Hard to Swallow?
Hard to Swallow?
- Do you ever have the sensation of food catching or sticking after you swallow? Especially with meat, bread, and rice?
- Has food ever gotten lodged and you had to try to vomit to get it out?
- Do people complain about how slow you eat? Or how carefully you have to chew?
If any of these questions caught your attention, you may have a problem with your esophagus, the muscular tube that runs through your chest that is responsible for transporting food from your mouth to your stomach. A number of conditions can be responsible for these symptoms, but two of the most common ones include:
A rim of scar tissue that can form at the base of the esophagus from acid reflux injury. Did you know that some people with acid reflux aren’t even aware that the injury is happening? The esophagus is not a very “smart” organ – sometimes is does not do a good job of explaining to the brain the severity of what is happening inside it. Over time, repeated acid exposures can cause inflammation and then resultant scar tissue that over time can build up like a ledge for boluses of food to get stuck on.
An allergic condition that is dramatically rising in frequency over the past few decades. This condition occurs more frequently in young men, especially if they have a history of seasonal allergies and asthma (though these risk factors aren’t necessary for the disease, they just occur more commonly). Eosinophilic esophagitis (or EoE) can be confusing, because sometimes symptoms can partially improve with the acid blocker medication that patients are frequently given. The problem isn’t acid though, it is thought most likely to be a food allergy.
Other causes can cause the same difficulties with swallowing, including dreaded esophageal cancers, but thankfully increasingly successful treatments are available when cancers are caught in early stages. So, do not put this off any longer. A simple endoscopy (or EGD) can not only diagnosis the problem, but can also be treated with a dilation that stretches open the scar tissue. Once you know what the cause of your symptoms is, our team can help to prevent these unpleasant issues from returning. Learn more about what an endoscopy entails at: https://compgihealth.com/procedures/#EGD
Please call us at 224.407.4400 or visit www.compgihealth.com to schedule a consultation. We can get you ready for your next big meal in no time!