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Thread: Swallowing Difficulties

  1. #1

    Default Swallowing Difficulties

    For at least the past month I have difficulties with swallowing. It doesn't always happen but it does occur alot. It feels like something gets stuck at the base of my neck. Drinking something does not relieve it. Anyone experience something similar to this?

  2. #2
    Distinguished Community Member SalpalSally's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by newone View Post
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    For at least the past month I have difficulties with swallowing. It doesn't always happen but it does occur alot. It feels like something gets stuck at the base of my neck. Drinking something does not relieve it. Anyone experience something similar to this?
    Yep, swallowing problems are a sx of MS. I used to have it a lot and still have it once in awhile. I learned to never try to swallow with my head back or turned to the side. I'd choke every time. Take smaller bites, chew and keep your head down when you swallow.

    Last edited by SalpalSally; 11-08-2011 at 07:51 AM.
    Love, Sally

    "The best way out is always through". Robert Frost

  3. #3
    Distinguished Community Member Frog42's Avatar
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    I agree, Sally. It happens to me too. I had to start choking a few times to learn this.

    Whatever happens around you, don't take it personally. Nothing other people do is because of you. It is because of themselves. -- Miguel Ruiz

  4. #4
    Distinguished Community Member agate's Avatar
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    I agree with the advice given. One problem with trying not to turn your head is that it's difficult to eat with anyone else. You automatically turn your head to talk to somebody. I try to position people across from me but that doesn't always work out.

    I prefer eating alone. I'm less apt to choke--or to drop or spill things. Being anti-social isn't always a bad thing.
    MS, diagnosed 1980. Avonex 2001-2004. Copaxone 2006-2009.

    "Always put off until tomorrow whatever you think you should do today." --Anonymous

  5. #5
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    W. Mass


    I have a swallowing issue that is probably MS. Sometimes when swallowing, my esophagus clamps shut and I struggle to get air. It has thus far always released eventually (not dead yet) but it's always a bit scary. I hate when it happens if anyone is in the room. It flips them out as I struggle to get a whistle of air through the opening. I am discovering if I can make myself relax which is tough, it usually abates more quickly.

    Be the person your dog thinks you are

  6. #6


    The pain sometimes goes a bit lower to my upper back.

  7. #7


    I agree that chewing your food thoroughly is mandatory. Then no big pieces will get stuck. My worst problem is swallowing
    pills, especially the horse pills. I have to take two horse pills, potassium and magnesium, and I have taken to chewing them up
    (being careful not to break my expensively restored teeth) and then swallowing, and this helps. Because they taste awful, I have some juice ready, usually orange, to stop the taste.

    I did get that esophagus closure the other night and boy did I have heartburn after that. But his is rare for me. Years ago, when
    I was first dx'd with MS, I had more trouble swallowing, but I improved in general with my MS after dx, primarily because I got onto the Swank diet, which is about the only treatment I could take (none of the MS drugs were possible for me). Magnesium was given me instead of Baclofen and it works wonderfully well, and that, of course, was the primary achievement of my neurologist, to stop jerking and spasming with magnesium. As years passed I also needed more other supplements, E complex, D3, B1, to keep the jerks and spasms down.

    I don't know if swallowing problems are a spasm?

  8. #8
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    North Carolina


    I had a real problem with this a few years ago. I even threw up a few times, but was choking so bad that I was glad I did. Finally, I went to the Doctor and got my esophgus stretched. It helped, especially at first. He said I might have to have it done again. Right now I am trying to remember to do the things that the others have mentioned. I especially try to take smaller bites and chew the food really well - I have found that goes double if you eat any beef. Pills such as calcium and magnesium are a problem.

    I don't know what causes this, but I do know that it is not at all uncommon in people with MS

  9. #9
    Distinguished Community Member renee's Avatar
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    Up-upstate NY where it gets cooooold.


    It happens occasionally but usually with corn chips, no dip
    and no liquids available.

    My specialty is aspirating food or drink at parties.
    Last time I turned sort of blue and my wonderful ex-bossman
    came over, looked at me and said 'Always making a scene, eh.'

    I miss that guy a lot.
    He always knew when to do a Heimlich maneuver and when to joke on the dark side.

    When I got my conversion van, he asked to borrow my keys a couple of times to
    give his friends non-driving tours.
    A real kid.
    Very sympatico.
    Last edited by renee; 11-08-2011 at 10:41 PM.

  10. #10

    Default yes

    I have had a weakened esophegus for a long while. Having food stuck half way to your stomach can only be described as the most horrendous pain altho u can and do get used to it.
    RRMS Diag. Dec 08 - 4yrs 9mnths after first relapse
    11 lesions to date. IFnBeta Jan 09.

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