Food Gets Stuck After Swallowing

Dear Ask The Doctor:  Sometimes food gets stuck after I swallow it just below my throat, high up in my chest, sometimes it will take an hour to go down and I feel the lump there all the time, other times it will cause me to be sick but does not eject when I vommit, still stays there and I will stop vommiting when it eventually goes down

Dear Patient:   The feeling of having food stuck in your throat or chest is a condition referred to as dysphagia, and may be caused by either liquids or solid, it happens when the muscle in your esophagus doesn't relax enough to let food pass into your stomach.
Risk factors for dysphagia include smoking, excessive alcohol and even certain medications. Medical causes of dysphagia are the conditions that cause the esophagus to narrow like neuromuscular conditions, gastresophageal reflux disease (GERD) or may be due to tumors (benign or cancerous).
You will want to consult a gastroenterologist for examination, and if the esophageal dysphagia seems to be due to an esophageal muscle that doesn't relax, doctor may dilate your esophagus through an endoscopic procedure. If the problem is GERD, you may be given medications like antacids or proton pump inhibitors. Your doctor may also prescribe medications to relax your esophagus and prevent spasms. If the dysphagia is due to a tumor or other obstruction, surgery could be required.

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