Home Forums General Discussion Learning to swallow again after choking

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    Hi Jules, I’ sorry to hear that you was sick, hope everything is ok now and that you can do your exam! Tomorrow I have my rx and I’m pretty worried about it 🙁 Also because it’s the second time in a few months that I had rx and I know It’s not so good for our health..anyway I will let you know how it will go. Your therapist makes you eat something during therapy? I think that for me is the same, until I don’t have a medical diagnosis I’m still stuck in this situation. Hope to hear from you soon, best, Stella


    Hi all. Stella how did it go? My swallow xray was successful. The radiologist took me through the pictures and reassured me that everything is functioning as normal so that is good news and now I can rest that it is definitely a psychological problem. Afterwards I came home and swallowed three bits of Chinese chicken and a piece of beef from my partners takeaway meal the evening before. Unfortunately this didn’t continue and today at my therapy she made me try and swallow normally again and I felt like I was choking again. I had to get her to hit me on the back. She is blind and I had told her I was unhappy about performing the task as she can’t see me to help. Anyway that’s what CBT is all about is proving that your phobia is unlikely to ever happen again and that swallowing solid food is safe (as I didn’t choke) but I felt terrible like it was happening again. Horrible, horrible, horrible!!! But until we can face the fear this is so difficult, especially when you try so hard to swallow and you just cannot physically get it down… The nurses at the xray said they have many people coming in with the same problem and it is very commonly caused by bereavements and stress so it was good to feel that I wasn’t wasting their time and it’s common. Mind over matter….xx


    I’m so glad I came across this site. I had a upper endoscopy done a few months back for my 50 yr old check up. They found I had narrowing of my esophagus so the stretched it. I felt like when I swallowed was like a baseball going done. After a few day I could swallow without having food get stuck. Now it has started sticking again like some comments above some days I can swallow and then I can’t. I chew my food seems like a hundred times and then swallow it does good. But I took a can of healthy choices beef veggies and put it in my blender and made it a thick liquid drink but still got some pieces stuck but was able to flush down. I am going back to my GI Doctor in the morning. I have been drinking protein shakes for breakfast. I have got some more organic protein shakes with higher protein and calories !! I feel for you all. It scares me to even swallow food. I have tried the exercises for learning to swallow again. I will keep updates after my appt.


    Jerry I hope you can get someone to help you regain your swallow. I am now using a new therapist to deal with finding the root causes of my anxiety of swallowing and not focus on the swallow itself. I have had tonsil abcess quinsy 3 times in one month and as a result been in hospital for the most of the month. I saw a speech and language therapist who couldn’t help me whilst there but I’m still waiting to see another to see if there is a different opinion. I have heard that stretching the oesophagus can cause problems, have you tried strengthening the throat? I have recently found this exercise in a feldenkrais technique book. Yawn…and notice the muscles in the throat expand. Now keep your mouth closed and try and yawn again or Recreate the movement in the throat. I am also doing exercises to relax and strengthen the neck face and jaw as I think it may be related. The only option for me is to try as many things as possible to help myself as its the only way to fix it and I will not accept that it will be permanent. 🙂


    Dear Jules, how are you? How is everything going? Your teraphy? I’m sorry if I did not reply in the past few month but for me has been really a difficolt moment.I haven’t managed to get out of my terrible situation, next week I will have again an exam with a tube getting down my throath to see if there is something they can do. In 10 months I have lost 16kg, and I’m still losing weight. Hope to hear from you.
    Jerry let us have tour news too!


    Hey Jules,Stella
    Sorry been awhile lost password and just got it today. I have been Puréeing all my food and it has been great. I have done that to just about any food I can get. I can make it to a thick liquid to a thin liquid and have been doing great on it. Hell I can even purée pizza and it taste wonderful,it’s like it inhances the food taste. My doc wanted me to do a swallow test with a piece of food that is about 1/2 round and said if it got stuck it would dissolve in 30 sec but found out more like 30 minutes. I said no. I had a normal blender but was having to do it two to three times and I saw this add on the ninja blender system and ordered one and it did the job well. Push purée button and let it go and it cuts off when done. I even did a BBQ sandwich brisket and it was amazing. I can eat a lot more food this way plus I still do protein shakes to. I pray for you both and this has helped me a lot. I don’t mind sharing things .


    Hi Jerry, thanks for your suggestions. I often think that sometimes the best solution also for me is to blend everything but in the meantime I’m afraid that with this solution I would have an exuse to not try to swallow solid food again. But the loss of weight for me is a very serious problem, and I’m afraid also becasue a lot of people is asking me why I slim down so fast, and it’s difficult for me to explain the problem. I wanted to ask you something, before you did the stretching of the esophagus, you were fine? You could swallow? Because I did not understand if before your 50yr old check up you were fine or you already had swallowing problems. I’m asking because next week I had to do again a gastroscopy to see if somewhere in my esophagus there is a sort of narrowing and I heard that they would suggest some kind of dilation but now I’m a bit scared!


    Stella, Sorry took me long to respond had problems getting logged in. Before my upper gi I had got food stuck in my throat, when they went in said I had a little narrowing and that they stretched it. It felt like I was swallowing a egg afterwards but disappeared a few day after and I could swallow food fine, about a couple of weeks later I was eating and got a small piece of food stuck. You should be fine just sore after stretching is done. I noticed one day at work I had a muscle spasm and one of my vertabrea in the T spine was catching and I went to eat lunch and was having a little trouble swallowing my food even thou puree but just thinned it out with water and was ok. I know one day I will try to chew my food up again but I will start with my puree and just gradually go from smooth to chunky and see what happens. For me I puree everything is wonderful plus it extract the nutrient’s for better absorption from the food. I know its a pain in the booty to go home and puree but if that what helps me Im going to keep doing it. I will keep you in prayers. I know its hard but as long as we can help support each other we will all be ok. I will stay intouch now since I can log in.


    Hello everyone, i’m so glad i found this and just wanted to check how everyone is. I was always able to eat properly, would wolf my food down without thinking about it and have a meal finished in 5-10 minutes. But a few weeks ago i choked on a sandwich 3 times in the same sitting and now i havent been able to eat properly since. I have good days where i’ll be able to eat some foods like spaghetti and food with sauces but then i’ll hit days where all i can eat is oats and soup. This has manifested into anxiety and panic attacks too because of the thought of having to eat (i went out for a meal with friends and ended up in the ER with a panic attack). My throat has been checked and there is nothing physically wrong with me, so i think it is all in my head which gets me down because i just want to eat normally. I am seeing a therapist about the anxiety and panic attacks but seriously considering paying for CBT for the swallowing issues. I’m so scared, but glad i’ve found something so similiar to my own problem.


    Hi everyone.

    I was reading your forum after reading thousand of them before and you guys inspired me to register myself and join the discussion as I feel I have some things to say.

    Well I’m 24 years old and 2 years ago I have developed swallowing phobia due to anxiety.. I always suffered anxiety since I was younger but 2years ago anxiety changed my life. Anyways, I couldn’t eat anything as I was afraid that I am going to choke to death.. I had several panic attacks.

    Only thing on my safe list was liquidised soup.. Sometimes I also refused to drink… So obviously ive lost 15kg and I was looking like an anorexia. I refused to go out with my friends and I ended up being unsociable and deep down knowing my family are super worried about me.. I also refused Xmas lunch with family. I preferred staying home instead of trying to eat.

    As some of you said, three steps forward and two steps back…

    I am not going to tell you what are the food which I couldn’t eat or which were the food I use to fear of as not everyone is the same and I dont want someone to become conscious about a food which is on your safe list.

    Today, 2 years after I eat everything except my very favourite food beef.. That is my only food type I need to overcome and I will.

    I started eating small portions.. And every time I eat I become anxious and a panic attack feeling start to arise.. But hey I got use to that feeling and nothing ever really happened.. So this one day I sat on a table… Alone.. And I ate chicken kebab with couscous.. I ate slowly and every time I start to panic I talk to myself.. ( “I use to eat everything before” , ” I am a warrior ” my mind is trying to fool myself “)… Chicken became on my safe list… And until that feeling of panic stops, I eat chicken everyday until my body is not anxious anymore for eating it.. Hey its not easy as it seems.. I still had fears… But the big step is facing my fear ! So when that feeling of fear arises, I fight it and eat otherwise.. Talking to my brain.

    I did the same for other food.. And yea I tried to eat beef but my body still become anxious when I eat it.. So for now I focus on staying stable.

    Until u actually face the fear you will never get out from it.. In my opinion. I started facing my fear a year after… And year after I’m here today still alive and eating..

    I dont rush to eat. I eat very slowly (before I was slower) and if there is something that u dont like, get it out from ur mouth… And if the people around you finish before you and u start to panic, remind urself that you are eating and stay positive. I use to panic cause people around me finish before me and waiters take out their plates and there I am eating alone like an idiot.. Ive been there and trust me I felt like an idiot a couple of times but I overcome it too..I use and still do fill my mouth with food and moving it to the back and front until my mind tell me… Ok u can swallow now ! And yea I am still conscious about my mouth when I eat but there is no fear until today.

    I also went to see a physiologist I was her first and only client who suffered swallowing phobia so it was new for her too. She is so nice and kind. At that time I use to go 3 times a week ! I was devastated. Year after, I go once a month.. She told me I dont need her anymore but I still go once a month.

    I saw some post here of someone seeing a deaf physiologist and not being comfortable. In my opinion, I would change her.. U need to trust her and gain a kind of relationship with her so she can help you to overcome your fear.. Otherwise its useless.. Its a pity for her as she will be losing her client, but think for urself too and I’m sure she will understand.

    In my opinion, dont hang on to the safe list… Face the fear… Your mind will get use to it and u will settle..

    I have so many things I would like to say to help you all trust me but I already wrote a lot ( I wish I use to write this much in my school compositions 😉 )

    I hope I didn’t offend anyone here or got me wrong.

    This is my first time ever that I am writing in a forum as I always thought they are negative stuff.. But you people here are sooo close to overcome it and you people are positive thinkers too and I like that.

    Hope all is well 🙂

    Thank you for reading and hearing me out.


    Hi everyone and thanks for sharing your experiences mariax. It’s so good to know we are not alone! I fell pregnant in April and thought this is the last thing I need, i couldn’t feed myself let along a growing foetus! Then I got admitted to hospital three times with quincy which meant I had over 30 needles put into my throat in less than a month. During this I changed my therapist who focused on the anxiety. Gradually I have started to swallow larger quantities but this will go up and down with my mood.it has been up for a couple of months now and I gave birth this week, since I have eaten so well and so quick, i think breastfeeding is helping as my appetite seems to be back too! I struggled when pregnant to get enough calories in but made sure I was getting the right foods with the right nutrition but we’ve made it and my new baby is healthy and normal. I now feel there is an end to this one day, i feel I just need to be more confident with the swallow and one day it will be back to normal. Like you say mariax just keep practicing the foods you enjoy and don’t put pressure on yourself or care what other people think. I find it helps to take off my plate half the portion if it is served too big or only order a starter and a dessert if I go out for a meal. Dig deep for underlying causes that may have caused anxiety. Mine has been having over 10 bereavement’s in two years, learned behaviour from my father when growing up being told I was useless and then the choking incident just put the whole thing to the extreme of a swallowing problem. Stay strong people and looking forward to your updates. Merry Christmas! (even if it’s on a liquid diet make sure it contains some brandy lol) xxx


    I’m 35yo. I’ve never heard of this Phagophobia(fear of swallowing of food). 2 days ago, I’m starting to struggle with swallowing any solid food thinking that I might choke myself to death/drown. Although I’ve chewed every bit of food thoroughly. My symptoms include panic attack, rapid breathing, irregular heartbeat, sweating and overall feelings of dread. I took lorazepam 1 mg, I calmed down a bit, but then again all the symptoms returned. How can I overcome this problem? I’ve only had one experience of choking which was almost a year ago. Can anyone help? I’m desperate for some answers.


    Hi there I’m just wanting to say you aren’t alone I’m actually looking for support on this. Sucks


    Hello all !

    I don’t know if anyone will answer since it’s been a few years since someone has posted on this but I thought I would give it a go anyway. A little bit ago I chocked on chicken pretty bad and needed the Heimlich. After this I got really sick and couldn’t keep anything down including water. I was constantly throwing up and ended up going to the hospital for an IV because I was extremely dehydrated. They looked in my throat and said nothing was wrong with it but to me it felt like there was. I’ve been able to keep liquids down now and simple foods like soup, pudding, jell-o, and just easy foods to swallow. I tried to eat toast and now I feel like I have something in my throat again. I think I have a fear of swallowing now. If anyone has any tips I would appreciate it !

    Hope everyone is doing well !


    Hi my names elizabeth and recently i chocked on a piece of chicken and after that i was able to eat properly without flipping out and having anxiety but 2 weeks later i had got a feeling of something stuck in my throat well there was literally nothing there like i had xrays done and ct scans and it was nothing. After that incident I haven’t been able to eat anything and its almost been a month. I am 17 years old and i have no idea how to over come this trama. If anyone out there knows how to help me over come this i would really appreciate it.

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