I'm 17. For the past couple of months, I've had problems swallowing solid foods. It randomly started one day after school, I was eating a sandwich and the bread kind of hung in my throat and wouldn't go down. I started panicking when that happened and swallowed quickly, and after a few seconds it went down. This was when it all started. I've been a cautious eater for several years, though.
I'm wondering if this has anything to do with my anxiety and depression. This is the first year I've been at school with no friends, because all of my friends moved away. I'm shy, so I don't have anyone to talk to. I'm a pretty lonely/depressed person.
I've had a chest x-ray and a barium swallow, and both were normal. The barium swallow showed that I Had a small hiatal hernia, but the doctor said that shouldn't give me any of the symptoms I've been having.
I saw another doctor, and he says there's something called eosinophils esophagitis. He thinks I might have that and he doesn't believe my problem is due to stress. I'm REALLY scared to have a scope, though. Wouldn't the barium swallow show if I had anything wrong with my esophagus?
I've had other weird symptoms too, like air hunger (shortness of breath; i don't have asthma) and random weak spells. Today, I had weird spasms near my heart. They were sharp pains that came and went, but they didn't really hurt that much. I'm thinking that I got weak because I was nervous and thought I was having a heart attack.
(Also, these symptoms seem to worsen when I'm having my period or around that time. I know that some people have increased anxiety during menstruation, but I don't know if this is just PMS or what it is.)
But anyway, has anyone been through this or is it just me? Any ideas on what it could be? Anxiety or something else? I've been living off soups and yogurt and health shakes for the past two months and it's wearing me out.
Hi Emma, I have had similar things happen. I will start to eat and then my throat seems to close up and I can't swallow. It can even be from liquids so I am not choking. In order to breathe correctly again, I have to stand up and slowly breathe through it until I can swallow again. During that time my saliva glands seem to kick into high gear, I assume because my body thinks I am choking. This does not happen every time I eat and seems to happen most often when I am having a stressful day. I also notice it happens more often around my cycle time as well as my eyes get real dry and my nose tends to get a weird cut in it that eventually scabs over.... gross!! I have also experienced heart burn and fast heart beat when not active. I have moved a lot from state to state and have a hard time making friends as well. My husband and I have 3 little boys and I also have a very stressful job that requires long hours away from my family. My thought is that it may be a hormonal issue that is triggered by stress and/or depression. I want to get more involved at my church because I think a better social circle would help. I really need to set a doctor apt too because being stressed out about what this might be probably isn't helping either!!!
I was just diagnosed with eosinophilic esophagitis (one hospital thought I was having a heart attack because they said the symptoms were similar. But after heart catharization and other tests, they did an endoscopy). I haven't started treatment yet because the medicine wasn't readily available. The doctor wants me to see an allergist, but I really believe the condition was caused by stress. I have swallowed more lumps in my throat over the past few weeks; it is not surprising to me that so much sadness took its toll. Another culprit might be my daily Diet Pepsi... The sadness is easing, and I am giving up my beloved soda. But I really wonder if I need to consult an allergist. Seems like such a waste of time and money. So I tend to agree with Emma that the condition is related to stress or anxiety.