Are you getting food stuck at the top of your throat or chest? It feels like your esophagus has collapsed and you can’t even swallow the saliva in your mouth. What happens is your lower esophagus muscle or sphincter muscle doesn’t relax properly to let food enter your stomach. Your muscles in your esophagus that allow food or liquid to pass are usually closed when you are not swallowing.
It may seem to be right the opposite, but your throat is normally closed, until you swallow. I personally have experienced this sticking or closed throat situation and it was absolutely nerve racking the first time or two. Not that each time I’ve experienced it hasn’t been, but I have learned to deal with it in a more calming fashion now.
The worst reaction to your throat contraction or sticking is to panic. Once you realize your throat will not allow you to swallow and food is lodged, you can still breathe, so relax as much as possible. The time it takes for your throat to open can vary considerably. My throat constrictions situations have varied from a few seconds to several minutes. There was one occasion where it was stuck for approximately 45 minutes. The types of food usually are common that trigger these throat constrictions. From coated pills, to lettuce and red meats are the most common among sufferers of throat constriction. As time goes on and you encounter more occasions of throat constrictions you may have more foods that become triggers. Cheeses and baked potatoes may also cause you to experience the throat constrictions too.
My first experience actually led me to the ER to have the red meat stuck in my throat to be pushed down with the help of ER personnel. I later went to an ear nose and throat doctor that took a camera scope down my throat and determined some minor throat abrasions but nothing more.
Some other interesting facts that I have gather with my personal experiences with my throat closing while eating is, it’s an immediate knowing as to what is happening and as I said before, do not panic, it is not life threatening. You can still breathe. If you can get outside so that you can continue to spit your saliva as it continues to build in your throat, do that. You never realizes how much you salivate until you can’t swallow it. So many helpful souls will try to get you to drink something. This doesn’t work. If you can take very small sips of water. Any other fluid usually contains sugar or other flavors that may prevent the throat from opening.
Another fact that seems to be quite obvious is the age factor. Since my experiences, I have talked to others and it seems to happen over 40 years of age more often. The unmistakable gurgling sound when a person is experiencing the throat collapse seems universal.
Since I have not sought more medical attention, being the typical male, I have done some things that affected the frequency of this event. I chose to lose some weight and mysteriously this throat constriction problem simple went away after I had lost approximately 15 pounds. I thought maybe this constriction thing is tied to being over weight. It held true until about a year later I had regained the
weight I lost and my throat spasms or constrictions returned.
A friend of mine for some 30 years, is a few years older than me, and he too has fought this problem. He had had a throat cancer and fortunately has beat that, but he later had the throat spasms. He went for several throat stretching treatments and felt relief for a period of a few months before it returned again.
My brother is 45 years old and it has started happening to him. He is more doctor shy, than I am, and has used me as a unqualified medical advisor or guinea pig. This is not advisable but it’s the reality. So, aging is a factor and reflux also seems to tie in to this condition as well.
Reflux is more treatable from an medical understanding of what is happening. With reflux, this condition is caused by spicy foods and a weak stomach flap. Laying down or trying to sleep can be a bad trigger to reflux. The stomach flap relaxes and doesn’t do it’s job of keeping food in your stomach. As the flap is open when it should not be, your stomach acids are released into your throat and literally burns your esophagus or throat.
Reflux treatments vary, but one option is to have a minor surgery to tighten the flap, for lack of a better medical explanation. This is a more long term treatment. There are other treatments available and without surgery. Each person is affected somewhat differently or to differing degrees, so you have to decide your what your options are and the treatment you choose.
As we baby boomers continue to live and age, the health conditions that we face will also increase, and with health insurance so out of control, if we can help each other to better describe our conditions, hopefully we can control our costs and doctor visits as well.
So, in conclusion, I would first try to lose weight, at least 10 pounds and see if the throat constrictions go away or lessen. I would strongly suggest staying away from coated pills. This seems to be a chemical triggering affect, of the coated caplet and your throat sensors. I would advise you to select your foods wisely. Certain foods trigger this problem and if you are determined to eat what you wish, then cut your food in small bites and drink plain water with your food. Drinks that have sugar in them seem to be a bad combination with certain foods.
For some reason this medical condition is not widely known or understood with many doctors and you will probably be told that when this condition occurs, the food is actually further down your throat than you think, this is incorrect. It feels like the blockage is right at the top of your throat and it is in most cases.
Source by Jimmy Wilson