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Ask Family Physician Your Own Question
Family Physician
Family Physician, Doctor (MD)
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 12816
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: 4 years ago.
Category: Health
Expert:  Nurse72 replied 4 years 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.

JACUSTOMER-x1xad5jf- :

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

JACUSTOMER-x1xad5jf- :

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?

JACUSTOMER-x1xad5jf- :

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

JACUSTOMER-x1xad5jf- :

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:  Family Physician replied 4 years 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.