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What causes difficulty in swallowing and swelling in throat?

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Posted on Mon, 6 Jul 2015
Question: I have a serious problem with swallowing food and even liquids. Seems my throat swells closed yet barium xrays and the scope show no signs of interference
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Answered by Dr. Chobufo Ditah (2 hours later)
Brief Answer:
This could be caused by smooth muscle contractions of the esophagus!

Detailed Answer:
Hi and thank you so much for this query.

I am so sorry to hear about this difficulty swallowing. Barium swallow would only identify anatomical problems. However, there are several possible causes of difficulties swallowing. One of those possible causes is esophageal spasm. Here, the smooth muscles contract in an irregular manner and interfere with the normal progression of swallowed food into the stomach. This can only be seen by the barium swallow X-ray if this happens during the test.

With a negative barium swallow, I will suggest that your doctors consider doing an esophageal manometry which measures the pressure in the esophagus during swallowing and is pivotal in diagnosing esophageal spasm.

I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thanks for using our services and do feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar
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Answered by
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Dr. Chobufo Ditah

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2009

Answered : 6323 Questions

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What causes difficulty in swallowing and swelling in throat?

Brief Answer: This could be caused by smooth muscle contractions of the esophagus! Detailed Answer: Hi and thank you so much for this query. I am so sorry to hear about this difficulty swallowing. Barium swallow would only identify anatomical problems. However, there are several possible causes of difficulties swallowing. One of those possible causes is esophageal spasm. Here, the smooth muscles contract in an irregular manner and interfere with the normal progression of swallowed food into the stomach. This can only be seen by the barium swallow X-ray if this happens during the test. With a negative barium swallow, I will suggest that your doctors consider doing an esophageal manometry which measures the pressure in the esophagus during swallowing and is pivotal in diagnosing esophageal spasm. I hope this helps. I wish you well. Thanks for using our services and do feel free to ask for more information and clarifications if need be.