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Spasms,esophagus cramp,heartburn,weight gain,endoscopy

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Practicing since : 1997
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I've had occasional "spasms" while eating for the past 2 years. It happens very sporadically and it seems to happen 1 X week or less. When it's happening I feel like my food stops moving down and my esophagus starts cramping. At first I tried to drink to get it down; however I found that during this time that liquid doesn't even move down. It last for about 3 minutes. It happens with various foods; but always happens if I eat a flour tortilla. I have no other symptoms, except for very occasional heartburn. No weight loss (weight gain in fact), no black stools, or chronic coughing. I think I may belch frequently; which I only noticed after the dr. asked me (but I don't know if this is due to power of suggestion after I was asked). My father has the same thing and the doctors have always told him it was stress, so that's what I assumed was going on with me. I've asked doctors before and they've always told me take reflux medication; which I will admit I haven't really done well. I went to a new doctor yesterday due to change in insurance and this physician seemed very alarmed. He told me that it may be cancer and referred me to a surgeon for an endoscopy. I'm just wanting to know if I should get a second opionion before I go through with the endoscopy? It seems so invasive. I'm also a highly anxious person when it comes to medical issues and am very upset right now. How likely is this cancer?
Posted Tue, 8 May 2012 in Peptic Ulcer
Answered by Dr. Vaibhav Banait 5 hours later

Thanks for your query.

Painful swallowing is known as odynophagia. Causes for odynophagia include esophgeal ulcerations from reflux disease , fungal or viral infections, drug related ulcers and rarely cancers . In a morphologically normal esophagus, abnormal diffuse spasms of esophgeal muscles can result in odynophagia .
In your case, cancers seems less likely considering the duration of 2 years. reflux disease or diffuse esophgeal spasms are likely option.

Endoscopy is best initial investigation to differentiate among these conditions, though barium swallow, manometry and 24 hour phmetry may be required to come to definite diagnosis.

So rest assured I do not considered it to be a cancer.Do get the endoscopy done which gives more information to think on.

Hope I have answered your query. If you have any follow up queries I will be available to answer them.
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