Where is my food going?
December 22, 2006 7:26 PM Subscribe
Why is my food not making it to my stomach?
Sometimes food does not go down correctly when I am eating. This is not the same as when it “goes down the wrong pipe” and causes coughing or a choking feeling. Instead this seems to stick in the upper chest area somewhere, almost as though it is just sitting there. If I notice this is happening quickly enough, I can simply breathe slowly and relax without trying to swallow and I can feel the food work back up as though it is crawling up my esophagus. It then goes down normally and I can continue eating, usually without any more problems. If I try to swallow while this is happening (which is a reflex and it is hard to avoid) it keeps the food wherever it is going and it does not work back up.
Also if I do not catch it after the first bite that does this, the food seems to compact somewhere and I start to feel tightness in this area and I end up forcing myself to dry heave until it comes up. I can feel the food in my upper chest and I can feel it coming up when I do this. I should note that there is never a bile taste or any noticeable acid coming up with the food or any feeling that I am bringing anything up from my stomach, it is all in my upper chest.
I am unable to eat or drink anything until I forcibly gag the food up if it does not work back upwards on it’s own, otherwise it just continues to pile up. My nose starts running profusely as does saliva, which goes to join the food. So I end up gagging up a wad of food and a bunch of saliva and sinus drainage. It can be painful and if it is a bad case, it leaves me unable to eat for anywhere between thirty minutes to a few hours because the food keeps going the wrong way for a while. I have had to leave restaurants before because of this happening bad enough that simply going to the bathroom and trying to make it come back up was not enough.
It seems to happen most often when I am exhausted or when I go for a while without eating anything. I have found that steak and roast beef are by far the worst culprits. I asked my doctor about it on two occasions and once he said it was nothing to worry about and another time I was there for a cold and he outright refused to talk about it, saying I needed to worry about the cold and not anything else. I haven’t bothered asking again. I have read about GERD and other similar problems but haven't found anything exactly like this.