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Esophageal Spasm

Jan 20, 2015 10:12 PM

Omg!! It is excruciating... And creates a fear in me... I go into like a panic attack. And all I can do is ride it out.

Jan 21, 2015 7:19 AM

Bless your heart I am so sorry! I have them and yes they can create panic, not just in me but others who witness it. Do you have Tessalon pearls (benzonatate)? They're for bronchial coughs & spasms. I keep them on supply (Rx) since 2 8 years ago. For the past 2 years they've been so bad, I & my family were scared I was going to pass out. My doc recently wrote on my newest Rx to take 1/3x day. They're so common now that anything can trigger them. Use to it was only when I had bronchitis.

When they're occurring try to stay as calm as possible and stretch you neck upwards and slightly forward while keeping your mouth open, and gently wrap your hand across the front of your neck stroking/massaging up and down. If you are asthmatic like me, use your inhaler! Your trachea & bronchial tubes tighten & narrow when these spasms occur. I know this because the ENT doc scoped me and saw it happening! Its really hurts and I cry every times, from pain & fear. But it happened in front of my granddaughter one time, and my husband told her to run and get my inhaler, and she did. When it was all over we showed her how to dial 911 if she's ever alone with me and I pass out.

I have had Sjogrens for several years and ironically yesterday I came across a very good article telling the damage it can do all over the body. Sjogrens damages lubricated organs, including the lungs, bronch & trachea tubes. There seems to be a connection between Sjogrens, asthma, and fibromyalgia. I don't know if you have any other issues, but I have all these. Remember to stay as calm as you can.

Jan 21, 2015 7:22 AM

The Sjogrens info is on the national rheumatology website. I found it under "related rheumatic issues."

Jan 21, 2015 11:59 AM

Thank you Flappyady... I appreciate every bit of info I can gather! I wish some relief for you... You are always one to offer encouragement and experienced words to others I only wish I had some to share.
I have had spasms for around 30 years and have been blown off by doctors for not only that but also for Costcochrronditis, a strange head bobbing thing, and skin sensations. I am wondering if it is an autoimmune issue and who I should see for that.
My thought is that maybe the spasms were related to cell changes with the Barretts Esophagus I was diagnosed with this past summer. The frequency of the spasms have gone way way down. That's why I was so surprised by the episode I had last night.

Jan 21, 2015 12:23 PM

My PCP said my fibromyalgia, costochondritis, asthma, Sjogrens, Raynaud's, & esophageal spasms (started w bronchitis, led to asthma, then the spasms) are all related to each other; autoimmune diseases. I just got my latest labs back and my Sjogrens (anti-ss-b), neutrophils, wbc, lymphs, & c reactive proteins are all elevated. It probably explains why I'm still sick, since November, with upper respiratory issues.

I could cry about it all, actually did until I accepted it, but I've learned if I keep a positive attitude as much as possible, not only does my stress level stay down, so does my pain.

Jan 21, 2015 12:24 PM

At one point I was prescribed nitro for them but it expired before I used it

Jan 21, 2015 12:28 PM

Well do some research in the asthma area and you might find more useful info. I never would have believed a chronic cough is a sign of asthma, but I've lived it. And lucky me, my first attack (other than shortness of breath exercising) was status asthmatics, which cost me getting a heart catch procedure because I displayed all typical heart attack symptoms... Lol I have a beautiful heart 💖

Jan 21, 2015 12:29 PM

That's status asthmaticus...stupid auto correct

Jan 21, 2015 12:49 PM

Another weird thing with the esophageal spasms is that at the onset I get a sick sort of headache in my temples that is very obvious... Any idea about that?

Jan 21, 2015 8:36 PM

I had an appt today and I started coughing, which started my spasms. The receptionist got me some water and my husband was telling her about my asthma/allergies/cough/spasms, and that I was using benzonatate. She said she understands because she has all that too, but she can't use the benzonatate...it gives her bad headaches. Wonder if that's causing my headaches in the morning? She gets an Rx for Tussinex, stronger than OTC kind.

Feb 17, 2015 1:15 AM

I was diagnosed with diffuse esophageal spasms several years ago. It was caused by dysfunction of the lower third of the esophagus. They were very painful and caused me to choke on food a lot. The doctor prescribed calcium channel blockers (diltiazem). This helped to settle the spasm and I rarely get these attacks now.

Feb 17, 2015 10:11 AM

What a relief I'm sure Victoria, I don't have frequent attacks like I used to but I'm wondering if that's because the cells have changed. This is another example of my doctor dropping the ball with me. He knew I had spasms for 25+ years and finally referred me for a scope and biopsy

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