Author Topic: Swallowing Problems and throat pain  (Read 2460 times)


  • Guest
Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« on: November 15, 2013, 08:55:31 PM »
Wondering how many have had throat and swallowing problems? Over the last few months I've noticed food and drink goes down the wrong way causing me to choke and cough. Several times per week I have throat pain that doesn't seem to be brought on by anything in particular.

I've also noticed food and drink goes down very slowly causing paralyzing excruciating chest pain. It's enough to make my eyes water. It is  painful and hard to describe.

Has anyone else had a symptom like this before?



  • Guest
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #1 on: November 16, 2013, 01:13:54 AM »
I have this...occasionally liquids will go down the wrong way, making me splutter a bit, but mostly it's the chest pain. It's not so bad right now, it seems to be worst when my UV is bad for some reason, but it feels like I'm trying to swallow a basketball, even when I'm not eating, and eating is torture, even tiny mouthfuls.

I think part of it is dryness, but my rheumy thought there was some dysmotility going on too. I had a barium swallow a few weeks back that didn't show a lot, but I had no pain at that point so I wasn't expecting to see much. I will see if I can get it repeated when it's next bad. Even swallowing water is too painful when it's really bad, and I can't do anything, can't sleep, can't walk around, can't even sit and read a book because it's so painful.

Oddly, taking 5mg of chewable montelukast at night helps me. No-one knows why, and that's not what it was prescribed for. I was given it to try to help with the rash, and while it didn't improve my skin at all, it helps with the chest pain. Like I say, the reason for it is totally unknown and montelukast isn't a recognised treatment for dysmotility or whatever it is I have.

I think dysmotility is quite common in Sjogren's, as is dysphagia from dryness. It's definitely worth getting it investigated, though, because it can also be a sign of autonomic neuropathy, which obviously needs treatment quickly. Talk to your rheumy/GP about it. I really do feel your pain, and I hope it settles soon for you.


  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 349
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #2 on: November 16, 2013, 06:28:33 AM »
YES! most definitely  do have problems with both swallowing and throat pain.

I choke frequently,and also experience the sensation that food has not made it all the way down despite copious amounts of water. I also have the chest pain as food " sticks" in an area that feels too constricted to pass through. It is a transient symptom as well- not always present but happening with greater frequency than it did in years passed.

the throat pain is very troublesome for me and seems to come at the later part of days when I have eaten often and had to speak for long stretches ( as part of my worklife).

It is not the throat pain that most people have accompanying colds and flu- centred right at the back of your mouth for lack of a better description- but almost under my thyroid, deep deep in my throat. I sometimes avoid eating because it feels so tender

I have a feeling that most people with Sjogrens have the dis-motility that your doctor spoke of to some degree. All part of our unique package I guess!
47 female, Sjogrens ,Raynauds,degenerative disc disease.Rheumatoid Arthritis, gastroparesis.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 887
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #3 on: November 16, 2013, 07:13:52 AM »
Powder, this was one of of my first symptoms, before the pain and everything else. My sister has a slew of AI including SjS and she was scared for me, as this was one of her first symptoms as well. I do have peripheral and autonomic neuropathies.

With that said, I see you have hypercalcemia, which 99% of the time is cause by hyperparathyroidism. Both thyroiditis and hyperparathyroidism can make you feel this way as well. The swelling/tumors, my endo surgeon says, is another first sign of thyroiditis.

Hope that helps. Take care now.
Primary SjS, Steroid Induced Cushing's Syndrome, RA, Thyroiditis, Hyperparathyroidism, Raynaud's, Autonomic & Small Fiber NLeuropathy, Fibro. Osteoporosis, & other fun stuff associated w/ the afore mentioned. ~Meds: prednisone, Plaqu, Citracal D & Pain Meds, Compazine, phenergan, Iberogast.


  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1095
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #4 on: November 16, 2013, 07:21:44 AM »
Yes definitely - hoarse allot too...sorry to hear you are experiencing this as well.  Do you take anything like salagen?  I do not as of yet but plan to ask to rheumy about it at next visit, here it can help some.  I also have GERD and have to take OTC acid reducers to help.  I find when the GERD is flaring it can cause more problems with the throat.  Have you been checked for GERD/acid reflux? That can cause a host of issues such as what you are having as well and can be remedied by PPI's or other acid reducers? 

I do know also that some folks on this forum have thyroid issues that can cause throat issues, have you been checked for that?  Not trying to misguide you or tell you what you should do by any means, just throwing some other ideas out there.

I do know that throat issues can simply be caused by sjogrens as well, but for me, personally, I felt better having everything checked out.

Hoping it gets better.

Sending positive thoughts and prayers your way. 
Primary ss dx 2013, plaquenil, vitamin d, iron supplements, vitamin b12, d-mannose for chronic UTI's, magnesium for heart palpatations and Zinc


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 181
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #5 on: November 16, 2013, 08:43:59 AM »
I have throat and swallowing issues. Mine started almost exactly 2 years ago. It started with feeling like my thyroid pill was stuck and not going down all of the way. It progressed to mild regurgitation. Especially cold smoothies. I would swallow and a short while later I could feel the cold fluid coming right back up. The bits of nuts, apples, and oats would get stuck and I would cough them up. I spent a whole day trying to clear oats. Sometimes at night I would cough up small bits if food this would wake me. I also started to have deep shooting pain in my chest. I also have GERD.

Treatment with Omeprazole didn't help. My gastro suspected Esinophillic Esophagitis which seemed to fit, but biopsies came back normal. My endoscopy reveled some narrowing which was dilated. I was referred to a motility specialist at Califirnia Pacific Medical Center in San Francisco 4 1/2hrs from my home. I took me months to meet with and months to schedule all of the tests and procedures. It got so bad I was on a liquid diet. Then it randomly began to resolve somewhat.

My 2nd endoscopy was negative for EE and Celiac. My 24 ph test showed reflux, but "not enough to be clinical". My Barium swallow test showed some narrowing. Motility test showed some slowing but not much else until I had to swallow small pieces of cracker which I choked on. These results were blown off as nothing but now I see as a sign of my dry mouth. CAT with contrast showed heart was normal. I was told that I "might" have esophageal spasms causing the shooting chest pains and that I likely had a hypersensitive esophagus. I was prescribed Nortriptyline. I only took it for a month.

This experience was scary and horrible. These symptoms seem transient to me as well and have never come back as bad as initially. They will flare up for a week or so at a time. Things that help are Gaviscon liquid can help right away when GERD is breaking through and seems to set off the "spasms". If this doesn't work, then Donnatal EXT tabs (anti spasmodic) usually helps. My last resort is Diazapam. I seem to manage ok. The shooting chest pains are the most concerning.

This is what led my PCP to run a bunch of Lupus tests which showed +ANA with a speckled pattern. My Rhuemy considers this to be days motility. That is the first chapter of my journey. Good luck.
Primary Lupus, secondary atypical Sjogren's, Recurring episcleritis, Esophageal spasms, Hashimoto's, GERD, Perioral Dermatitis
Levothyroxine, Liothyronine Sodium, Plaquinil, Prilosec
Salmon oil, Flax oil, Restasis, Tears Naturale


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 143
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #6 on: November 16, 2013, 09:00:53 AM »
I had that problem, especially the food going down slowly causing a lot of pain. The cause of mine was a thyroid nodule that was tucked behind my windpipe and it was blocking part of my esophagus. Another symptom the nodule caused was that I couldn't feel drinks running down that side of my throat, no hot or cold sensations, etc. I had half of my thyroid removed in June and no swallowing problems since.
37/F Dx sjs with lupus overlap, raynauds
Plaquenil,prednisone, gabapentin, cymbalta, zanaflex, evoxac, lidoderm patch, restasis


  • Guest
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2013, 06:21:03 PM »
Thank you everyone who responded. I'm sorry you are having some of the same problems but it is a relief to me to be able to attribute my symptoms to something.

I asked my PCP about it today but she dismissed my inquiry and said, "all of the pain you are having can be attributed to major depressive disorder". WTH?!!! Ever since I called her out on writing lies in my chart this is how my visits with her have ended up. I will continue this in my next post.

Finally, I do not take Salagen and none of my doctors have even mentioned it. Thank you for the ideas. Definitely something to keep in mind to ask my next new doctor about.  :)



  • Guest
Re: Swallowing Problems and throat pain
« Reply #8 on: November 21, 2013, 05:41:50 PM »
I had it,went to a gastro doctor took biopies, I have gerd and I did not have the indigeston problems just pain or spasms in my esphogus and due to all of that it narrowed my espogus so the doc stretched itand put me on meds, it is much better now