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Hi, I have been having problem completely swallowing food. A few times a week, or sometimes for a few days in a row, the food seems to get stuck in my lower throat or upper chest area. It is a feeling like I need to belch, but I cannot. And, while this is taking place, I cannot breadth. The intensity of this varies from mild to severe, and when it is severe it is very painful. I can't fully breath, and cannot take any water because I can't get it down. Always, within about 5-10 minutes, it eases up and then immediately goes away. Last night, it happened when I was out for dinner eating a piece of shrimp - very embarrassing. This will happen with nearly any type of food, but mostly dry food. When it is really bad, I end up coughing the food up and out.

Any idea of what it could be? It has been taking place off and on for about 2 years. Thanks

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I just read that it takes about 50 pairs of muscles and nerves to accomplish the simple act of swallowing. That's unbelievable. Difficulty swallowing occurs when there's a problem with any part of the swallowing process. A number of conditions can interfere with swallowing, and they generally fall into one of several main categories. Certain problems related to your nerves and muscles can weaken your throat muscles, making it difficult to move food from your mouth into your throat and esophagus, this is a condition called oropharyngeal dysphagia. For oropharyngeal dysphagia, your doctor will most likely refer you to a throat specialist or neurologist for further diagnostic testing and to a speech or swallowing specialist for therapy. I hope this helps.
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