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Choking when eating and can't swallow (Page 1)

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I have a condition that over the past 2 years has gotten worse. When I'm eating, sometimes, it feels as if something has gotten lodged in my throat and I can't swallow. I can breath just fine. But the pain that comes with this has gotten worse and now I have to through it up to clear it. After a few minutes I'm fine and can go back to eating. I have no problem with liquids.

Any ideas?
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First Helper PhillyMax
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replied November 9th, 2007
Extremely eHealthy
That is quite odd. I personally don't know what to say except consult a doctor on this one.
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replied April 15th, 2008
This just happened to me and it's awful. Did you consult with a Dr
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replied March 26th, 2009
Choking when eating
Happens to me all the time, that's why I am on this site ... looking for answers.
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replied June 29th, 2009
Can't swalloe food, breathing just fine
Has anyone found out anything about this condition. Happened to me this past (6/25/09) Saturday evening, almost exactly as described, right down to vomiting to clear the food out. Lasted about an hour or two then was gone and so far no further problem.
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replied July 1st, 2009
Choking while eating....
Just came across your questions and thought I'd let you know that I also had this problem. It all started about 6 years ago and got to the stage where I would be in a restaurant and, out of the blue, I'd be choking furiously without being about to breathe - being rushed off to the hospital midway through dinner was pretty embarrassing. It didn't happen all the time, perhaps once a fortnight - but when it did it was an unpleasant experience...to say the least. After putting up with it for about 2 years, I decided to see the doctor who promptly sent me for tests on the throat etc. It appears that my epiglottis has a tendency to malfunction. The function of the epiglottis is to prevent food and drink from falling down the airway (trachea). When it doesn't do its job, then the food and drink enter the trachea, causing choking and has to be coughed up. I've been prescribed Somac tabs which are a great help - although the problem will recur but only now and again. For those who suffer this problem I would seriously suggest you see your doctor so the proper tests can be run. There are other reasons for this problem and I guess I was lucky it was only a 'tricky epiglottis' causing the problem. Please don't delay in seeing your doctor....good luck and happy eating.
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replied September 19th, 2009
I have this same problem. It's getting worse too. Now, sometimes when I'm starting to choke I just vomit food up with no warning (which doesn't necessarily stop the choking), and it's absolutely horrible in front of others. Other times the choking and the burning pain (in waves) in my throat can go on for nearly an hour.
I have had a barium swallow test and it didn't show anything. The doctor just told me to eat slower. Which is ridiculous as I'm already one of the slowest eaters I know. I never ever eat anything now unless I have a drink with me as sometimes that helps.
I've been getting it every couple of weeks or so for nearly 5 years now.
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replied September 19th, 2009
yeah my mum has that. she used to have to run to the toilet at every meal, she said it felt asthough it was stuck. the doctors did that barium swallow test and it came back normal. one night she kept throwing up so she had to go to hospital and they put her on these pills that cleared it up. i dont know the name of them as yet but i can find out if anyone would like to know? it stops it completely.
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replied September 20th, 2009
Choking at mealtime
Hi gigles3151...I think I'm safe in saying "we would all like to know"...if you could find out the name of your Mum's pills then we can check with the doctor to see if they will also help our problems with choking at mealtime. Please let us know and thanks a lot for your post...your Mum is obviously on a good thing now...regards Jan
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replied September 22nd, 2009
Look up VCD -- vocal cord dysfunction. The National Jewish Hospital in Denver is the #1 treatment center and must have info online. VCD can cause these kinds of things. In the worst case, the vocal cords spasm and shut completely, blocking off all air to the lungs, and of course, all larger stuff that you could swallow.

In other animals, the vocal cords function to keep junk out of the lungs. We've co-opted them for use in speech as well. But sometimes they get twitchy, and spasm like this. It's often from acid reflux that for some reason doesn't cause heartburn.

When it happens, especially with breathing, try (1) panting quickly, then breathing in very gently, and (2) puffing out forcefully, and letting air flow back in as you relax. Something about the vocal cords makes them relax when air goes out, but close up when air goes in.
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replied November 23rd, 2009
Schatzki's Ring
Check out Schatzki's ring. I have this condition and have had to have my esophagus stretched twice. When I eat sometimes the food stops after I swallow and does not make it to the stomach. It is very painful and drinking water will often wash the food down. I also have had the food and liquid expel out, without warning...not the same as vomiting...just a sudden expelling of what I have just eaten or drank. I also have a problem with burping. Instead of coming out the gas gets stuck in my chest which is very painful. Drinking liquid causes the burp to complete. I asked my doctor about this but did not get a good explanation. I have also talked to another person with this condition and he did not know any more than I do. I am not sure this is what you have, but it is worth checking out. I am not sure barium will detect this condition...the common check is to insert a scope down the throat which can detect the condition and it can stretch the esophagus.
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replied August 9th, 2010
For the past 24 hours I could swallow nothing. I had gone to the doctor this morning who prescribed some pills to help swelling go down. I realized about an hour ago that somehow my epiglottis had malfunctioned... I'm not sure what it was doing wrong, but every time I swallowed I would gag every thing up (even my own spit) again. I cold breath fine, though. I tried swallowing once by closing the entrance to my larnyx with my epiglottis (I knew neither of these words, to my shame, until after I did this--but this is what I did, nonetheless)... it seems that my epiglottis "reset" to its normal position. And now, I'm on my second drink and eating an egg and cheese sandwich.
Perhaps trying to "reset your epiglottis" while swallowing will help some of you who have read this post. Best wishes, and be well!
Mike
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replied September 27th, 2010
chocking
I have had this for about 10 years now... I've always been told I just need to chew my food longer. I've had a few scary episodes where I try to wash it down and it makes things worse and I can't breath. It seems I am usually eating something dry like bread but not always. Once while I was driving I had to pull over and was about to jump out of the car and flag anyone down for help. Thanks for the suggestions here. tt
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replied September 27th, 2010
I have had this for about 10 years now... I've always been told I just need to chew my food longer. I've had a few scary episodes where I try to wash it down and it makes things worse and I can't breath. It seems I am usually eating something dry like bread but not always. Once while I was driving I had to pull over and was about to jump out of the car and flag anyone down for help. Thanks for the suggestions here. tt
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replied October 3rd, 2012
Choking but still breathing????????????
Dear Flycookie,

Have you had any luck finding out what causes this? I had the most frantic experience today while driving on the freeway and eating a sandwich - it was exactly as you have described here. I knew something was horribly wrong and I reached for the remains of a soda my son left in the car from the previous night. When I took a drink it wasn't doing anything other than hurting while I tried to swallow it. In addition, because I was drinking a warm soda it was foaming in my throat. This eventually caused me to open the car door on the freeway and expel the foam and what I hoped was the bite that started the chain reaction. Immediately (for about 1/2 a breath) I felt a relief from the pain, but as soon as I was upright again the choking feeling continued. This went on for approx. 10 to 20 min. that felt more like 2 -3 hours. When I pulled up in front of my house my son was waiting for me so I immediately jumped out of the car and drank the glass of water. It hurt like hell, but I was immediately better. I am still shaking from the experience and I am certain my chest will hurt for another day or more but experiencing this was not the most upsetting part of the fiasco. My 21 yr old son new exactly what I was going through and we had talked more than 30 seconds because he had called while I was heading back toward him and the house. He has been experiencing this for quite some time. What the _______ is this, and more importantly what is the cure???
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replied September 29th, 2010
choking while eating
OK at first I thought it was a dry cough after the food would tickle the back of my throat. I would cough so violently I would vomit. Then I realized a was choking. Anytime I eat that first bite always chokes me. Depending if I can recover from the choke I will not vomit, but that is not always the case. I have had so many test and everything is normal. I do not think this is normal. ENT said it was relux and post nasal drip, gastro sees nothing. I take medicine for both, but it does nothing. I take it in hopes that is will work. I am so lost and sick of this. Does anyone have an suggestions. Maybe another kind of specialist? It is good to see that I am not crazy that this is real and other people are suffering from the same thing.
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replied November 27th, 2010
Epiglotis reset
gigles3151 - Can you please tell us what pills your mum had?

ms690 - Can you give details of how you did the 'closing the entrance to my larnyx with my epiglottis' trick please?
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replied October 13th, 2014
yes this trick would help me out right about now, I haven't eaten or drank anything in 2 days now
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replied December 29th, 2010
My 4 year old daughter has had her epiglottis come up her throat and when I took her to emergency of course it just happened to go back down again.Once we got home she was complaining she felt something pressing on her throat and felt weird in there.I looked in her throat and her epiglottis was up touching her uvula again.She coughs in her sleep and im very worried that it may block her throat or affect her breathing.
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replied December 29th, 2010
My 4 year old daughter has had her epiglottis come up her throat and when I took her to emergency of course it just happened to go back down again.Once we got home she was complaining she felt something pressing on her throat and felt weird in there.I looked in her throat and her epiglottis was up touching her uvula again.She coughs in her sleep and im very worried that it may block her throat or affect her breathing.Does anybody know what the cause of this is? The doctor didnt seem concerned at all he said its normal and the epiglottis can come up the throat, yet some websites i read say its life threatning and they need to be admitted to hospital and given antibiotics..that she could stop breathing in her sleep.
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replied July 11th, 2012
Swallowing "Wrong"
I'm really stuck you guys, I'm 18, male, and lead a pretty healthy lifestyle until about 3 months ago when i suddenly just couldn't swallow... it dosn't matter if it's liquid or solid. Doctors of course think i'm crazy, all tests fine- barium swallow, ct scan etc. Honestly I'm giving up hope Sad I'm not anxious what so ever but i love how doctors love to blame that for everything. I start college in a couple of weeks and don't think i'll make it Sad Please if anyone can help me figure out a solution i would greatly appreciate it. Thanks.
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replied October 8th, 2012
I also get this choking and sometimes not when eating but as if I have inhaled my own spit, i get a tickle at the back of my throat and just have to cough, i cough so violently that its as if my throat closes up and i can't breath in, as if i have asthma, i really can't get any breath in and i have been at the point of passing out. i have got to the point where i never eat when i am alone in case i pass out, which is quite haed when you live on your own! I have cut out a lot of trigger foods like spicy things, chilli etc but still happens about once a week - doctor could find nothing so any suggestions would be helpful - this has been going on for years and i am just so tired of it and it is really scary
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