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Author Topic: Swallowing struggles, very scary.  (Read 242 times)

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Offline Zaxanadu

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Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« on: January 07, 2014, 08:35:38 AM »
Hi, I have no idea whether I have Health Anxiety or not, I have had an initial meeting with an advisor at my local Depression and Anxiety clinic and I have been referred to a therapist as they think I may have a case of Health Anxiety but to me it feels totally medical? Guess I'm not alone in that right? Anyway my current problem I have found on top of my constant nausea is my inability to swallow freely, every time I eat I feel like I am just going to gag and choke and I have to take a massive swallow just to get things down, it is really quite scary because every meal is now becoming a chore and one that I feel I could do with out but if I stop eating I will end up in hospital and that's not good for me or my family who would be worried sick about me. Even while I write this I feel very constricted in my swallowing and am even struggling to swallow my saliva. It's very disabling because I feel I have to reject all invitations to eat out because of my lack of hunger and my fear I am gonna make an ass of myself and choke. Has anyone else suffered with this because right now I feel like the loneliest person in the world because of this because I seem to push my family away and especially my girlfriend because I just go into my shell when I have my swallowing worries.

I have had a fair few tests, I had an Endoscopy about 4 months ago and that showed everything was fine but that didn't really reassure me a great deal because I was still getting my bouts of nausea and sickness and my swallowing was okay then but it's just got really bad the last couple of weeks. I have had a few blood tests and they came back fine, I have had countless doctors appointments and my doctors don't seem overly worried as I also had a chest x-ray a few months back which was fine. I was diagnosed with asthma in between all of this but the first question I asked was "Are you sure its asthma, could it be anything else?" I have always suffered with a certain amount of acid reflux for maybe 8-9 years but its the last year really where it gone to the forefront of my mind and it seems to be getting worse.

Sorry if I've gone on a bit but I was just wondering if anyone else has gone through what I've gone through and is there any light at the end of the tunnel because if I'm honest things look very very bleak at the moment :(

Thanks for taking the time to read this.

Simon.
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Offline psychopika

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #1 on: January 07, 2014, 09:05:59 AM »
It's very likely anxiety and the fact that you're overly conscious of an otherwise semi-unconscious process. By focusing on swallowing you can make yourself unable to swallow - I used to do that when I was younger, I focused on my swallowing and started getting scared of not being able to swallow and soon enough I had to make significant efforts to swallow my own saliva. It was very creepy.

Anyways, aside from focusing on a natural bodily process to obsession, anxiety and GERD can cause swallowing difficulty. Also read about Globus Hystericus. And check out these anxiety symptoms: http://www.anxietyzone.com/index.php/topic,73134.0.html - swallowing difficulty is one of them!
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Offline Zaxanadu

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #2 on: January 07, 2014, 09:11:42 AM »
Thanks for the reply and thanks for the advice, I have heard about the Globus Hystericus and I do fit the bill somewhat.

Got to admit I do think about it a lot and every thing I eat now I think "Oh my god I hope I can get through this meal without feeling like I am gonna choke or be sick!" Most of the time it does fail right now and I really struggle, I managed to get through a whole meal last night even though I felt up giving up halfway because I was struggling with every mouthful but I thought to myself that screw you anxiety I'm gonna eat this meal and finish it. I even managed to have a little dessert after it so I can swallow but it just seems like its really hard and unnatural. When it gets really bad I get so scared and freaked out.
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Offline psychopika

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #3 on: January 07, 2014, 09:14:30 AM »
How do you do with liquids? Is drinking any easier?
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Offline Zaxanadu

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #4 on: January 07, 2014, 09:18:43 AM »
It's not as bad certainly but there is still a very unnatural feeling even when swallowing liquids, when I am swallowing solids it does help when I drink a little bit of water with it. Sometimes I think I should just eat soup for dinner because at least that may go down easier. I would be even more worried if I hadn't had the scope down my throat but I still get the feeling what if they missed something or what if something has developed after that because my feelings have certainly got worse since the procedure.
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Offline psychopika

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #5 on: January 07, 2014, 09:25:26 AM »
No, I don't think they missed anything.

Something that would actually compress your pharynx and/or esophagus to the point of making your swallowing difficult would definitely show up on an X-ray and/or the endoscopy. There's nothing left but anxiety, which is often an exclusion diagnosis. Besides, it does figure that liquids would be easier to swallow because it would cause less spasms in the digestive tract.

No worries, you did all the tests to exclude something serious.

You should have a beer with your girlfriend, relax and enjoy yourself. Try not to prepare yourself mentally for swallowing difficulties before every meal because that alone can cause the symptoms. The mind of the hypochondriac is extremely suggestible - I should know! Once you understand that there is nothing wrong with you, the symptoms will start to fade. They haven't disappeared ONLY because you keep thinking about bad things.
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Offline cravenmobile

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #6 on: January 07, 2014, 09:32:46 AM »
How are your Tonsils in the back of your throat? Did you have them removed as a kid? Sometimes they can swell due to a local infection or a tooth problem and give this feeling.
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Offline Hypo84

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 09:44:09 AM »
Wanted to say it's reflux and hiatal hernia maybe but since you have done endoscopy it is just anxiety, i am sure.
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Offline Zaxanadu

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Re: Swallowing struggles, very scary.
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 09:58:04 AM »
I've always thought it was reflux and I guess it could be something like that because I've had the acidy problem in my throat for years and years now but usually it is just mild and goes away but it's the last year that it has been awful. I'm happy they didn't find anything in the endoscopy but it was kind of like err what is it then? So I'm starting to accept that it is anxiety but it's not easy when I've thought it has been a medical problem for so long.

I still have my tonsils and the doctors looked around that area in an examination because they thought I may have had thrush because of the steroid in my inhaler so I'm guessing they would have spotted some sort of inflammation.

I really try and switch my mind off it but it's so impossible at times because it's so fixed in my mind, guess when I get some therapy this will help. Hopefully that is soon.

Thanks for everyone's replies, really appreciate you all taking the time to try and help.
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