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Dr. Chip
Dr. Chip, Board Certified Physician
Category: Medical
Satisfied Customers: 32750
Experience:  20 yrs. in practice, includinge surgery, general medicine, addiction medicine and pain.
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Hello for 15 years or so every now and then (say once a month

Customer Question

Hello for 15 years or so every now and then (say once a month maybe once every 2 months) I get a pain in my lower esophagus that can be felt in the front and my back. it is a very gradual pain that gets worse over time. it is a constant and dull pain and no painkillers or antacids work to get rid of it. I get a lot of burping and some acid reflux with it too. i have had it for 15 years at least and the doctors dont seem to know what it is. i havent had any tests for it though. i had it very bad monday night so i went to bed with a hot water bottle praying it would go by morning but i woke at 2am and it was worse, i took some pain killers just in case they worked and 10 mins after taking them my chest was burning so bad. it felt like the tablets had only got as far as my lower esophagus and it was very painful. it still burns slightly now when i swallow or burp. i believe i have a problem with esophagus. In the morning i have to clear them throat for a few hoursd before i feel it is fully open, i feel like there is soemthing blocking my airway in a way. it doesnt affect my breathing but i have to keep coughing to clear my throat. I am not sure if this is related or not. I am so frustrated as the doctors dont seem to know whats wrong and they havent suggested doing any tests. Are you able to suggest anything it could be?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Medical
Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Hi. We can continue after this if you'd like. You need the following tests--an upper endoscopy, an esophageal and gastric motility test, and a screen for an H pylori infection of your stomach. I don't think this is just a reflux problem alone but you may have what's called achalasia which is a problem with the sphincter between your esophagus and your stomach. This also could be a gastric emptying problem. I really don't know why your doctors haven't been aggressive in evaluating this obvious problem but you need to discuss those tests with them
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Customer: replied 2 years ago.

Thank you. I am very happy with oyur answer and I will make an appointment for these tests to be done. What symptoms would I feel if it is this Achalasia? I have trouble swallowing when drinking - my partner teases me for sounding so loud. I kind if gulp when I drink. I also choke on my food every so often and in the mornings it takes a few hours for me to clear my throat. The pain I get where the sphincter is located is not often - what causes the pain?

Expert:  Dr. Chip replied 2 years ago.
Achalasia has symptoms like what you describe--heartburn, difficulty swallowing, the feeling that food gets stuck in the chest. The pain is from gastric acid in the esophagus and from a spasm in the area