Patient Comments: Schatzki's Ring - Symptoms

What were your symptoms that led to a diagnosis of Schatzki's ring?

Comment from: Roman, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 18

I'm 37 and I had trouble swallowing for almost 10 years. It was fine in the beginning but for the past 2 years I need to have water constantly available every time I swallow anything. The water helps me to push the food down. I have had 3 big chocking episodes that occurred while I was eating chicken or meat. I felt like I was dying, I couldn't breathe. I had to have someone do the Heimlich maneuver to make me regurgitate the food. I was really scared. One time the chocking lasted for 8 hours. I couldn't even swallow my own saliva because I couldn't breathe. I just got diagnosed with Schatzki's ring last month. Now I know what's going on. They made me drink barium and get an X-ray to discover it. It's getting worse everyday but I'm going to get the procedure with the balloons to expand my esophagus next week. I hope I can help some people having the same trouble as I am. It's really scary and I don't wish it on anyone.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 09

I am relieved others have these symptoms. Intense chest pain, saliva build up and you basically have to wait it out until it passes. Sometimes within a second you can almost feel the blockage or bubble feeling pop and your back to normal. I have had one procedure, dilation 6 years ago and my symptoms have returned in the pass few months. I notice a natural whole foods diet does not cause any symptoms, I am going to try that for a few more months before having another procedure. I fear that the procedures may cause scar tissue or more damage in the long term.

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Comment from: Anne, 7-12 Female (Caregiver) Published: September 12

I have a ten year old daughter who has this. Her GI doctor is following new research that seems to conclude that these can be caused by food allergies. We put her on a new diet with Prilosec and a Flovent inhaler to decrease the swelling and inflammation.

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Comment from: lonerancher, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 12

The first experience I had was in Vietnam at the age of 19. In 1985 I finally went in for a diagnosis and it was Schatski's ring. I have lived with it for 43 years. It is triggered by certain foods, namely steak. However, it has also been triggered by cream of wheat. Last weekend the symptoms lasted for two days. An inability to swallow (not even saliva) and a constant pain in the chest. I have learned to try and not eat when under stress, or very hungry. If I eat too fast and I am not relaxed I can expect problems. Sometimes the pain is severe. When it lasts longer than a few minutes I experiment with ways to make it pass, but to no avail. It is particularly a matter of concern when it lasts longer than 24 hours. I have learned to live with this and wouldn't wish it on anyone. If anyone knows a way to make it pass I would like to know. I have had the esophagus dilating treatments a few times but it is brutal. I guess we can be philosophical and tell ourselves its better than Parkinson's disease. I worry that it may develop into cancer someday.

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Comment from: H, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 11

I found it difficult to swallow food, and on one occasion, I was sick. The food would lie at the level of my chest for a long while. Before my diagnosis of Schatzki's ring, I stopped eating food. Near the end, even soup was difficult to get down.

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Comment from: JenTheRN, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 13

My first episode of Schatzki's ring was incredibly scary! I had such horrendous chest pain that I was certain I was having a heart attack. I began to regurgitate without any sensation of nausea. That was nearly twenty years ago, but i remember it like it was yesterday. I have had a total of three dilation procedures and am probably about due for another since I am having some episodes when taking my medications. I have found that caffeine exacerbates the symptoms, as do very cold liquid drinks while eating or taking medications.

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Comment from: springhiller, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: August 13

After a few bites of a meal I began to cough, sometimes very long and hard. Some believed I was choking, it was difficult to get my breath sometimes, but I could breathe. Food seemed to make a lump near the bottom of my breastbone, and at times it was quite painful. I have found that breathing slowly, eating slowly, and chewing my food well helps. Exercise also seems to help the symptoms of Schatzki's ring.

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