly improving. I think basically what happened was my reflux was so bad that my esophagus got swollen inside and my ppi pill impacted and it made like a charley horse in my esophagus so it was like a bruise which hurt. It feels much better now though after only a couple days suprisingly. I put my bed up on blocks again a few days ago so maybe that is helping too, though it's such a pain to sleep at such an angle with the blankets always sliding down and such.

            I'm guessing that all of my beer consumption, while in the short run feeling like it was really helping my symptoms greatly, perhaps underlying, it was somehow worsening the underlying condition without my realizing it. So I'm going to stop the beer and just try to eat tiny bland meals.


            • #7
              Mark- glad to hear you are feeling better. I do not have any great link on active manuka honey, and in fact there seems to be no scientific evidence which shows that it is effective for epsphogeal repair. However there does seem to be scientific in being effective in wound repair to the skin, and to be a factor in skin rejuvination in general. Anyway I will provide you the one link that caught me eye and you can google it to get some more links if you like.



              • #8
                Hey Kevin, which food allergens do you think aggravate your symptoms? And how did you find out which ones - by medical testing or by diet?


                • #9
                  pills, pain, ice cream

                  This thread is so interesting - once again, you and I are having similar issues. Last week, I went to a doctor who recommended to me that I take a particular supplement that would help me with inflammation in my shoulders. I was to take them on an empty stomach twice a day. He is aware of my gastric issues and said it wouldn't be a problem. Well after two days, of taking it - day three: I had the worst heartburn and chest pains that I've had in a year and a half. It put me back to the way I felt before I got better. What a horrible day.

                  And here's where the similarity to your situation is: Swallowing anything, including water, was extremely painful. It felt like my LES was closed up and simply did not want to let anything through without a struggle. Taking pills was out of the question - it really hurt.

                  I was verrrry careful about what I ate. I normally am on a very restricted diet, but this time I only ate applesauce and scrambled eggs - and took teeny bites and chewed really well - and drank water with each mouthful (I normally don't drink water with my meals - I'm told it dilutes the digestive juices). It's gotten better over the past two days, although I still got heartburn last night (nowhere near as bad as the day before) and it still hurts when I swallow pills - but not quite as badly.

                  Here's an interesting thing...the only thing that helped me when it was really bad on Saturday was ICE CREAM!! (I knew that one day ice cream would save my life) Actually, I don't eat dairy - this was frozen gelato made from cashew milk, all vegan, and sweetened with agave nectar. It's good and it is, for all intents and purposes, ice cream. Anyway, it cooled off the heartburn and it seems to have coated the esoph/stomach and I felt much better. Go figure. For the past year and a half, I've stayed away from frozen treats or ice water because so many people on here mentioned that frozen stuff gave them esophageal spasms - but that may be more surgery-related. Recently, I gave the gelato a try and it was just fine. And here, this time, it was my medicine!

                  Well, I'm still having trouble with pills ...not as bad as it was... so it seems to me that setting off gastritis and heartburn irritated the esoph/LES and I just have to wait for it to heal. And I'm always keeping ice cream in the freezer (although it's hard to just keep it there...I have to keep replacing it when I eat it.)

                  I hope you're feeling better today.


                  • #10

                    That is coincidence isn't it. I'm doing the same type of routine, I'm eating eggs and yogurt and rice noodle soup. Keepin it soft. Foregoing my daily vitamin pill. I think my gi will scope me soon, maybe even this week, I'm not sure. I think because I have so much burning, I've become very nervous over cancer possibilities when I sense having a swollen spot in my esophagus, otherwise I would probably pass on the scope. I just had one 2 years ago. I don't know if cancer can develop within 2 years or not. Hopefully not.


                    • #11

                      Originally posted by Mattnapa View Post
                      Mark- glad to hear you are feeling better. I do not have any great link on active manuka honey, and in fact there seems to be no scientific evidence which shows that it is effective for epsphogeal repair. However there does seem to be scientific in being effective in wound repair to the skin, and to be a factor in skin rejuvination in general. Anyway I will provide you the one link that caught me eye and you can google it to get some more links if you like.

                      I think you're right Matt. I see there are some items on pubmed also that seem to indicate that manuka honey can be helpful for some ailments. I thought I'd give it a try, so I stopped by my local organic grocery store and bought their last jar of Active Manuka Honey tonight. I guess it can't hurt to try it. It's a little different than regular honey I think. It's a little more like a waxy solid, it's not really liquid. I think you could probably turn it upside down and it wouldn't drip.


                      • #12
                        Manuka Honey

                        My experience is that Manuka Honey is very helpful. Try to find the highest active number possible (highest= 20+). Manuka Honey has anti-microbial, anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory and overall healing properties. I highly recommend using in "Tulsi" (holy basil) tea, especially the original flavor. A cup sipped slowly can offer some relief.


                        • #13
                          There is no number on my honey jar. It just says U.S. Fancy Grade 100% Raw Certified Manuka Honey Active, New Zealand 500g. Kiwi Kosher Pareve. Packed in New Zealand by Arataki for: Pacific Resources International POB 668 Summerland CA 93067. Ingredients: Pure Manuka Floral Honey.

                          ok, so now I'm looking at this website [url][/url]

                          which mentions that if there is no number, then it is classified as table honey. Did I just get ripped off on my honey purchase?? I guess I must surely conclude that I did get ripped off, or maybe I should say I was an uninformed buyer. I thank you for that info and will keep shopping for some better honey. And thanks for the tip about the tea, I could definitely use some relief from this constant pain.


                          • #14
                            ok, help me out here. Now when I click on the next link it takes me to the honey seller store: [url][/url]

                            Now I'm looking at the honey options, and some go as high as 25+, and cost like $81.35 for a little jar same size as I bought today. Is this for real?? Or would I be duped? I'm completely ignorant as a Manuka honey consumer.


                            • #15
                              ok, sorry I'm going a little crazy here on the follow up honey posts. I just found this link which purports to help make me a better informed Manuka honey buyer [url][/url]

                              And with that I think I'll conclude I made a bad purchase on the honey today. Glad you gave me a bit of education right off the bat Phatfried!