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Old 27-03-12, 16:34
stuart39 stuart39 is offline
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Join Date: May 2008
Posts: 100
Barium Marshmallow

The problem with swallowing solid food rumbles into its.......yep, 31st year!

Anyway, I had the 24hr pH manometry back in Feb - no reflux.
I also had the baseline (larger probe) and secondary manometry (smaller probe swallowing small amounts of water over 20 minutes) tests done in hospital and those results were also normal. They did find the odd spasm in the gullet but the peristalsis and LES is working fine. I do have a tiny hernia in the gullet but I have been advised it is so small as to be discounted as the cause of my problem.

My consultant said she wanted to get me back for a barium swallow involving chopped up marshmallows coated in barium.

Last week I was back for the barium test and have yet to find out the results. The test itself has improved a lot since my last barium 6 years ago in 2006 where the barium solution was like trying to drink a dry chalky concrete like milkshake. This time round i was laid on my side on the x-ray table and told to take small sips/swallows through 2 straws of the barium that was prepared into a small plastic cup. easy as pie.
then they raise you to your feet on the table and I was told to drink the solution from a cup standing at a slight angle to the Xray machine, hold it in my mouth and then swallow on command. That was fine too. Finally the marshmallow was prepared and coated in barium. I was told to chew this but not too much and let the radiographer know with a hand signal when i was happy to swallow it so they could capture it on video. It took 3 swallows to clear my mouth of the marshmallow. Seemed fine. They also checked the size of my stomach. From the poker faces of the 3 staff present I couldnt read them as to whether they had spotted anything but they were very friendly, helpful and reassuring (as usual).

The problem I think I have is that by and large my problems swallowing solid food only really manifest themselves once eating is underway ie: after a few mouthfuls. I am beginning to think the problem is with my tongue and the way it pushes the food back during a swallow. Its kind of where tablets feel like they stick too sometimes.

Whenever I use mouthwash i find my tongue gets very fatigued during a rigourous swilling around of the mouthwash. Fine at the start but I cant keep it up for long as the tongue begins to hurt. The bottle says to swill for 30 seconds and i can feel like a mild cramping starting to build in my tongue after just 10-15 seconds of swilling.

My tongue doesnt begin to hurt when I am eating but it does feel as if its lost some of its uumph in helping my swallows after I have started a meal.

If you know of any blogs, dysphagia forums, sites describing any treatments or stories or other useful online places that I might be able to find people in a similar situation do post or PM me.

I expect to get a letter any day now calling me back for the results of the bariums. Frankly because you have to fast from midnight before the test i dont expect the tests will pick up on any abnormalities especially in my tongue. It certainly didnt get fatigued during these tests.

Is there a way around this? Having the tests done under conditions where I have started to get that tired tongue feeling? I wish now I had constantly done dry swallows in the waiting room before going into the xray room. I may suggest this to my consultant for another test.

Even if somebody told me the problem is with the tongue-where the heck does that leave me then? Ive never heard of any drugs or treatments for fatigue of the tongue.
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