As we all are aware, the esophagus is defined as the passage or let's say a hollow tube that lies between the pharynx and the stomach. The condition of esophageal spasm is not a common one and has infrequent occurrence, as it has been noticed by most doctors. But again, this may be an exception for some people who have frequent attacks. Episodes which seem to take place on occasional basis, do not usually require any kind of medical intervention. However, the condition is known to give rise to severe symptoms which can interfere with the affected person's ability to eat and drink. Ergo, in such cases, treating esophageal spasm becomes a necessity.
Symptoms and Causes
The symptoms are not many in number, but they sure are prominent and in some cases, too pronounced to be ignored. The classic symptoms which serves as a certain indicator of the development of the muscle spasm is a feeling of squeezing chest pain. This symptom, in most cases, is often mistaken for that of a heart attack. A condition known as dysphagia may also occur as one of the symptoms of esophageal spasms. It refers to the condition of difficulty in swallowing food. Most patients come up with a feeling of something being stuck in their throat when they encounter an attack of such spasms. Regurgitation is another symptom which may also come into notice.
Experts are dubious about what actually causes the esophageal muscles to suffer spasms. However, they believe that medical disorders like heartburn or gastroesophageal reflux disease, anxiety, depression, etc., may act as the triggering factors for the condition.
As aforementioned, esophageal spasm does not require any treatment if it is of an occasionally occurring nature. However, if it starts interfering with eating and drinking, treatment is recommended. One part of the treatment deals with managing factors which may seem to trigger the spasm. For instance, if gastroesophageal reflux disease happens to be one, then the patients would be given medications to manage it, which eventually would help to lessen the likelihood of the occurrence of the symptoms.
In the esophageal spasms treatment, patients are also prescribed with different drugs which work to produce a relaxing effect on the muscles involved in the swallowing process. So when the muscles are relaxed, they stay less vulnerable to suffer contractions. To deal with the grueling pain that may bother some patients, antidepressant drugs are prescribed by the doctor.
When conventional treatment methods do not seem to improve the condition, surgery is recommended. Here, the surgeon may remove those parts of the muscles which suffer spasm. This way, the contractions would reduce and the symptoms would be less severe.
Treating esophageal spasm naturally mainly involves managing its symptoms. For instance, it is a wise practice to have a recognition of things that serve as triggers for the spasms. Make a conscious effort to realize what factors intensifies the spasms. Also, it is advisable to go for warm and cooled foods. Eating hot or cold foods may aggravate the discomfort. And finally, take up practices which help to lower your stress levels like yoga, breathing exercises, etc., also provide a great deal of help in managing conditions such as esophageal spasm.