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"Why do I have shortness of breath when eating and drinking?"

ZocdocAnswersWhy do I have shortness of breath when eating and drinking?


It hurts really in my upper back and spin when eating and drinking. What's wrong with me? How come I feel this way?


Shortness of breath when you are eating or drinking could be due to a few different problems, so it is important to discuss this with your physician. First, I wonder if you are also having symptoms of cough when you eat or drink. If you are, then this could be a sign of aspiration. Aspiration occurs when food or fluid goes down the wrong pipe meaning that it goes down into the trachea instead of down the esophagus. This problem does not typically cause back pain. The symptoms of upper back pain when you eat or drink raises another possibility in that you could be having esophageal spasm. Esophageal spasm occurs when the esophagus muscles contract when they are not supposed to. This problem typically causes chest pain, but based on where the esophagus is it also could cause back pain. I think that what you need is further evaluation. I suggest that you schedule an appointment with your primary care physician for further evaluation. The first thing you need is a detailed history of when these symptoms occur. A good physical exam from your physician will also be helpful. A swallow study will be needed if aspiration is on the list of possibilities. Referral to a gastroenterologist for further testing will be needed if the suffrage of spasm is a possibility.

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