Swallowing and Breathing

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Swallowing and Breathing

Postby scaredofsymptoms on April 8th, 2015, 1:29 pm

Hi Guys,

I had been doing really well with my anxiety until my endrocrinologist starting messing with my thyroid in January.
I'm pretty sure (waiting blood tests results from this morning) that he is overmedicating me on synthyroid meds and I went from hypo to hyper thyroid.
I have had severe insomnia the past 4-5 days (getting only 2-3 hours of sleep a night and waking up feeling wired) racing heart, racing thoughts and extreme anxiety- all of which are hyperthyroid symptoms.

In my crazy anxiety state I have become hyper aware of my breathing and swallowing.
I have started biting the right side of my cheek and I feel like my tongue and swallowing reflex aren't working together anymore.
I feel like sometimes i still have small bits of food that won't go down after the first swallow and sometimes I hear a gurgling noise after swallowing my saliva or water at the top of my throat.
I think my swallowing reflex has become weak :( :( :(
I have not choked at all on water or food, but I feel like both can sometimes take FOREVER to go down and water feels like it hangs out in the top of my throat for a second before going down.
I do not have a "wet voice" sound after drinking, but if I drink alot and bend over I feel like its still not down my throat.
Its like my hyoid bone and upper neck dont want to do an autonomous swallow.

My tongue is not twitching (just what i perceive as normal movements - no quivering or anything like the videos you can find on youtube - those are scary) it feels strong and can tent my cheeks, roll my r's, wiggle from side to side, etc. - but I can't understand why it doesnt seem to want to push my food back to swallow easier. I can get my food back - but I always have to think about doing it. It alsmot feels like my tongue isn't sitting in my mouth correctly?

I feel like the right side of my face is weaker than my left (i stick my tongue out and it does not deviate to any side - so I know its not true) but I can't seem to get bulbar als out of my mind.
Also, I have been upper chest breathing and using my throat and neck muscles to breath versus my diaphragm which makes me also think weakness there as well.

Please get me off the bulbar trian before I end up going back to my neurologist from last year.
I should also note I had an ENT study at this time last year where he stuck the lighted tube down my nose to check my soft palate and swallowing reflexes and it was fine then. (my soft palate also goes up and down fine when i say ahh now)
I really dont want to go back and make him do it again.

Please someone knock some sense into me.
Wouldn't i be slurring my words, and actually choking (even though swallowing feels uncomfortable)??? :oops: :oops: :oops: :oops:
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Re: Swallowing and Breathing

Postby misterjuanperalta on April 8th, 2015, 6:12 pm

If it's any help, *** is upper and lower signs confirmed via EMG. Otherwise it's not ***. When I eat something, afterwards, my left to right tongue movement is slower, tired. After a few seconds, it's back to normal. I'm worried too. Add to this, my aunt just died for Alzheimer's at 80+ years.
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Re: Swallowing and Breathing

Postby Yuliasir on April 8th, 2015, 11:10 pm

First of all, your "swallowing symptoms" have really nothing with the reflex disruption problem. For some reasons (probably due to hyperthyroidism) you got autonomous nerve system involved, and so you have a bit of throat swelling and esophagal spasms which causes you this feeling of food bits stick, gurgling sounds etc. This is very common and does not indicate any troubles with swallowing reflex. You also may have got your thyroid itself swollen a bit and this causes unpleasant tight feeling at swallowing. Drinking alot of water, bending over and having it back in the throat means only your upper stomach cuff is weak which is very very common for people with autonomous hyperexcitability (that is why we almost all here have acid reflux and realted issues). This has nothing with ALS too becasue ALS effect on autonomous system is really minor (some lowering of heartbeat rate and decrease in sweating was reported, but this is suppression while you demonstrate hyperactivity).

I was pretty laughing reading that you do not use your diaphragm for breathing. Well, it is a common sense idea that men are using diaphragm and women -their upper chest for breathing but in fact for both genders it is more or less mixed type of breathing. Most probably this is affected by stature and position (sitting, staying or laying down), and you are for sure overconcentrated on this. Due to anxiety and hyperthyroidism you are hyperventilated (hyperthyroidism increases heartbeat rate and breathing rate), and it causes you to make extra efforts on each breath becasue your breathing center is really mad becasue of confusing signals your blood gases send to it. You also may have an exhausting yawning, which is expected and should not make you worry about being caught by ALS.

You definitely could not have bulbar ALS TOGETHER with the paralysis of diaphragm becasue in bulbar ALS people ususally do not live long enough to get it, and they die due to lesion in the breathing center itself. They literally forget how to breath as the brain looses the idea of breathing control. Your breathing control for now might be a bit messed up due to change in the blood gases composition/thyroid hormones, but it is nothing to compare with breathing fucnction collapse which is a fate for people with a stroke or infection encephalitis in the bulbar region.

In bulbar ALS not swallowing is felt uncomfortable but it becomes rather impossible to swallow deliberately. The throat shuts as in spasm (as in rabies which is viral bulbar encephalitis). Water spills out of the mouth. Food does not get into. Voice becomes weak, flat, toneless or crooky, soft palate becomes paralysed, and the victim has severe problems with food and drinks trying to come out of the nose (becasue the throat way is anyway closed).
So I wish you to sort out your thyroid control, and believ em, most of those unpleasant issues would be either resolved or will beclome minor, background and not important.

hope this would help a bit.
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Re: Swallowing and Breathing

Postby scaredofsymptoms on April 9th, 2015, 9:07 am

Yuliasir wrote:First of all, your "swallowing symptoms" have really nothing with the reflex disruption problem. For some reasons (probably due to hyperthyroidism) you got autonomous nerve system involved, and so you have a bit of throat swelling and esophagal spasms which causes you this feeling of food bits stick, gurgling sounds etc. This is very common and does not indicate any troubles with swallowing reflex. You also may have got your thyroid itself swollen a bit and this causes unpleasant tight feeling at swallowing. Drinking alot of water, bending over and having it back in the throat means only your upper stomach cuff is weak which is very very common for people with autonomous hyperexcitability (that is why we almost all here have acid reflux and realted issues). This has nothing with ALS too becasue ALS effect on autonomous system is really minor (some lowering of heartbeat rate and decrease in sweating was reported, but this is suppression while you demonstrate hyperactivity).

I was pretty laughing reading that you do not use your diaphragm for breathing. Well, it is a common sense idea that men are using diaphragm and women -their upper chest for breathing but in fact for both genders it is more or less mixed type of breathing. Most probably this is affected by stature and position (sitting, staying or laying down), and you are for sure overconcentrated on this. Due to anxiety and hyperthyroidism you are hyperventilated (hyperthyroidism increases heartbeat rate and breathing rate), and it causes you to make extra efforts on each breath becasue your breathing center is really mad becasue of confusing signals your blood gases send to it. You also may have an exhausting yawning, which is expected and should not make you worry about being caught by ALS.

You definitely could not have bulbar ALS TOGETHER with the paralysis of diaphragm becasue in bulbar ALS people ususally do not live long enough to get it, and they die due to lesion in the breathing center itself. They literally forget how to breath as the brain looses the idea of breathing control. Your breathing control for now might be a bit messed up due to change in the blood gases composition/thyroid hormones, but it is nothing to compare with breathing fucnction collapse which is a fate for people with a stroke or infection encephalitis in the bulbar region.

In bulbar ALS not swallowing is felt uncomfortable but it becomes rather impossible to swallow deliberately. The throat shuts as in spasm (as in rabies which is viral bulbar encephalitis). Water spills out of the mouth. Food does not get into. Voice becomes weak, flat, toneless or crooky, soft palate becomes paralysed, and the victim has severe problems with food and drinks trying to come out of the nose (becasue the throat way is anyway closed).
So I wish you to sort out your thyroid control, and believ em, most of those unpleasant issues would be either resolved or will beclome minor, background and not important.

hope this would help a bit.
Yulia



THANK YOU YULIA! You are a voice of sanity on these forums.
I finally slept last night longer than 3 hours (48 hours off of synthyroid medicine) and my heart rate and thoughts are becoming more normal.
I think my thyroid may be swollen a bit which is why my throat feels off in addition to my anxiety being through the roof.
Thank you for all of those good points about bulbar ALS. You are right, I wouldn't be able to deliberately swallow so many times if the reflex itself wasn't working.
It's working - I'm just controlling it too much and not letting my body do it naturally. In fact I think I am overswallowing sometimes :roll: :roll:
I also have a bit of GERD and acid reflux per my endoscopy last year, so I know that is probably aggravated with my anxiety and throat tension as well (an you are right, probably what the gurgling is).
I'm going to put bulbar ALS out of my mind. I know it starts with slurring of words and choking on liquids, its crazy what anxiety does.
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Re: Swallowing and Breathing

Postby scaredofsymptoms on April 9th, 2015, 9:09 am

misterjuanperalta wrote:If it's any help, *** is upper and lower signs confirmed via EMG. Otherwise it's not ***. When I eat something, afterwards, my left to right tongue movement is slower, tired. After a few seconds, it's back to normal. I'm worried too. Add to this, my aunt just died for Alzheimer's at 80+ years.


My grandpa died of Alzheimer's at 91.
I dont think it makes us any more at risk for ALS.
Hell - he didn't get Alzheimers until he was 86.
There are alot more people out there with Alzheimer's than ALS.
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Re: Swallowing and Breathing

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