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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Anybody heard of this? My GI just told me I have that. She said it is like IBS only of the esophagus. She said Acid reducing drugs will not help (which may explain why all of the ones I have tried have not helped). She said the only meds that may help are SSRI's. Fill me in on your experiences with these. I have taken Amitriptyline and it made me so sleepy I could hardly function.This is so fun
I have IBS and IE.
 

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there is no formally recognized condition with this name, but there are conditions that are specific to the esophagus such as diffuse esophageal spasm and achalasia. It�s not clear what problem you have that your doctor is inventing a name for it.SSRIs are useful for treating pain due to hypersensitivity which is a a feature of noncardiac chest pain..perhaps this is what she is referring to.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
You're so right Flux. This is all I have found really for Irritable Esophagus:
quote:Finally, in another published report, a group from Australia examined the function of the bile ducts in people who have symptoms of IBS after having their gallbladders removed and found abnormalities. Thus, investigators are now beginning to use the terms: irritable esophagus, irritable stomach, irritable sphincter and irritable rectum to explain groups of symptoms. All of this information suggests that IBS is a diffuse process.
I guess my GI is finally grasping at straws. We can not find out what is causing the spasm of pain in my chest area. I imagine there are a million other tests that I could have but I am so tired of tests and they just keep getting more unpleasant. Thanks for your response.
 

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I agree with Flux. I also routinely experience esophageal spasms. Very painful...they command your full attention... much as a labor pain when you're dialated to 9 centimeters.....whew! And antidepressants never helped my esophageal spasms.Sometimes a procedure needs to be performed to "stretch" the opening where the esophagus empties into the stomach if the opening is too small or tight.... (similar to a tight sphincter muscle at the other end).
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
PeacefulHart,What do you do when you have the spasms?What makes them go away and what do you think caused them to happen to begin with?I am getting desperate for answers here.
 

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In my case, the spasms are caused by multiples. I have an autoimmune disorder which results in the propensity for the esophageal spasms and also gives me IBS issues as well as a spastic bladder. When I become very "intense" about something or nervous, anxious or emotional... the esophageal spasms worsen. So it's a combination of effects.As far as treatment, I haven't sought any because through CBT I have learned to better control my anxiety. I still routinely have the esophageal spasms, but I rarely now have the really awful ones that result in my having to throw up to relieve the spasm.Something else that I've recently discovered helps with that is tilting my torso slightly backwards while I consciously relax and take a deep breath or two.... and then I use one of my hands to rub the area just below the rig cage in the middle of my abdomen. Somehow that helps the esophageal spasm pass.
 

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I have found that if I drink 16 ounces of water, the esophageal spasms stop within about 20 minutes. I can't decide if the water itself helps, or if it is a calming ritual, but it does seem to work.
 

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quote:I have found that if I drink 16 ounces of water,
What temperature is the water? Do you think it matters?
 

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I don't think the temperature of the water matters - I have tried various temperatures. I think it just has to be 16 ounces. Anything less doesn't seem to work. Anything more makes me feel bloated.
 

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My gastro doc indicated that the acid in your stomach or esophogus can do something to the food digestive process as it goes into the colon and that can create the diareha response. I don't have any discomfort with acid but I do have Diarreha. Anyone else relate to this?
 

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My husband gets spasms in his esophagus too. Triggers for him seem to be anxiety and / or certain foods or beverages. The only thing that seems to help him (sometimes) while he's having these spasms is eating a plain slice of bread. I have no idea why this works. I don't think his are quite as painful as some of you are describing, but I know he hates getting them
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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I have to drink water, walk around and sometimes take Pepto Bismol for them to go away. Mine feel like what you would think a heart attack might feel like. What does yours feel like?Sometimes I have to make myself throw up to get it to go away but it never lasts more than 20 minutes at a time. Now, I may have several in the course of a few hours but no ONE spasms lasts longer than that. Atleast not yet
 

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This is too weird--I think this is what I've been having!! It started in June (6 months after my gallbladder surgery) and it is on the left side of my chest. Not really too painful, just feels like when you get a knotted muscle. It feels worse when I am lying in a certain position.My Dr. sent me for chest x-rays, stress test and EKG, but showed nothing. He didn't mention spasms of the esophagus.Then I mentioned it to my sister who is an RN. She said right away it sounded like spasms and told me to drink a glass of water. It helps!
 

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The pain with the esophageal spasms that I get is so intense that I can't think of anything else until it passes. They are relatively short... less than 30 minutes, but when they are excrutiating... I stick my finger down my throat to make myself throw up because I can't stand the pain. Sometimes I just throw up without doing that. Afterwards I usually cry because it was so awful to endure and somehow that relieves the tension. Triggers for me are dry meat, white bread and shredded wheat. Sometimes a sip or two of water helps it to pass... other times there is no way.... and yes, I suppose it does feel like a heart attack... but I've never had a heart attack so I can't really say with any certainty.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I've never had a heart attack either but that is what I would imagine one would feel like. Mine are also excrutiating and I can not focus on anything else until it passes as well.The pain radiates thru the middle of my back even.I wonder why vomiting or drinking water or even walking around help to relieve the pain?It is especially bad if I am out somewhere and it happens. I hate that....Do any of you have trouble with the spasms coming when you have to sit still for any length of time like: for a church service or a meeting? I do but I still go to church and take my water along with me. I have had to get up and leave in the middle of the service because it wouldn't go away until I got up and moved around.Irishayes,Mine also started after gall bladder surgery but it was immediately. I had not been out of the recovery room for more than two hours when mine started. It almost seems like trapped gas or something because when I take a drink of water after one starts up, a lot of times, I can feel like... bubbles moving around inside.Weird isn't it?
 

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I can totally relate to the posts in this thread. My GI doc told me that IBS can affect the entire GI tract, from throat to anus, and that the chest pains I was having was from the throat spasms that were just another manifestation of the IBS. Endoscopy showed very little acid in my stomach and esophagus, and that I suffer from that dreaded visceral hypersensitivity, but only for the spasms in my throat. I have had IBS for almost 10 years and (after the first two horrible years) have rarely had severe pain below my stomach. The chest pains are obnoxiously painful, almost like an elephant is sitting on my chest while a bear is squeezing me. Sometimes it's nearly impossible to swallow anything, but I try to get the water down because it does seem to help quite a bit. I do have mild GERD, so when I get the reflux going it REALLY hurts in my chest (like right now thanks to the garlic in my red potatoes tonight - yikes!). I am on 25mg Elavil (amitriptyline) once at night for the chest pains. It keeps the pain at a manageable level but it is definately there a lot. Without the Elavil it gets so bad I feel like my throat is closing and choking me. Besides the water and Elavil, the relaxation techniques I learned from a clinical hypnotherapist help a lot. I use a CD that she gave me and another one I got from LEAP whenever I need to really relax. I can't recommend it enough (relaxation therapies, that is).
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
WD40,Does Elavil make it hard for you to get up in the morning? I tried it at 25 mg. and it took me forever to get myself moving in the morning. I would take it at about 8:00 p.m. but would still feel like I was drugged in the morning. NOT good when you have kids to get up and going for school.
 
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