Esophageal Spasms

by Samuel Meadows on January 22, 2011

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Comprehensive Guide on Esophageal Spasms

Esophageal spasm is a condition which causes spasm in the esophagus. The esophagus is a tube that connects the throat and stomach. When esophageal spasm happens, you will feel a sharp pain in the chest. The sharp pain will lasts for several minutes in the chest.  Esophageal spasm usually happens once in a while. Some people will experience this condition frequently. If you suffer from this spasm frequently, you will have problem swallowing food into the throat.  When the spam occurs, the esophagus muscle will contract and prevent the food from traveling swiftly to the stomach. Treatment is necessary for people that frequently experience spasms in the esophagus. If you only experience the spasms once in a while, you may not need to receive treatment so it’s best to be sure.

There are two types of esophageal spasms including diffuse esophageal spasm and nutcracker esophagus. Diffuse esophageal spasm will cause intermittent esophageal muscle contractions. Besides, the patient will frequently regurgitate the food and liquid consumed not long ago. Nutcracker esophagus will produce even more severe symptoms than diffuse esophageal spasm. If you have nutcracker esophagus, you will feel a strong contraction in your esophageal muscles. People with nutcracker esophageal spasm will regurgitate food less frequently.

Several symptoms are associated with esophageal spasms. There will be an intense chest pain that is similar to angina pain. You can easily mistaken esophageal spasm with angina pain. To find out the source of the pain, you have to go for a full checkup at the clinic. In addition, the patient will suffer from dysphagia and have difficulty in swallowing food. Patients will feel as if there is an object in their throat. Occasionally, the patient will regurgitate the food that he had swallowed. If you are experiencing all the symptoms of esophageal spasms, you should see the doctor to verify the condition.

There are several factors that increase your risks of getting esophageal spasms. People with heartburn have higher chances of getting esophageal spasms. Other risk factors associated with esophageal spasms include gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), anxiety and etc.

It is recommended that you see a gastroenterologist if you have esophageal spasm. The gastroenterologist is specialized in diagnosing digestive diseases so he know how to perform diagnosis. Before seeing the doctor, you should ask him if you are required to do anything in advance. To help the doctor to diagnose your condition easily, you can write down all the symptoms you experience. In addition, you should write down any changes in your life that you experience recently. You can also write down the medications and vitamins that you are taking. If you have questions, you should ask the doctor so that you can get the answer.

The doctor will prescribe medications to relax your esophagus muscles such as isosorbide and diltiazem. He can also prescribe medications to manage the symptoms related to the conditions including heart burn and depression. To control pain, the doctor will prescribe antidepressants such as traxodone to the patient. In some cases, the patients will be asked to go for surgery.

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