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Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

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What could cause swollen neck, difficulty in swallowing, and pain in the shoulders and upper back?

Answered by
Dr. Ivo Ditah

Internal Medicine Specialist

Practicing since :2002

Answered : 3914 Questions

Posted on Fri, 7 Dec 2018 in Elderly Problems
Question: My brother, age 79, is having symptoms that his doctor cannot identify. His neck swells up on both sides in the front and he cannot swallow, at the same time his shoulders and upper back are quite painful. He also has a metallic taste in his mouth. Eventually, the symptoms disappear but always return. He has had these happenings for the past month. Can you help/
Answered by Dr. Ivo Ditah 58 minutes later
Brief Answer:

What drug is he taking? Any recent changes? How often are the symptoms?

Detailed Answer:


This seems to represent an allergy to me. Best approach would be to review his medications and all recent additions to see what the possible cause is.

I suggest using steroids during attacks to control symptoms but the ultimate solution lies in identifying the exact trigger and eliminating, be it from the environment, food or medications.

I await a detailed description of his drugs and recent changes in products for in depth review and guidance.

In the meantime, steroids during crisis would help relieve the symptoms .

I wish your brother well.


Dr. Ivo Ditah
Internal Medicine Specialist
Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

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