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Why is there pain in the esophagus when swallowing and how to deal with it?
Why is there pain in the esophagus when swallowing and how to deal with it?

Many people are afraid to visit doctors, believing that the disease can go away on its own or by treating the ailment with folk remedies. Unfortunately, not all ailments are amenable to self-treatment; in some cases, delay can give a complication.

For example, if a person experiences pain in the esophagus when swallowing food, then this is an alarm bell and it is worth visiting a doctor.

The sounded phenomenon is called single-phobia, but this is not an independent disease, rather, it is one of the symptoms of the existing pathology. To identify the causes of the pain that occurs, it is important to undergo a complete examination.

The section of the digestive tract, located between the pharynx and the stomach, is called the esophagus. Drinks and food pass through it in seconds.

If a person experiences pain when eating, this suggests that the muscle layer of the esophagus is contracting with impairment. Why this ailment arises and how to deal with it, it is worth talking in more detail.

Causes of discomfort in the esophagus

Unpleasant sensations when swallowing food can occur due to the following provocateurs:

  • inflammation of the mucous membrane;
  • tumors;
  • stress;
  • violation of the promotion of food;
  • food hernia;
  • neuromuscular ailment;
  • esophageal damage.

We will discuss each of these reasons in detail.

If the patient has inflammation of the mucous membrane, ulcers, erosion appear on it, then the person experiences discomfort when passing food, since the inflamed area is injured. The discomfort can be increased due to acid from the stomach.

Due to the fact that the patient's immunity is reduced, the esophagus is more vulnerable, cannot resist the effects of viruses.

If a person has disturbances in the movement of food, then when hard, poorly chewed pieces of food enter the esophagus, a short pain appears. After a couple of sips of water, the discomfort disappears.

Unpleasant moments occur due to the fact that the infected muscles of the walls of the esophagus cannot normally move the chewed food, there is pain, a feeling of heaviness. The discomfort is paroxysmal.

Pain in the esophagus can be observed when the mucous membrane is injured. Injuries are divided into two types: closed and open. With an open injury, discomfort occurs due to penetrating trauma to the chest and neck.

Internal damage often occurs due to the ingress of foreign objects. The cause of pain can be burns, ulcers, tumors.

Damage to the mucous membrane in the esophagus can occur when inhaling hot smoke, air. If the discomfort has arisen due to hot, then the pain will be present not only during the passage of food, but also at rest.

Not so often, but still there is such a phenomenon as a rupture of the esophagus. The causes of this condition can be different. Most often, an unpleasant phenomenon occurs in people who abuse alcoholic beverages, when overeating, trying to restrain vomiting.

If a rupture occurs, then in addition to pain when swallowing, the person will have symptoms such as vomiting of blood, subcutaneous emphysema.

Damage can be caused by foreign objects such as fish bones, small buttons, needles, etc. Children often complain of pain in the esophagus, because they love to put small objects in their mouths: construction kit parts, batteries, and so on.

The presence of foreign objects causes the following symptoms:

  • pain when swallowing food, drinks, saliva;
  • increased salivation;
  • deterioration of the general condition.

If you do not find the cause of the pain in a timely manner, then there is a risk of developing purulent inflammation.

If a person has a neuromuscular ailment, the pain is spontaneous, occurs when swallowing food or at night. When eating, severe pain may occur.

In patients with a hernia of the esophageal opening, pain in the sternum region, radiating to the left arm, can begin abruptly, without physical exertion and nervous shocks, and if the hernia is large, then discomfort can be felt even in the spine.

Usually this phenomenon is observed after a heavy meal.

Many people confuse the symptoms that appear with angina pectoris, trying to relieve the discomfort with nitroglycerin. But this medicine will not help. It will be possible to cope with the disease only after consulting a doctor.

As you can see, the causes of pain in the esophagus are varied, one of them may be a benign or malignant tumor. The onset of the disease is provoked by improper diet, alcohol abuse, long-term smoking experience, work with toxic substances, etc.

Cancer does not develop immediately, at first the patient develops inflammatory processes in the esophagus, which later develop into neoplasms.

The symptoms that signal cancer are as follows:

  • belching after eating;
  • general weakness;
  • rapid weight loss;
  • strong salivation;
  • sternum pain.

In order not to start the disease, it is necessary to consult a doctor at the first discomfort in the esophagus. Otherwise, the consequences can be dire.

About treatment

After visiting a doctor and passing the necessary examination, it will be possible to find out why there is discomfort during swallowing. Only on the basis of the data obtained will the specialist be able to prescribe the correct treatment.

If the discomfort when eating is caused by a burn, mechanical injury, or an infectious disease, the doctor recommends a dietary diet for the patient. A large number of foods will have to be excluded from the diet. Fried, smoked, salty, fatty foods are removed from the menu. You need to eat in small portions 6 times a day. You should give up carbonated drinks, alcohol, sour juices.

If nutritional adjustments do not bring the desired result, treatment should be carried out with drugs. Their main task is to relieve pain by normalizing the process of food intake. Doctors prescribe drugs that suppress hydrochloric acid, for example, Cerucal, Phosphalugel, etc. Metoclopramide is recommended to normalize muscle tone.

Herbal medicine is considered a good assistant in getting rid of discomfort.

She cannot notice drug therapy, but it is possible to prevent exacerbations by consuming various herbal teas after the pain has passed:

  • To get rid of problems, mint tea is perfect, it reduces nausea, helps to restore the inflamed walls of the mucous membrane;
  • Drinks based on chamomile, plantain and yarrow will help get rid of heartburn. Broths are drunk up to 4 times a day;
  • But you should not use the well-known recipe with soda. At first, the finished drink will lower the acidity, but then it will rise again. The effect will be short-lived.

If the treatment does not bring relief to the patient, he is prescribed surgery.

When the discomfort with swallowing and after eating is caused by cancer, the patient needs radiation therapy to get rid of the disease.

If a foreign object is found in the human body, it is removed, after which the necessary therapy is prescribed.


  1. Do not eat too hot or cold food.
  2. Chew food thoroughly.
  3. Remember that stress affects the digestive tract.
  4. Boost your immunity.

If you find symptoms of an esophageal ailment, you should immediately consult a doctor. You should not endure pain and carry out self-treatment, this can lead to irreversible consequences. Take care of yourself and be sensible. Good luck!

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