View Full Version : Dysphagia (Difficulty swallowing) - Is this from my stress/anxiety?


HopelessInNY
03-13-14, 10:49 AM
Hey everyone, this is my first post - I've been a long time lurker and find there are many topic related forums that suite me... but I need some light shed on this question of mine.

Recently diagnosed GAD along WITH my ADD. But I've been dealing with this problem for A LONG TIME which has gotten worse over the last year (concurrent with an increase in stress/worrying/anxiety) - Dysphagia. Difficulty swallowing, eating, drinking - constantly leading to gagging and dry heaving. The intensity varies throughout the day, mostly peaking in the evening. It's as if my muscles in my throat constrict and tighten leading to the above mentioned symptoms.

I also found out my tonsils were enlarged (palatine and lingual) and with further testing found out I have sleep apnea. This lead to a tonsillectomy. This did not help my swallowing. I've had 3 opinions before opting for surgery and 2/3 agreed the dysphagia very well could be caused from stress/anxiety.

I have many symptoms of anxiety ... constant butterflies in my chest/stomach, obsessive/ruminating/intrusive thoughts, hot & cold hands/feet .... the list goes on. I am always worried about something, and dwelling on the negative.

I have spoken to my doctor about this, but his main focus is my ADD - but also giving me many different meds that just don't help my anxiety what so ever. I have also made it a point that I would like to steer away from a benzodiazepine - Lexapro, Mirtazapine, Buspar - either end up making things worse or doing absolutely nothing at all. I've brought up the issue about my throat to my psychiatrist but he will nothing about it seeing how it doesn't pertain to him.

So I would like to know if Dysphagia is a symptom of anxiety? I've heard the term "all choked up" and that's exactly how I feel. But I want to be 100% sure before I firmly present my case to my doctor & take a step towards benzo's.

aeon
04-08-14, 07:21 PM
Yes, this is a classic presentation of anxiety.

MX2012
04-08-14, 11:12 PM
Hey everyone, this is my first post - I've been a long time lurker and find there are many topic related forums that suite me... but I need some light shed on this question of mine.

Recently diagnosed GAD along WITH my ADD. But I've been dealing with this problem for A LONG TIME which has gotten worse over the last year (concurrent with an increase in stress/worrying/anxiety) - Dysphagia. Difficulty swallowing, eating, drinking - constantly leading to gagging and dry heaving. The intensity varies throughout the day, mostly peaking in the evening. It's as if my muscles in my throat constrict and tighten leading to the above mentioned symptoms.

I also found out my tonsils were enlarged (palatine and lingual) and with further testing found out I have sleep apnea. This lead to a tonsillectomy. This did not help my swallowing. I've had 3 opinions before opting for surgery and 2/3 agreed the dysphagia very well could be caused from stress/anxiety.

I have many symptoms of anxiety ... constant butterflies in my chest/stomach, obsessive/ruminating/intrusive thoughts, hot & cold hands/feet .... the list goes on. I am always worried about something, and dwelling on the negative.

I have spoken to my doctor about this, but his main focus is my ADD - but also giving me many different meds that just don't help my anxiety what so ever. I have also made it a point that I would like to steer away from a benzodiazepine - Lexapro, Mirtazapine, Buspar - either end up making things worse or doing absolutely nothing at all. I've brought up the issue about my throat to my psychiatrist but he will nothing about it seeing how it doesn't pertain to him.

So I would like to know if Dysphagia is a symptom of anxiety? I've heard the term "all choked up" and that's exactly how I feel. But I want to be 100% sure before I firmly present my case to my doctor & take a step towards benzo's.

Hi Hope (more or less) -- I am going to suggest something different.

Consider acid reflux which can also result from stress.

When you are stressed, your stomach can over produce acid. This harms the opening to the stomach and lets some of the acid into your esophagus which then can irritate your throat which can then react by becoming swollen.

I do not know if there is a test for this. I had untreated acid reflux for years and it began to affect my lungs and breathing. Since I have been treated, my breathing has improved 100% but I still struggle with acid in my esophagus. I have to sleep at an angle to prevent the acid from moving into my esophagus.

I was on prescriptions but now just drink lots of milk and avoid a spicy diet, alcohol and caffeine. All of which has helped. Occasionally, I do take an over the counter acid reducer.

Just a thought. Don't assume you have it.