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: NenesMama, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: April 08

I had my first episode with this when I lived alone with my newborn. I thought I was having a heart attack. I couldn't swallow or breathe and I was getting light headed. That was 12 1/2 years ago. I've been diagnosed with a Schatzki's Ring and apparently a few others in my family have it. I still experience horrible symptoms, I still get light headed and think I'm going to pass out. Sometimes it causes violent regurgitation. I also have the horrible hiccups. I've had it stretched once and I try to watch what I eat. Bread or sweet bread is a huge trigger. But feeling like I'm going to black out is the worst.

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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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