Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

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Spasms Esophageal Overview

Another name for Spasms Esophageal is Esophageal Spasm.

What is an esophageal spasm?
A person with esophageal spasms has abnormal contractions of the muscles in the esophagus. Normally, the esophageal muscles contract in an organized way to propel food down the esophagus. Spasms of the esophageal muscles can prevent food from entering the stomach. About 1 out of 1,000 people in the US have esophageal spasms. Most people are able to maintain proper nutrition with treatment.

What is the symptoms of an esophageal spasm?
Symptoms of esophageal spasm include difficulty swallowing and the sensation that something is stuck in the throat. Other symptoms include chest pain, upper abdominal pain, heartburn, vomiting, and weight loss.

How does the doctor treat an esophageal spasm?
Treatment of esophageal spasm may include medications to control spasm, esophageal dilation procedures, and surgery.

Continue to Spasms Esophageal Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 8, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Spasms Esophageal References
  1. Handa M, Mine K, Yamamoto H, Hayashi H, Tsuchida O, Kanazawa F, Kubo C. Antidepressant treatment of patients with diffuse esophageal spasm: a psychosomatic approach. J Clin Gastroenterol. 1999 Apr;28(3):228-32. [1019260]
  2. Kato T, Naiki T, Araki H, Nagaki M, Moriwaki H. Diffuse esophageal spasm. Gastrointest Endosc. 2004 Sep;60(3):428. [15332036]
  3. Storr M. Balloon dilation in patients with diffuse esophageal spasm. Gastrointest Endosc. 2005 Mar;61(3):501. [15758941]
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