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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Who Else Has Esophageal Spasms And Difficulty Swallowing?
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19 posts in this topic

I have had increasing problems with esophageal spasms in the past several years.

Sometimes it's really difficult to swallow food or pills....my throat just seems to try to close up on me. Other times the spasms are lower down, in the chest area.

I had one in my chest last year that was so intense they hospitalized me for 3 days and ran TONS of tests because they were sure I'd had a heart attack!

My mom has this same problem.

Does anybody else experience this?? Is it related to celiac disease or not? (I hate to blame EVERYTHING on celiac disease!)

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it could be esophageal reflux.

I was diagnosed with reflux and treated briefly for it. Once in a blue moon I will have an episode and it feels like the bite I have taken just won't go down. Sometimes I end up regurgitating a lot of mucous.

There's probably not any connection to celiac disease, but I have not researched this, maybe someone else knows more.

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I have trouble swallowing things sometimes, especially pills (which I used to swallow even without water, now I can't even choke or flush them down). I think, though, that mine has more to do with forming a gas bubble in the esophagus which the peristaltic waves can't force the food to penetrate. I have learned to always burp a couple of times to try and get rid of that gas bubble but still sometimes things stick and I feel like I am choking and it is quite distressing. Several times before I got a handle on it I would end up retching and vomiting up the pills I just took.Bah!!!

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it could be esophageal reflux.

I was diagnosed with reflux and treated briefly for it. Once in a blue moon I will have an episode and it feels like the bite I have taken just won't go down. Sometimes I end up regurgitating a lot of mucous.

There's probably not any connection to celiac disease, but I have not researched this, maybe someone else knows more.

Thanks momxyz!

I searched on celiac acid reflux and came up with this:

http://infantrefluxdisease.com/infant_acid...flux-celiac.php

So apparently celiac disease can cause acid reflux. But now that I'm gluten free I think that what's causing my reflux is the prednisone I'm on. I do remember my GI saying something about acid reflux possibly triggering the chest spasms.

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I have trouble swallowing things sometimes, especially pills (which I used to swallow even without water, now I can't even choke or flush them down). I think, though, that mine has more to do with forming a gas bubble in the esophagus which the peristaltic waves can't force the food to penetrate. I have learned to always burp a couple of times to try and get rid of that gas bubble but still sometimes things stick and I feel like I am choking and it is quite distressing. Several times before I got a handle on it I would end up retching and vomiting up the pills I just took.Bah!!!

Thanks mushroom....I'm sorry to hear that you had this sort of problem!

It sounds somewhat similar in that I do end up gagging and retching sometimes when trying to swallow but I'm not sure that it's gas that's in the way. It actually feels like my throat has suddenly become too small (spasm?). If it happens when the food or pills are part way down everything just sits there until my throat relaxes.

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Thanks mushroom....I'm sorry to hear that you had this sort of problem!

It sounds somewhat similar in that I do end up gagging and retching sometimes when trying to swallow but I'm not sure that it's gas that's in the way. It actually feels like my throat has suddenly become too small (spasm?). If it happens when the food or pills are part way down everything just sits there until my throat relaxes.

Yeah, that's how it is for me too. I thought I was the only one that weird. But it does seem to help if I burp first. You might try it :)

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Yeah, that's how it is for me too. I thought I was the only one that weird. But it does seem to help if I burp first. You might try it :)

OK, I'll try it....unfortunately I've never been very good at burping (unlike my my brothers!).

:P

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I have this problem too. Have had it for years, there are certain foods that trigger it more so for me. People tell you chewing your food before swallowing is required. I hate when they say that, thinking they are being funny. I can have this problem swallowing pudding, and there is no chewing to it. Pistachio pudding, pineapple, and used to be bread was the worst for me. At least once a week this happens with my supper, sometimes, I can't even catch my breath. It can be very scary.

I don't think it probably has anything to do with celiac/gluten intolerance. It happens to me now, just as much as it did before I went gluten free, and that's been over 9 years.

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I have this problem too. Have had it for years, there are certain foods that trigger it more so for me. People tell you chewing your food before swallowing is required. I hate when they say that, thinking they are being funny. I can have this problem swallowing pudding, and there is no chewing to it. Pistachio pudding, pineapple, and used to be bread was the worst for me. At least once a week this happens with my supper, sometimes, I can't even catch my breath. It can be very scary.

I don't think it probably has anything to do with celiac/gluten intolerance. It happens to me now, just as much as it did before I went gluten free, and that's been over 9 years.

I know....there's nothing funny about it! It is scary.

That's really interesting about the food triggers. Do processed foods tend to give you problems?

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I do not eat processed foods. I am very limited on what I can eat. I do eat peanut butter, and I guess that could be called processed. I use Skippy Natural, 4 ingredients. I can't have pudding anymore, so cant test the pistachio pudding (dairy free).

It is very scary. You either have to get the food to come up, or hope it goes down...sometimes, taking several minutes.

Now, it seems even worse than it had been. I have issues with dry mouth, and I think my epophagus is effected too. I have very dry eyes too, and was tested for Sjogrens, which came back negative.

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Darlin'Deb.....I was for sure going to suggest testing for Sjogrens reading your reply.....then you said you tested negative for it. I've had increasing difficulty with swallowing, dry mouth, eyes etc. Turns out that's what's been going on with me. Not "you're just upset from being so ill". Don't ever fall for that line about symptoms. :P I don't even try to eat bread or "dry" foods anymore 'cause it sticks all over the inside of my mouth and then it's murder to get it down. My gag reflex seems to be much more sensitive than it used to be, too.

I had not considered the reflux idea. I do have a hiatus hernia, so I suppose it all comes in to play. Good luck all of you in finding the proper answers for yourselves.

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Interesting...I have a hiatal hernia too and 2 years ago I was having symptoms like nasalady. I had the cardiac testing (echo stress test and wore a Holter Monitor) and those were negative. I was diagnosed with bronchial spasms.

I don't think it's necessarily related to the Celiac but who knows. My bronchial spasms and chronic allergic rhinitis are caused by allergies, according to my ENT and he told me that Celiacs are prone to allergies. Related--maybe??

I believe some of my symptoms (difficulty swallowing, food getting stuck in my throat, reflux) improved when I cut out legumes.

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I don't have this, but what you guys are describing sounds like what my twin cousins have, they have been diagnosed with "eosinophilic esophagitis".........they were because of this, and that celiac is in the family (my daughter), given the blood test for celiac, and it was supposedly negative. Not that they don't have it of course, because I believe they also exhibit other symptoms. But the negative blood test was enough for everyone in the family to drop the celiac issue for them. They would never follow the gluten-free diet. Anyway, I believe they were prescribed allergy medicine for it, but I'm not 100% sure. They are 16 and have suffered with this from an early age, like 5 or 6. It occurs randomly, I don't think they've realized a particular trigger.

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I don't have this, but what you guys are describing sounds like what my twin cousins have, they have been diagnosed with "eosinophilic esophagitis".........they were because of this, and that celiac is in the family (my daughter), given the blood test for celiac, and it was supposedly negative. Not that they don't have it of course, because I believe they also exhibit other symptoms. But the negative blood test was enough for everyone in the family to drop the celiac issue for them. They would never follow the gluten-free diet. Anyway, I believe they were prescribed allergy medicine for it, but I'm not 100% sure. They are 16 and have suffered with this from an early age, like 5 or 6. It occurs randomly, I don't think they've realized a particular trigger.

Funny you should say that, because my eosinophils are usually out of range :o

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I also suffer from esophageal spasms. They started a couple years ago and long before I was diagnosed with Celiac. My best guess right now is that I have chronic inflammation problems that have affected my throat area also. (and just last week food started getting stuck lower in my chest, too) I usually eat a couple spoonfuls of applesauce before I eat a meal when I know it's an issue to "prepare" my throat. It sometimes works and sometimes no. Sorry I don't know more, but it seems to go hand in hand with all the other autoimmune symptoms we are all suffering from.

I have had increasing problems with esophageal spasms in the past several years.

Sometimes it's really difficult to swallow food or pills....my throat just seems to try to close up on me. Other times the spasms are lower down, in the chest area.

I had one in my chest last year that was so intense they hospitalized me for 3 days and ran TONS of tests because they were sure I'd had a heart attack!

My mom has this same problem.

Does anybody else experience this?? Is it related to celiac disease or not? (I hate to blame EVERYTHING on celiac disease!)

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Yes, I have issues with this. The spasms are so painful that they double me over and take my breath away. They last about a minute for me, though it may as well be an eternity. The pain for me is primarily in the center of my chest. Once they start , I am done eating, because they will continue to happen with every bite. I don't know if it is related to celiac or not. It started happening to me with pasta every time I ate it, to the point that I still have a mental block of sorts even to gluten free pasta. Now it happens only occasionally. I also had problems with swallowing, though again, this has diminished considerably with the gluten free diet.

I hope it gets better for you!

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I did have one test done for Sjogrens/Sicca Syndrome. I have been told it's not the best test, and often comes back negative. I am bringing this up again with my PCP next Friday.

Does anyone use Biotech Toothpaste or Mouthwash?

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Omg...this is totally weird!! I have problems swallowing sometimes but only with drinking, not with food. I am actually having it now, it feels as if there is a bubble in my throat and nothing can relieve it. I don't have celiac but I do have a problem with gluten so I eat gluten free. The doctors have always contributed my difficulty swallowing to my smoking and asthma (yeah I know I'm an idiot and shouldn't smoke with asthma) but I never thought so. Burping does help a lot and I take small sips of whatever I am drinking. With me, drinking a cold bottle of water helps some, I noticed I have more difficulties if it's a carbonated drink. It's absolutely awful and totally scary, I feel like I am suffocating and as if the liquid is caught in my throat. It takes all my effort to swallow. It only lasts a couple of seconds but they are absolutely some of the most terrifying seconds of my life!!!

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