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Thread: Swallowing Issues

  1. #1

    Swallowing Issues

    Iím at my wits end right now with swallowing issues. I cannot swallow without feeling like I am going to choke because my swallow reflex doesnít seem to want to work when I want/need it to.

    This had only happened once previously and that was about 3 years ago and I put it aside as a one off but over the last 2 weeks it has been happening multiple times per day. I donít think it has helped that I fell well and truly down the ALS rabbit hole the previous 4-6 weeks which despite reading the stickyís in that particular forum multiple times per day has not helped at all. I saw a neurologist on Monday who did an EMG of my left forearm, tricep, bicep, sternocleidomastoid and under my chin and said they were normal. I trust her judgement but it seems subconciously that I do not as I have spent the last 5 days searching for answers as to why I cannot swallow like I used to do, normally.

    Yes I am incredibly anxious right now, I keep getting waves of panic when I go to swallow water and it is making my life miserable. To be honest I feel pretty damn depressed about it all and its getting me down. Fwiw it is worth, I know I suffer with HA very badly, Iíve convinced myself numerous times that I have all kinds of deadly diseases, ailments or other crazy stuff and they have usually been accompanied by physical symptoms that cannot be medically explained. My EMG was clean on Monday for example yet Iím still in the absolute mess unable to swallow without panicking or without it feeling forced whilst sometimes getting that Ďstuckí feeling. The one where you go to swallow but freeze. It seems to be more of an issue with fluids. What the hell is wrong with me? I want to get back to enjoying life but each day is becoming harder and harder right now.

  2. #2

    Re: Swallowing Issues

    Hi Rob, you aren't ALONE! This week i have been to see a neurologist for exactly what you are mentioning above, its making me feel like i can't eat/drink/swallow anything without over thinking and i have muscle tremors to accompany my symptoms which are making it a million times worse. I have recently been on an antidepressant and he thinks its that which has caused the twitching rather than anything more serious but its so hard not to let the mind wander.

    Are you on any anxiety medication or short acting ones to help with lowering your anxiety? it may be worth asking the Gp to recommend a short acting drug just to take the edge off your panic. I am currently on propranolol and that has helped a bit. The worry is still there but not the raging panic, which is helping me think less of it. i have found distracting myself when eating or drinking with telly or conversations it takes the mind off it massively.

    Take care of yourself.

  3. #3

    Re: Swallowing Issues

    I havenít tried any medication yet. The neurologist I saw doesnít seem to have any concerns following the EMG. I know deep down that these Ďsymptomsí are a manifestation of my anxiety and Iíve clearly let myself get worked up to the point that theyíre getting worse. As all with HA know, it isnít as simple of just believing that.

    The strange bit is that I can swallow solid food relatively fine. Sometimes it seems to just slip down my throat without me actually swallowing which is a bit disconcerting, same with liquids at times. It is the swallowing of liquids that is becoming more and more difficult by the day.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2013

    Re: Swallowing Issues

    TBH, things like that happen and for most people, they just shrug and move on. For anxiety sufferers, it becomes a focal point just compounding the problem. You're hyper-focusing and that's the real issue. I wish I had a magic answer but the bottom line is to work on the real issue which is your anxiety.

    Positive thoughts
    "Eat. Drink. Enjoy the work you do. Be thankful for the blessings God gives you in this life. Live, love and seek out the things that bring your heart joy. The rest is meaningless... Like chasing the wind." King Solomon

    The best help is the help you give yourself!

  5. #5

    Re: Swallowing Issues

    How are you now rob ? Hope your symptoms have relaxed.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2013

    Re: Swallowing Issues

    Hi, I had this for months, I would choke on my food every time I ate, I had to drink loads of water with every meal for food to go down and even then it felt like it was stuck, it was horrible. In my case it turned out to be lack of acid in my stomach, I was put on Betaine and after 2 or 3 days I was fine again

  7. #7

    Re: Swallowing Issues

    The swallowing issue subsided relatively quickly.

    It has since been replaced with acid reflux issues (or so my doctor says) that are the bane of my existence. Iíve had a sore, red throat for weeks on end now with red patches/spots there. No doctor seems concerned by them and a few have seen them so maybe that should be ok. My chest hurts in the middle when I swallow some foods. This seems to have coincided with the worst hay-fever Iíve ever had too. My eyes are so red and nose is ever-so runny after going outside for only a while. Iím on meds for the stomach acid issue and tbh they donít seem to be doing anything for it. Iíve tried sleeping on my left side now for the last few weeks instead of my back, but given it is so hot, weíve been sleeping with the air conditioning on and that canít be doing my red throat any good either.

    MehÖ I had my Covid vaccine about 5 weeks ago and Iíve not felt right since then. Part of me feels this is mostly all down to anxiety and a lot of the symptoms Iím experiencing are psychosomatic, the other part of me is always thinking about the Ďwhat ifí.

    How are you Worryguts? Has it also subsided for you too?

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