Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease

Posted Monday, May 4, 2009, 9:11 PM


I have a problem, and it's starting to interfere with my life.

About six or seven years ago, I started to have this issue that mystified and annoyed me. I don't eat a lot of stuff, especially healthy stuff, but I adore chicken. But when I ate chicken, it started to feel like it was stuck in my throat. In fact, I thought that was actually what was happening and I'd have to wait some moments, or even minutes, for the feeling to subside.

But soon it started to happen more frequently, and yet almost exclusively with chicken. I eventually got so frustrated with this, that I went to the Doctor to see what's up, in case it was a sign of throat cancer or something. I had a Barium Swallow X-Ray, where I took a dose of this thick creamy substance that tastes like plaster of paris, and which shows up on the X-Ray, giving them a clear view of my throat in action.

They found nothing wrong.

Years pass, and my chicken intake has been reduced to about once a month, and I am still suffering this problem. I look the symptoms up online, but there has rarely been help. GERD, or Gastroesophogeal Reflux Disease, has the closest match, but it's not quite right either. GERD's symptoms include heartburn and indigestion, which I don't get, but I do get a feeling of something stuck in the throat, an inability to burp, and a gurgling in the throat. That's enough to convince me it's my problem.

Here's what I think has actually been happening. Something about chicken, possibly its dry nature if it's overcooked, or maybe even from a full fledged allergy, causes muscles in my throat to constrict. I think the chicken as the common factor has to be relevant. I don't have a problem with other meats, or indeed any other food item at all. It's only been with chicken.

Usually I have suffered this in private, and I just need to wait a while (sometimes seconds, sometimes minutes, and on many occasions it's been hours), or in extreme discomfort cases go to the bathroom and induce vomiting, to sort my throat out. But today, for the first time, I felt the discomfort in the presence of my mate Rob, and it was a trifle embarrassing, as well as just being inconvenient, to have to abandon my meal in front of him.

By the way, I think the vomiting just spasms or expands the throat back to its normal state, rather than expelling any obstruction. Though to be perfectly honest I haven't a clue what's going on.

I am most disappointed in my stupid digestive system rebelling on me this way.

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