Patient Comments: Schatzki's Ring - Treatment

Question:

Were you or a relative diagnosed with Schatzki's ring? Please describe the treatment. Submit Your Comment

Comment from: Sixfirefish , 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 06

I've had 2 dilatations of my Schatzki's ring and need another from 3 weeks of last one placed. I am on PPI (proton pump inhibitor) but biopsy taken today.

Comment from: Denariel, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I started having trouble swallowing followed by terrible spasm like pain that felt like a heart attack. I tried swallowing with water and that didn't help. I took a swig of liquid antacid and that helped. I was tested and diagnosed with Schatzki's ring and a hiatal hernia. Endoscopy and zapping the ring was recommended. I haven't done this as of yet. I have been attempting to avoid attacks by watching what I eat and avoiding trigger foods like tuna, chicken, breads; mostly foods that are dry.

Comment from: Phil8656, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: June 12

I have had this Schatzki's ring for most of life. I am 63 now and it has only gotten worse over time. I have had three dilations so far. They only last a year for me. The first time I had to go the hospital for it the doctor had me try to force down some ice cold water. I gagged it up twice but then the third try my throat released and it cleared. He said it was a muscle that tightens up for no reason and that the cold water relaxes it. I still drink cold water with every meal. I have had some success with the probiotic yeast Saccharomyces boulardii. The thing seems to be going away slowly and is helping with my acid reflux as well. Be sure to take it on an empty stomach between meals. And it will be a week or two before you notice any improvement. Good luck.

Comment from: Ken, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: January 12

I have/had Schatzki's ring and had the endoscopy stretch which helped. Some of my home remedies which helped when the food got lodged in order of effectiveness: Preventative - obviously eat slower. Take small sips of water between mouthfuls to help wash food down. When the food is lodged, drink a small mouthful of warm/warmer water and push it down by swallowing hard. This can push the food down. Prilosec daily or as needed seems to help prevent the problem. For those who need the endoscopic stretch frequently, see YouTube, as there is a doctor in India who trains his patients to resist the gagging reflex and use the same rubber tool to stretch their esophagus.

Comment from: gvravel, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: September 07

I'm 58 and when I was in my teens I started have problems with the esophageal ring. Schatzki's ring wasn't diagnosed as such until I tried to join the Air Force in my 20s. After having one stretch-out of my esophagus I didn't go to another doctor about the problem until I was in my early 30s. The problem was getting worse and worse. My gastroenterologist would do a stretch about once every 2 years and told me that I should expect having to have a stretch done every couple of years for the rest of my life. Finally, because of my acid reflux problem that I was having, my doctor prescribed Zantac. After that he prescribed Prilosec. This was several years before they were sold over the counter. My doctor never put me on these drugs because of my esophageal ring problem but did so because of my acid reflux. There was a lot of scar tissue and my esophagus was quite reddish looking. Over the course of many months starting in the late 1990s I noticed that I was no longer having any problems with the ring. I put two and two together and started to research on acid reflux medicine helping esophageal ring problems. It wasn't until 10 years ago that I finally discovered some literature on the subject. Various doctors that I talked to (primary care and gastroenterologist) about the subject weren't convinced about the correlation. They simply chalked up my lack of the problem coming back to simply luck and that I should be prepared for the problem to come back. My gastroenterologist was convinced I was born with it. Well, the problem has never come back and it's been 20 years and I haven't seen a gastroenterologist for close to 10 years.

Comment from: JenTheRN, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 06

My very first symptom with Schatzki's ring was vomiting without nausea. I knew something was coming back, and I was powerless to stop it. There was a huge amount of secretions, but no food. Then I experienced chest pain so severe that I feared I was dying. A friend rushed me to the hospital, where I was immediately given nitroglycerin, in case it was indeed a heart attack. The nitro relaxed the spasm, but when the EKG was normal, I went to fluoroscopy where the Schatzki's ring was discovered. No prior GERD!

Comment from: Vermonter, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: July 06

I have had my throat dilated three times over 20 years, because of Schatzki's ring. Just before the last time I was at a restaurant and had a piece of steak get lodged in my throat. Three hours later it was still there. I was beginning to panic and went to the emergency room. They called in a surgeon to remove it. Before he arrived a nurse suggested that I try a swallow of Pepsi. I told her I couldn't swallow but she said just try. I did and it worked like a charm. The nurse said it works for many people. Since that time I have used it on two other occasions both with good results. Coke works also.

Comment from: Ted, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 19

For almost 10 years in my 50s I would have frequent episodes of food being lodged in my esophagus causing severe pain for minutes to up to several hours. On many occasions I had to finally go to the emergency room to get the food dislodged. I had no signs of acid reflux and was told I had Schatzki's ring. Finally my doctor placed me on a daily dose of Prilosec (20 mg) which I have been on for about 8 years and have never had any more episodes. It was a miracle.

Comment from: SilverStreak54, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 21

I was having many episodes of severe chest pain and the feeling of gas getting trapped in my esophagus. After an appointment with the gastrointestinal specialist and an upper endoscopy (during which I had my esophagus dilated), I was diagnosed with Schatzki's ring. The doctor actually took pictures during my endoscopy. That was back in August 2016. I did well for a few months; now I'm having symptoms again. It looks like I may have to have another upper endoscopy and dilation!

Comment from: RESOURCES, (Patient) Published: September 06

I have had Schatzki's ring for years and have managed the condition myself. It usually happens when I'm rushing, excited, talking, and taking too large a bite. It occurs most often when I consume steak, fried chicken or other fatty meat. I have been able to manage the condition without a problem. This is what works for me. I stop eating immediately and drink a carbonated beverage (usually Diet Coke). That does it. I need to remember to slow down and cut food in smaller bites. And if I'm at a very important dinner meeting I always order fish (it's never happened to me with fish).

Comment from: Noonie, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 21

About 15 years ago I started having problems with food getting stuck in my throat. Often the only way to resolve the problem was to make myself throw up. The doctor did a barium test and found nothing. About 5 years ago, while discussing pre-colonoscopy questionnaire with my specialist, the choking issue was discussed and the doctor said that it was probably a ring of scar tissue causing the problem. Sometime after that, while talking to my homeopathic doctor, I was told to swallow a spoon of manuka honey to help me when I had an attack. It works like a charm! I have used ordinary honey and even a Tic-tac. It relaxes my throat and the problem goes away. Today, at an appointment with my specialist after an endoscopic procedure, I was told that I have a hiatal hernia and a Schatzki's ring. I was shown a photo of my ring. If I take some honey or a Tic-tac as soon as the hiccups start, I can prevent my throat from closing. It happens more often if I am in a hurry, stressed, or not enjoying my food, but it also seems to happen for no apparent reason. I remember my grandmother had the same problem.

Comment from: Swann, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 15

I was diagnosed with Schatzki's ring three years ago. I had a terrifying choking episode in a restaurant while on vacation in Italy (pasta). My mother and grandmother also had this. I never ever had symptoms of heartburn, but after an endoscopy, the doctor put me on Prilosec and it really helps. I'm concerned that it may interfere with calcium absorption, but if I go even a few days without it, the choking begins again. The last time I tried to stop taking it, I almost wound up in the emergency room. It was very frightening.

Comment from: golfmajest, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: January 28

I was just diagnosed with Schatzki's ring during an endoscopy procedure. I have been having food get stuck in my throat and horrible pain in the upper part of my abdomen. I thought I was having a heart attack one night, it was so bad and I have had to make myself throw up to get the food out of there. My doctor stretched my entire esophagus and this is supposed to help keep the food from getting caught in there. Hopefully this will help.

Comment from: girlie girl, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: December 10

I had trouble with food not going all the way into my stomach sometimes. My doctor prescribed a manometry and based on the result did an endoscopy and stretched the Schatzki's ring. I do not know yet whether it helped.

Comment from: john, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: February 14

I always had trouble swallowing. I remember walking to elementary school while eating an apple, it stuck in my esophagus, I drank from a puddle in the middle of the road to force the apple down. Every bite of food was followed by a sip of liquid to push it through. In my early forties I was diagnosed with Schatzki's ring and started dilatation (once or twice a year). I am now 47 and have been taking Pantoloc 40mg/once daily. I no longer have problems swallowing, even go through 3 daily meals drinking no liquids just to test if the Pantoloc is working. I know from reading reviews that not everyone responds the same to a given medication, but Pantoloc changed my life for the better.

Comment from: Gramma Lynne, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

About a decade ago I was diagnosed with Schatzki's ring and have had several dilation procedures done since. They do help as does Prilosec. However, I still choke, especially if I'm pretty hungry and eat too fast. If I am very careful to chew my food thoroughly and not eat too fast I do better. I also choke on pills, tablets or large supplements. Capsules go down better and soft-gels are best. Some things I've found that help me break up the "log-jam" are jumping on a mini-trampoline or better yet, twisting my torso in any way I can - especially rotating at the waist as far as I can from left to right. Bending at the waist from side to side can also help. Anything you can do to stretch or twist the esophagus seems to help.

Comment from: BeeNear, 35-44 Male (Caregiver) Published: October 15

My husband has Schatzki's ring and his father also has it. My husband had the ring expanded a few years ago. He said it did little to help him. He is only getting worse and has to really pay attention and chew his food well or else it gets stuck and he has to vomit it up. He doesn't vomit a lot, but food is getting stuck more often no matter what he eats.

Comment from: Stu, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: March 01

Schatzki's ring gets me down at times, but I could have a meal and there would be an episode, the exact same meal the week after and everything would be fine. If I had a few pints of beer before the meal, it actually helps (kind of gulping perhaps stretches it slightly, not sure). But it's the only connection I have. And maybe when stressed I am affected.

Comment from: Pastor Susan, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: June 04

I went into the hospital May 20th, 2014. I thought the EGD was just a basic procedure that the doctor ordered. I had a tracheostomy when I was a young child and the doctor had to remove scar tissue, he did the Maloney dilation which was very successful. I am just a bit concerned because he did multiple cold forceps biopsies for eosinophilic esophagitis. I go see him in 2 weeks for the results. I want you all to know that I have had all the symptoms of Schatzki"s ring you are talking about for a very long time, and many times in the emergency room for chest pains. Having such a busy schedule as we all do is what kept us from getting the care we needed in a timely manner, which I feel has played a big role in where I am today. Please if you are having these problems and can"t swallow, choking, and chest pains, don"t wait. Ask the doctor right away.

Comment from: sapg, 55-64 Male (Caregiver) Published: June 25

My husband has been diagnosed with it. He had a barium test and then was given a pill (Dexilant). Still having trouble swallowing and is a little gaggy. He has little to no appetite.

Comment from: Hollandprojects, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 10

I always thought that schatskis ring was just really bad heart burn. Sometimes it felt like my stomache was turning inside out. (We know the feeling of the piece of food that gets stuck) One day I could not swallow anything and the heartburn pain was so bad that I went to the hospital. I finally layed down and the food went down. They were concerened about chest pains and I ended up performing some radioactive heart attack test, which cost a lot of money. They never did diagnose me with schatzkis ring. I was only recently told by someone else that had it. Thats when I stumbled on this sight.

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