Schatzki's Ring - Symptoms

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What are symptoms of a Schatzki Ring?

The majority of these rings cause no symptoms, and patients are unaware of their presence. When the opening of the esophagus becomes smaller as the diameter of these rings shrink, solid, poorly chewed food (such as steak, turkey, frankfurter) that stays in chunks can get caught at the level of the ring. This occurs when the diameter of the ring reaches approximately 1 cm. The patient then experiences chest pain, or sticking sensation in the chest with swallowing (referred to as dysphagia). If the chunk of food passes into the stomach, these symptoms subside quickly and the patient can resume eating. If the food does not pass into the stomach, some patients have to induce regurgitation of the food by sticking their finger in the back of their throat before they can resume eating.

Rarely, the food becomes impacted (the food cannot pass nor can it be regurgitated). These patients experience continued chest pain and difficulty swallowing saliva and secretions. A flexible endoscope has to be inserted through the mouth into the esophagus to extract the impacted food to relieve the obstruction.

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See what others are saying

Comment from: Bettyy, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: April 28

After my first child 52 years ago I was told I had a hiatal hernia. I found that being 'burped' helped relieve. Years later I started having spasms in the esophagus while eating or drinking too fast. It felt like I was having a heart attack; it was diagnosed as Schatzki's ring. I discovered if I would immediately take an empty capsule purchased at pharmacy or use Prilosec or Tylenol capsule it would immediately open the esophagus. Best described it was like relieving a clogged drain with finger. I never left home without my empty capsules. Around age 65 I looked into having my esophagus stretched and seldom have had a spasm but often now get hiccups. Water helps and then time to have stretching done. I have had it done about 6 to 7 times in 15 years. Now I am 80 years old.

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Comment from: daxtea, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

Well, I am 41. I have had this Schatzki's ring problem for about 2 years now. What I have read and seen a few people talk about on YouTube seems to be that Schatzki's ring does not happen all the time. Probably 2 times a week, always the first bite and lasts a minute or 2. I sit and relax so I do not panic. It goes away and I am fine with the rest of meal. I don't have acid reflux symptoms or anything else going on. I don't have any other ailments other than having IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). I don't smoke or drink. This is strange to me. But what is even stranger is that my husband has the same thing going on, his started a year ago. So that in itself is scary that both of us have it. We are hoping it is nothing crazy going on with us. We have read maybe asbestos could be something going on since we have lived in our house going on 8 1/2 years now. One of the symptoms was trouble swallowing. We have not gotten checked yet. I think I may check to see about me first to see why I have this and why my husband does also. Very strange and scary.

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