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Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12581
Experience:  Emergency Medicine and Family Practice for over 26 years
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Sometimes when I eat (especially pasta or a piece of hotdog)

Customer Question

Sometimes when I eat (especially pasta or a piece of hotdog) it seems to get stuck in my throat and I can not get it down. I feel like I am going to choke until I can dislodge it. I also have experienced severe pain at night on several occasions where there is almost a burning pain in the area of my esophagus? in my chest between my lungs. I was a heavy diet coke drinker and have stopped and the severe night pain seems to be getting better but the choking problem has not gone away. I am otherwise very healthy and of normal weight.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse72 replied 1 year ago.

Nurse72 :

Have you had this looked at by anyone yet?

Nurse72 :

Hot dogs are one of the most common food items that are people choke on.

Nurse72 :

You could have some nerve damage of the area around the esophagus. This should be assessed by an ENT specialist.

Nurse72 :

This could also be an infection of the tonsils or other areas of the throat.

Nurse72 :

either of these conditions could cause you to lose sensitivity of the nerves needed for swallowing and cause your symptoms.

Customer :

I do not have any tonsils, they were removed as a child

Nurse72 :

The ENT specialist can also perform a swallow test to check for physiological problems with swallowing

Nurse72 :

Ok, It could still be an infection of the surrounding areas

Customer :

Would that continue for a year or more?

Nurse72 :

Do you have any other health problems?

Nurse72 :

It could if their is nerve damage

Nurse72 :

Any other symptoms?

Customer :

No very healthy although I am usually battling fatigue. I do have four boys though and am very busy

Nurse72 :

An ENT is the best place to start. If they can't find anything then the next step would be a neurologist

Customer :

But sometimes the fatigue seems more than just normal tiredness

Nurse72 :

It's either something involving the throat directly or another underlying neuro condition causing the symptom

Nurse72 :

It wouldn't hurt to have your doctor run a blood test to check for autoimmune disorders like lupus

Nurse72 :

i'm sorry you felt this was poor service. Can I clarify anything for you?

Nurse72 :

I wasn't quite finished discussing this with you. Let me know if you have further questions

Expert:  Nurse72 replied 1 year ago.
Our chat has ended, but you can still continue to ask me questions here until you are satisfied with your answer. Come back to this page to view our conversation and any other new information.

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Expert:  Family Physician replied 1 year ago.
I would have to respectfully disagree with the other expert.

Your symptoms are highly suggestive of a narrowing (stricture) of the esophagus. This narrowing can cause food to become stuck. In some cases, this can result in a complete obstruction of the esophagus requiring emergency endoscopy (scope) to remove the food.

You need to be examined by a gastroenterologist, a specialist who would perform testing, likely including an endoscopy to examine and dilate this area of the esophagus.

Strictures such as this can be caused by long-term reflux of stomach acid into the lower esophagus. With time this narrowing can progress increasing the frequency ad severity of symptoms.

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