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Hard to swallow food ?

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Hi, I'm 20 years old - soon to be 21 - and I've had this problem for probably a solid 10 years now. It seems that I cannot eat many types of foods (some don't bother me, but MOST do) without getting a choking sensation deep in my esophagus (I can still breathe, but I get the distinct sensation that something's stuck). In severe instances it turns into a nasty gag reflex that sends back up whatever I just tried to swallow, which normally sends me straight to the restroom for a good 10 to 20 minutes. I also find that I am more susceptible to choking in itself, as I seem to chew my food much slower than others, and take smaller bites - yet I still manage to get food stuck sometimes. Mind you - I choked on steak and nearly suffocated to death when I was about 8 years old, so perhaps it's a neurological issue? But anyway - asides from that, I feel like when I get these "gagging fits" that there is a pressure-like and sometimes burning pain associated with it. Do I have a phobia of choking.. or acid reflux.. or perhaps a combination thereof? Please help, it interferes SEVERELY with my social life - as I avoid going out to eat with family and friends at all costs because it embarrasses me.
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First Helper User Profile MandMs

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replied September 23rd, 2009
Extremely eHealthy
Sensation of food being stuck in your throat or chest, feeling of pressure in the mid-chest area, chest pain, are symptoms of esophageal dysphagia.
Dysphagia means difficult swallowing and it is esophageal one when you have trouble moving food through your esophagus to your stomach.
It can result from structural changes like narrow esophagus, large tongue, cleft lip, large tonsils and dental problems.
Muscular and neurological disorders can lead to this problem, too.
If you are experiencing chronic heartburn, belching, sore throat, pain with swallowing it is important to be checked for acid reflux.
Uncontrolled acid reflux or chronic case of acid reflux may lead to structural changes of esophagus, resulting in narrow esophagus and esophageal dysphagia.

Visit a gastroenterologist for complete esophageal evaluation and evaluation of swallowing process!
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