View Full Version : Trouble when swallowing

11-16-2008, 12:55 PM
Hi. i am curious if this is common among lupus patients? i can swallow food/liquids...but on the way down it gets stuck. it really hurts and can take a minute or so to go down. this is so embarresing when you are at the table with friends and you have to excuse yourself to wait for your food to go down. obviously i cant talk when this is happening so i look like i am choking.

i have had a barrium swallow showing reflux and a hiatial hernia, but nothing to explain the swallowing difficulties!

i have major heartburn so maybe this is all connected? has anyone here experienced this, if so what can you do about it? what did the doc say about it?

thanks in advance for any ideas!

11-16-2008, 01:03 PM
Hi MyNest,
I have problems with that too big time. My doctor told me that it is common to have happen to me, because I have Sjogrens Syndrome along with Lupus. I am wondering if you also have Sjogrens. I try to take very small bites of food and chew it very well before swallowing. I don't know of anything else. Maybe someone will come along that has a better answer.


11-16-2008, 04:30 PM
Hi MyNest..

I have GERD aka Gerdie....Unbeknown to me, my food was getting stuck, then for three days in a row and stayed there for hours. Finally, I went to the ER thought I was having a heart attack..

They did too, as heart disease in my family starts at an early age. I did the whole battery of tests...even the Nuclear Treadmill Stress Test. Popped nitroglycerin under my tongue, a patch on my chest and here it was dinner, hung up.

I had an esophagus dilation in April which alleviated the problem. It is still slow to move, but it doesn't get stuck anymore. The acid reflux inflames the esophagus which causes scarring, which causes narrowing....

Have you ever had an upper endoscopy? If there is narrowing, they will perform the dilation at that time..

I take Protonix, an acid inhibitor. I still get pain that it radiates in my whole chest cavity and upper back from heartburn and it isn't pleasant if I don't mind my eats. Even too much salt in flames the tube.

I also have Sjogrens and SLE. Lupus does affect the digestion system....an organ, stomach involvement.

Are you taking any acid inhibitors for your reflux? If so, maybe ask you doctor also to prescribe one in the AM and one in the PM...

Be well...

11-16-2008, 09:15 PM
ok, this is all too scary for me to hear!!!

my mom was diagnosed with Sjogrens, but i never imagined that I might have it too. i hate to admit this, but years ago, i didnt even think that sjogrens was a "real" disease. i didnt quite believe my mom until we lived near each other, and i could see first hand how she was suffering.

my rheumy has mentioned that to me but i never want to have such a thing so i have asked him to find other answers for me! i will ask him to do a blood test for sjogrens at our next apt.

there are just too many simaler symptoms to ignore. thanks for the thoughtful words.

i do take nexium, but only when i have the burning throught and spasms in the chest....maybe i should take it regularly!?

thanks again.

11-17-2008, 05:54 AM
Hi MyNest,
I know that it is scary to hear, but it is better to know the enemy and to deal with it then to let it slide by and damage you. I take Pepcid AC and that seems to work for me. I hope that you get the help for this when you talk to your doctor. They treat Sjogrens with Plaquenil as well. I hope that you get to feeling better.

sick n tired
11-20-2008, 10:54 PM
Hey mynest,

I have the same symptoms also...i have just recently been dx'd with Sjogrens.
I have a further complication and that is I have tested positive with having the beginnings of Barretts Esophagus.

Like Oluwa... Gerdie(gerd) comes for a visit often.( actually the visit is not) but for me it has changed the cells in the esophogus to look like the stomach lining. The only problem is that it can turn into cancer...that is what my dad had and died of... I can sympathize with you that you didn't want to hear that you have what your mom has because that was my reaction to having what Daddy had.

Like Oluwa said you might want to explore taking an acid inhibitor at least with your doctor...I take pantoprozole (protonix I think), mylanta and pepcid complete. The mylanta and pepcid complete is over the counter.

11-28-2008, 07:34 PM
I also suffer from intense swallowing difficulties. I haven't been diagnosed with Sjogrens, in fact I'm pretty sure my rheumatologist said i didn't have that.

I had an upper GI, drank the barium cocktail...delish! It showed musculature issues. She described it as a series of muscles that contract in coordinated-timed movements to move food down the esophagus, but with me, my muscles are contracting all spastically at different times, so the food gets stuck. I was put on nexium, which did absoultely nothing and then Rantitidine (I think it's a generic for an antacid). It kind of helps but I still suffer with it sometimes. When it happens, I have this wickedly severe pain between my shoulder blades, sometimes for weeks. I hate it.

Sorry you guys have that too. It's dreadful!