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Intermittent episodes of stuck food causing thick and increased saliva. Heartburn and burping. What is it ?

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Gastroenterologist
Practicing since : 2000
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I consulted one of your doctors in Jan of '11. It was concerning intermittant episodes of stuck food causing thick and increased saliva...beginning 7 or 8 years ago. Before I consulted, I had had two episodes of regurge of contents At that time the doc was sure it was acid induced spasms. I took pepcid and it greatly improved. Only a few episodes since with no regurge....relatively mild. I have only taken pepcid as needed for heartburn and reflux. Today I had an episode with cereal. Spit up some. Increased saliva. Water makes it worse. Finally relaxed and it went down. Had usual burping after. Continued eating but now I'm scared again. The Internet is scary esp as a hypochondriac.
Posted Tue, 19 Jun 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
 
 
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 8 hours later
Hi and thanks for contacting healthcare magic.

The symptoms described are suggestive of an esophageal motility (movement) disorder. As choking is the main symptom it may be of a spastic variety.

Yes, one of the causes of intestinal dysmotility is acid reflux and it improves with treatment. However there are to check like a neuro-degeneration in the gut and some illness associated with other body system illness.

The other close possibility is an esophageal web.

Hence get a barium swallow and based on it you could discuss with your Gastroenterologist regarding a manometry / pH Impedence testing.

Meanwhile having food leisurely and eating warm soft food would ease the discomfort.

Regards
Dr XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Intermittent episodes of stuck food causing thick and increased saliva. Heartburn and burping. What is it ? 6 hours later
I would appreciate your clarifying motility disorder and spastic variety and how serious the other possibilities you mentioned are. I suffer from anxiety often and greatly in regards to health issues. As this has been going on for years, how concerned should I be? As for your dietary suggestions, this is only occasional. I can usually eat anything. It happens most when I am anxious and/or not paying attention while eating, also when I haven't been controlling acid. Can you reassure me a bit please?Also what are the last two tests? What are they for?
 
 
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 21 hours later
Hi and thanks for the follow up
Anxiety worsens all motility disorders. Hence try some relaxing techniques.
Web is not serious issue and can easily be broken on an endoscopy
Barium swallow helps to delineate the esophagus and helps to visualize any structural abnormalities and gives a clue to motility disorder.
Manometry demonstrates and helps to classify motility disorders
Ph metry is to look for reflux
All these conditions are easily managable and hence you don't need to worry.
Regards
Dr XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
Follow-up: Intermittent episodes of stuck food causing thick and increased saliva. Heartburn and burping. What is it ? 3 hours later
I've been on Internet which is not good for me....scary. Do I need to be concerned about cancer? Also there was mention of pockets which cause gurgleing in the throat. I have that sometimes, about as often as in other areas of digestive tract. Is that normal? Are they talking about all the time? It's not when food is stuck if that's what they mean. If I can manage symptoms with acid control and stress management, can I safely wait on further testing etc? No ins.
 
 
Answered by Dr. Poorna Chandra K.S 14 hours later
Hi and thanks for airing your concern
By the description given chance of having an esophageal cancer is low. However at you age it is better to have one endoscopy or a barium swallow as it will not only rule the cancer out but also help you to look at acid reflux disease and may may point towards a motility disorder.
The money spent will be worth it as it will relieve you of unnecessary tensions
Regards
Dr XXXXXXX
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
 
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