Anyone have any information on Esophageal spasms?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by DammitJanet, Jan 12, 2013.

  1. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I have been dealing with this awful pain for the past week or maybe two weeks that I just cant shake. I am convinced it isnt heart related because if it was I would be dead by now. We just arent going to go down the path of anything to do with heart. I will not deal with that.

    Anyway my entire chest, shoulder, neck, and back hurt. It especially hurts if I swallow or breathe deeply or belch. If I am trying to eat anything with any substance such as meat then I can hardly swallow it. I can swallow water, juice, diet coke, and I can eat yogurt, ice cream and things like applesauce.

    It appears my body doesnt want me to eat!

    This hurts. It really hurts. Even when Im not eating my chest is on fire. I have read online and it sounds the most like spasms. I so dont want to go into the ER and say I have chest pain because they will immediately go to the heart and I really dont think its that.

    Oh one other symptom...Im nauseated.

    Anyone got a clue?
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Gastric reflux?
  3. Tiapet

    Tiapet Old Hand

    I know you don't want to hear it, I wouldn't either but I do think it is to do with heart. You wouldn't necessarily die by now if it is heart. This is coming from someone WITH heart issues! This should be heeded Janet. Once there is damage...damage is me. It's better to be safe then sorry. I care.
  4. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    mwm, I have been on prilosec rx twice a day since this summer when I had the h pylori stuff.

    Tia, if it is heart related, well, then I am just not dealing with it. That is the one area I just refuse to go. There are certain tests and procedures that simply arent happening to me unless I have no I am dead, unconscious, in a coma...etc.

    I had what I thought were chest pains back in 05 and I went to the ER. They did all this junk to me including the nuclear stress test. That was enjoyable-NOT! I will never do that again. I did the one were they inject stuff in you and your heart speeds up. Fun. All I found out was I have arthritis in my rib cage. Oh so they told me. I think they were just stumped. They kept me on nitro for several days but my heart was fine. There is some other condition that nitro helps with the pain but I cant remember what it is.

    I may just end up on liquids and see if something heals and I feel better eventually. I need to go in for blood work soon and maybe that will give me a clue. Supposedly a medicine I have been on for the past 3 years was one that was only supposed to be given for a week or two. Never long term because of the probability of kidney or liver damage. Someone failed to mention that to me.
  5. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    Believe it or not, Janet, nitro also helps with- esophageal spasm.

    While I agree you should get checked out, I also completely understand your point of view (and in fact share it). As long as you're making an informed decision, it should be your choice. in my humble opinion.

    Could be GI - spasm, reflux, esophagitis, hiatal hernia. You'd think reflux and esophagitis would be less likely with- the Prilosec, but... stranger things have happened.

    Also wonder if it could be musculoskeletal - do any unusual upper body movements lately? Pleuritis also comes to mind.

    Only sure way to know is to get checked out, really. Sorry.

    (If it were me, I'd try NSAIDs, but you need to remember that if it is GI, they might just make it worse.)
  6. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    At the very least you need to get in to see fam doctor. It does sound like spasms (Fred had them) but you do want to be sure that is what you're dealing with. And fam doctor should be able to script you something that will help better.

    One thing I could not get Fred to do was get off soda. It was the worst thing he could be ingesting, he knew it, I knew it, but he just wouldn't budge. So you might try ice tea or something instead of soda for a while and see if that helps some too.

    Awful thing is, the symptoms tend to mimic a heart attack, and yes they can even feel as severe. But one blood test will tell them if you're heart or not......and they can be getting a look at the esophagus while they're waiting on the blood test. This is what fooled both me and Fred when he was having his heart attack.......we'd been down that road so many times before over the years, too darn many false alarms.

  7. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Sue Im off of all NSAIDS right now because of the tummy issues. It was a NSAID that I was on for the 3 years that we are worried about. Daily. ketoprofen 150mgs. Now I find out it may have harmed me. Oh I am not happy. I loved it because it really was the best NSAID I ever found but no one ever told me you couldnt take it daily. I just got scripts written month after month.

    I guess I really shouldnt complain though, with what goes into me my body is probably screaming for me to stop. I have no clue how my organs are handling all the medications that I take. Just to try to stay well and feel better I am probably killing myself.

    About iced tea...cant drink it, something in it gives me migraines. I know, go figure, someone from the south who cant drink sweet iced tea! I dont even have a box of tea bags in my house. I used to try to make it all the time when I first met Tony because it wasnt something I ever drank growing up but I had horrible headaches every time we had it. I do wish I could give up drinking so much diet coke. I dont drink as much as I used to but I still drink it. I do drink juice and water but I still have to have my diet coke beside me.
  8. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Feel better!
  9. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Janet - can you stand "flat" cola? as in... leave the cap off and let the bubbles all escape (takes 24-48 hours). That is the "soda" part... which is one of the things that can be a problem.
  10. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Most of the time my soda ends up fairly flat. Drives Tony bonkers. I have this favorite cup I use. You barely see me use any other one. Its a very tall red cup with a spout that folds up and down. I think it some sort of sport bottle. It probably holds about 30 ozs or so. I fill it up and I will sip on that thing most of the day and night. If I fill it up at night by the time I get up the next morning the drink is warm and flat. Doesnt bother me in the least. I will still drink it until its gone. That could be sometime late the next afternoon when its time for me to have to refill it. I do like a bit of fizz and I hate watered down drinks. I cant stand ice cubes in my drinks. I would rather have them warm. Jamie got me this cool mug that freezes and makes your drink cold fast. its a beer mug though and I have to put a sock around it to hold I rarely use it. it sits in the freezer.
  11. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Janet, my first reaction was hiatal hernia (your symptoms mimic the ones my mom experienced with one exception - when she would get to the point of not being able to swallow - carbonated beverages helped - she got one of those "penguin" things you put in the bottom of a pitcher that carbonate the water - she didn't want to drink surgary soda) and reflux - but you have been on prilosec for awhile......I know you don't want to hear it but, trying to cut something else out of your diet when you have been suffering with this for two weeks (and probably not been getting enough nutrition) isn't smart. But, I understand your hesitancy and fear. Take care.
  12. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It


    I have had esophageal spasms for decades. They don't last for days for me. I haven't heard of anyone having them that lasted for days. They do come and go frequently for days or weeks and then go away for some inexplicable reason and stay away for days, weeks, months, but then come back very suddenly for no apparent reason. in my opinion it is the 'no reason' that makes them so maddening.

    Lately if I vomit my upper torso burns like the skin is on fire. It literally feels like someone set me on fire just below my skin. It goes away a few min after I stop retching, but those minutes are from Hades. This is a nerve issue as all the nerves there are irritated when you vomit. Or at least mine are.

    I do find that prilosec helps, but not enough or by itself. Do you take any antacids? There is a brand called gaviscon that you chew and it sort of gets foamy and odd in your mouth. You chew it very well and swallow and it helps coat your innards. Prilosec is great because it turns off the acid pumps in your stomach, but it does NOT coat or protect the areas that are raw, irritated, open and bleeding, etc... The more those areas are irritated, the more pain and spasms you will have. Walmart does make a generic of the gaviscon that works very well.

    If you will go to your doctor or the ER, ask them to rx carafate (generic is sucralfate). It is amazing and wonderful. It is the best medication out there to coat the stomach and esophagus. It comes in tablet and liquid (at least I used to get it in tablets, last time was the first time in years that I got it and ti was in liquid form). If you get the tablets, be sure to dissolve it in some water before you take it. It doesn't work nearly as well if you swallow the tablet, esp for esophagus and stomach issues. I had forgotten it even existed because I hadn't taken it since i was in college, I remember that it was a miracle back then. It was a miracle when I got it in Sept because I was so sick and since then it has been the only medication to really help my ongoing digestive issues.

    Please don't stop eating totally. You will completely mess up your digestive tract. Your intestines can adjust to no food and when you are able to eat they will totally freak and cramp and bloat and hurt and hurt and hurt.

    Focus on things like mashed potatoes, rice, BRAT diet, etc... Make sure you are taking a multi vitamin also (unless they make you vomit like they do me, if they do, DON"T take them now).

    You really NEED NEED NEED NEED NEED NEED to see a doctor about this. While it sounds like spasms, it could be your heart. The body often registers pain from the heart and stomach as being the same or from similar places.

    Some of this could also be costochondritis. it is basically swelling in the connective tissues in the rib cage. Hurts like the devil and can feel like what you are describing, to a point. My bet is that after all this time of stomach problems, you need an endoscopy and carafate because the entire upper digestive tract is seriously irritate/hurt/dysfunctional. And there is absolutely ZERO fin in digestive tract dysfunction!

    I am so sorry you are hurting like this. BTRTWY (Been There, Right There With You) for way, way too long.
  13. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I take Protonix (same thing as Nexium, but made by a different company) twice a day and I still get breakthrough reflux that feels like my heart attack pain. Try Maalox or Tums. If those don't help, go to the doctor.

    I know what don't want to hear the heart thing, so I'll just say this - I had those same symptoms for at least 3 years before I actually had a heart attack (I used to wonder if it was possible to OD on Tums because I thought it was heartburn), and I had active heart attack symptoms (with the left arm involvement, etc) for a couple of days before I went to the ER. And I'm not dead yet.
  14. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    No left arm I actually upped the prilosec to three times a day and it has calmed down some. Of course I still cant eat anything more substantial than mush. Tried some cornbread today and it was a no go. Now I have another issue. The urologist put me on a pill for bladder spasms that is called ditropan. OMG. I woke up this morning feeling like I was filled to the brim with pee and could barely walk to the bathroom. Now my pelvic bones feel like I have a baby pushing on them that wants to come out..NOW! I swear it feels like my whole pelvic region is gonna collapse at any moment. I have been sitting in the bed all day with the heating pad on my stomach/lower abdomen and pelvic area all day.

    I just dont know, I think I am falling apart.
  15. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Could be... in a sense.
    The abdominal thing? could be prolapsed bladder. Basically as we age, especially if we are not in good shape, stuff starts "falling down" and they have to go in and tack it back up again. My turn is coming.
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2013
  16. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    The tacking it up is a bit scary because all over the news is lawsuits about the mesh they used to do just that. I am actually wondering if my doctor didnt do that when I had my hysterectomy and didnt tell me. I have had pain with intercourse since a few months after that. I just didnt have the gumption to go back. Well for the first two years after that I didnt have insurance. I had the hysterectomy right before I lost insurance and then I went two years without it. By the time I got insurance back in the middle of 07, I was so used to it I simply couldnt deal with adding a gyn to my regimen of doctors I had to get in to see. I was pushing hard to get back with all my former doctors and that was a wild time.