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Stomach closing up

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    Stomach closing up

    Has anyone had this? My esophagus will not let food and in. I can make a delicious meal, look forward to eating it and it won’t go down.

    this started about 10 years before I was diagnosed so I suspect it is part of the MS. My first major symptom was a bout of dizziness that landed me in the hospital.

    a few weeks later this started. It seemed to happen when I ate plain chicken. I stopped eating that and things were better for awhile. But it has now come back with a vengeance.

    what to do? My doctor asked me if that ever happened to me, which was unusual.

    I am hungry, I have delicious food to eat and it won’t go down the pipe.

    So sorry this is happening to you, palmtree. It must be scary! It's something I've never experienced, but I found an article from NMSS that explains swallowing problems for people with MS. As shown below an appt with a speech/language pathologist should be considered. Hope this helps!


    Dysphagia, or difficulty in swallowing, can occur in people with MS. While more frequent in advanced disease, it can occur at any time. Both chewing and swallowing require a number of muscles in the mouth and throat to work in a coordinated way. In MS, the nerves that control these muscles can become damaged causing weakness and incoordination that can provoke swallowing problems. In addition, numbness of the mouth and throat can occur that can make chewing and swallowing difficult. MS may affect swallowing in a number of ways by causing difficulty managing solids or liquids, frequent throat clearing during eating or drinking, a feeling that food is stuck in the throat, or coughing or a choking sensation when eating or drinking.

    Sometimes medications prescribed for other symptoms or conditions can cause dryness of the mouth which can make swallowing – particularly dry or crumbly foods difficult.

    Swallowing problems are important to recognize early. When swallowing problems persist or worsen there is a risk of aspiration – which means food or fluids getting into the lungs – and this is a serious problem.

    Treating swallowing problems

    Dysphagia is initially diagnosed by a careful history and neurologic examination of the tongue and swallowing muscles. A special imaging procedure called a modified barium swallow can be used to evaluate a person’s ability to chew and swallow solids and liquids. In this test, the person eats and drinks a small quantity of barium, which makes the structures of the mouth, throat, and esophagus visible on x-ray. The movement of these structures is recorded on videotape by a videofluoroscope as the person eats or drinks foods of varying consistencies — thin liquid, thick liquid and solid. The precise location and manner of a swallowing defect can then be identified, and treatment prescribed.

    A speech/language pathologist is the professional who diagnoses and treats dysphagia. Treatment typically consists of strategies for safer eating and swallowing, dietary changes, exercises or stimulation designed to improve swallowing.

    1st sx '89 Dx '99 w/RRMS - SP since 2010
    Administrator Message Boards/Moderator


      Hi palmtree
      Sorry you are experiencing problems. Non-MS related, I had an issue with constant tickle in throat that evolved into trouble swallowing. I saw an ENT, who prescribed something to calm the nerve down some, since it was really aggravated. She referred me to a speech therapist, but that was when covid-19 shut everything down. So I never went. It did finally calm down with the meds, so I didn't need to go to the therapist once they opened back up.

      You may want to start with an ENT so they can look for cause.

      Lots of luck.
      DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri


        Hi Palmtree,

        Yes, I've had this. I've also had aspiration pneumonia three times from food going down wrong (which I didn't even know had happened, so remains in the back of my mind will most likely happen again).

        Thankfully, it has only been a few times each and always resolved. Most times I was in the hospital/rehab and had the appropriate tests and treatments done.

        You'll need a swallow test, aka modified barium swallow test, to see what's going on. Learn more about the test here -

        There are strategies that will hopefully treat it.

        Best of luck

        “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck


          Have you seen a Gastroenterologist? Hope things straighten out soon for you. This sounds awful.

          The only cure for insomnia is to get more sleep.


            I'm also sorry that you're going through this. MS throws us so many curve balls.
            ~ Faith
            MSWorld Volunteer -- Moderator since JUN2012
            (now a Mimibug)

            Symptoms began in JAN02
            - Dx with RRMS in OCT03, following 21 months of limbo, ruling out lots of other dx, and some "probable stroke" and "probable CNS" dx for awhile.
            - In 2008, I was back in limbo briefly, then re-dx w/ MS: JUL08

            - Betaseron NOV03-AUG08; Copaxone20 SEPT08-APR15; Copaxone40 APR15-present
            - Began receiving SSDI / LTD NOV08. Not employed. I volunteer in my church and community.


              I should distinguish this from trouble swallowing. That occurred shortly after my diagnosis.

              I have been able to swallow but my stomach won’t let food in. Eating is not that important to me. Sleep is what I can’t live without.
              I had aspiration pneumonia a couple of times.

              But this is different.


                I second that you should consult a gastroenterologist. So what happens when you swallow food then?
                DX 01/06, currently on Tysabri


                  Thanks for the clarification, Palmtree. Sounds like what you're describing is achalasia. You'll definitely need to see gastroenterologist.

                  I hope this information is helpful to you ~ over%20time.

                  “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck


                    Originally posted by Palmtree
                    My esophagus will not let food and in
                    Originally posted by Palmtree
                    I have been able to swallow but my stomach won’t let food in
                    Dysphagia can affect any part of the swallowing process and generally falls into one of two categories.

                    Oropharyngeal dysphagia involves moving food from the from the mouth to the esophagus, while esophageal dysphagia involves moving food from the esophagus into the stomach.

                    It's my understanding MS can affect any part of the swallowing process. I remember KatieAgain developed gastroparesis from her MS.

                    Does the food just "feel" stuck or does it come back come back up?

                    Originally posted by Palmtree
                    Eating is not that important to me. Sleep is what I can’t live without.
                    You still need nourishment to survive

                    Thinking of you and please keep us updated.

                    “When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” ― Max Planck