Dysphagia… swallowing issues

I recently came across a patient who complained of the sensation that something was stuck in his throat. I say recent, because in my years of practising and the thousands of patients I have assisted I have never come across this – this was a strange symptom which my lecturers spoke about during my undergraduate degree.

My patient expressed he had been suffering from this sensation for the past 4 years. Initially he reduced the discomfort by making sure he chewed his food properly, then he became more selective about the textures of the foods he ate and then reduced meal portions to avoid it. He was a guy who liked working out at the gym and playing social football on weekends, but over this period he lost weight and his energy levels were impacted not able to consume the nutrition he required for his active lifestyle.

After 3 years, as it had become progressively worse and the steps he had taken had not improved his situation. He decided to seek assistance and investigations requesting X-rays and MRIs, but they provided no indication of what the cause of the uncomfortable sensation was. There was no physical obstruction or anatomical abnormality or change which appeared in the scans.

He was drained and had lost hope and it was only through his new found girlfriend who discussed his complaint with her friend – a Chinese Medicine practitioner, that he came in for a consultation to work on the globus (sensation of lump in the throat) and dysphagia (difficulty swallowing).

It has been quite a remarkable transformation, following a thorough review of his daily rhythms during consultation and in just 1 month of commencing weekly acupuncture treatment and herbal medicine he was pleased to report that this sensation that had plagued him for 4 years had completely resolved.