Feeling Pains when swallowing: 24 Possible causes!
Feeling Pains when swallowing: 24 Possible causes!
Painful swallowing is a common presentation of so many diseases.
Most diseases that present with pain during swallowing are usually life threatening, hence this article becomes imperative.
STROKE occurs when a blood vessel in the brain ruptures and bleeds inside the brain, or when a part of your brain is not receiving enough blood, making the brain cells to die. Stroke is a brain problem. Swallowing is also coordinated by the brain. So when there is stroke involving the part of the brain that has to do with swallowing, you might feel pain on swallowing.
- TUMOURS IN THE BRAIN
BRAIN TUMOURS can cause difficult or painful swallowing. This happens by the same principle explained above. The tumour growing inside the brain compresses important brain structures including the part involved in swallowing, you will have pain during swallowing
- MYASTHENIA GRAVIS
MYASTHENIA gravis is a disease that causes weakness of the muscles of the body. This time, involving muscles of your oesophaus involved in swallowing. This produces pain and difficulty in swallowing.
- MOUTH CANCER
CANCER OF THE MOUTH gives pain during swallowing. It is not a common diseaSe but it is part of the things that can make you feel pain during swallowing. It may also bleed when chewing or brushing.
- OESOPHAGEAL CANCER
CANCER OF THE OESOPHAGUS causes pain on swallowing. This is common in the older population. It may be associated with weight loss, loss of appetite, old age, male gender, alcoholism and smoking.
- LARYNGEAL CANCER
CANCER OF THE LARYNX gives pain during swallowing. Just like mouth cancer and oesophageal cancer , laryngeal cancer is also associated with weight loss and smoking.
- ACID REFLUX FROM THE STOMACH
THIS is what most persons will regard as ulcer.The stomach is very acidic. The oesophaus is not. One thing or the other happens, and the acid in the stomach starts start flowing into the oesophagus. This produces pain, and heart burn too.
- CORROSIVE OESOPHAGITIS
CORROSIVE OESOPHAGITIS is a sequelae of drinking acid or alkaline substances, or any other harmful chemical.
These burn the oesophagus and give you severe pain on swallowing. It is usually as a result of attempted suicide or accidental drinking of corrosive substances mistaken as water. It is a common thing among young people and children.
IF you have been exposed to heavy loads of radiations, it may hurt you in the throat when you want to swallow. This is mostly a complication of those being treated of cancer by radiotherapy.
- ORAL THRUSH/OESOPHAGEAL CANDIDIASIS
Thrush is a fungal infection. It is common in advanced HIV infection, those taking long term antibiotics or anticancer drugs, as well as those that do not brush very well.
TUBERCULOSIS OF THE OESOPHAGUS causes goes hand in hand with oesophageal candidisis, and are both common in HIV patients. But they can still occur on their own.
ACHALASIA occurs when the lower oesophageal sphincter refuses to relax for food to pass. It is a common cause of pain during swallowing.
SCLERODERMA is the stiffening of the muscles of the throat and oesophagus. This makes food passage difficult, producing painful swallowing.
- OBSTRUCTION OF THE AIRWAY
DISEASES OBSTRUCTING THE AIRWAY like chronic bronchitis can produce pain when you swallow. Obstructive airway diseases are common among smokers. There is a very close relationship between the trachea and oesophagus. So tracheal lesions may give difficult and painful swallowing.
- ZENKER DIVERTICULUM
HERE, the surface of your throat balloons out. Making it difficult for food particles to pass. This is a rare disease. But it happens.
- CLEFT LIP AND PALATE
CLEFT LIP is a gap in the lips. CLEFT PALATE is a gap in the roof of the mouth. Both produce severe pain. It is a common congenital lesion in children. It is reparable by surgery.
- MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS
MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS is a disease of old age. But it can occur in young people. Here the coverings of your nerves get damaged. When it involves the nerves supplying your throat or oesophagus, painful swallowing results.
- PARKINSON’S DISEASE
PARKINSON’S DISEASE is a disease that is characterized by slowness of walking, THE person shuffles the legs as they walk. The hands and legs become rigid. There is also shaking of the body. It is associated with dementia and depression. These can result in feelings of difficulty or painin swallowing.
- HEAD INJURY
From the same principle described above -that swallowing is coordinated by the brain. So injury involving the brain, like fall from height, road traffic accidents, etc can damage the brain and result in difficulty in swallowing.
- ALZHEIMER’S DISEASE
Just like multiple sclerosis, this is a degenerative disease. It goes with old age.
- HORMONAL PROBLEMS
LIKE hyperthyroidism (excessive production of thyroid hormone) and hypothyroidism (too low thyroid hormone), Cushing syndrome (excess of cortisol). All can cause difficulty in swallowing.
- INFECTIONS INVOLVING THE BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD
BRAIN AND SPINAL CORD INFECTIONS have been implicated in as causes of pain during swallowing. Typical infections are meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess etc.
SOME DRUGS causes painful swallowing. So you may have to review the drugs you are taking with your doctor. Some of the drugs that have been implicated include, antipsychotics, some antibiotics, CNS antidepressants, corticosteroids, antihistamines, etc. There is a long list of drugs that can cause you this, do yourself the favour of not taking drugs without prescriptions. It will save you alot.
- SURGERY OF THE NECK OR CHEST REGION
Did you recently had a surgery of the neck or chest region? If yes, it is possible your oesophagus has been injured. That could be the source of the pain on swallowing.
WHEN TO SEE THE DOCTOR
- Finding it difficult to swallow your Saliva
- You have pains drinking water
- You feel pain when swallowing solid foods
- Opening your mouth causes you pain
- You’re feeling there could be something stuck in your throat
- You have pains while talking
Your doctor will ask you some questions and examine you. If there are need for tests he will write the tests for you to do. Cardiothoracic surgeons are specialists in treating difficulty in swallowing issues.