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How to Diffuse a Spasm of the Esophagus

author image Sari Hardyal
Based in Dayton, Ohio, Sari Hardyal has been writing fitness, sports, entertainment and health-related articles for more than five years. Hardyal holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communication from Miami University and is pursuing her master's degree in occupational therapy and her doctorate in physical therapy. She is a certified personal trainer with the National Federation of Professional Trainers.
How to Diffuse a Spasm of the Esophagus
Drinking hot or cold liquids can lead to an esophageal spasm. Photo Credit: Moma7/iStock/Getty Images

The esophagus is a muscular tube that contracts in a wavelike manner during swallowing to help move the food and liquid you eat and drink to your stomach. Sometimes, the esophagus spasms and contracts, which can lead to choking. The cause of esophageal spasms is not known, but extremely hot or cold foods sometimes trigger the spasms in some people.

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Step 1

Keep track of how often and severe your esophageal spasms occur. You will need this information to tell your doctor to help with your diagnosis. Esophageal spasms can be chronic or acute, and may occur often or intermittently.

Step 2

Mix a small amount of peppermint oil with water and drink the mixture. This is a natural remedy to make the muscles of the esophagus contract normally again. Consult with your doctor for exact amounts per day.

Step 3

Visit the doctor or surgery center for medical tests. If your esophageal spasms are severe or chronic, your doctor may want you to drink barium and undergo an X-ray to see where the muscles are contracting in an uncoordinated fashion. You may also need to have an upper GI endoscopy performed if you have trouble swallowing food. The endoscopy consists of putting a tube down your throat with a camera attached to allow the doctor to see the inside of the esophagus.

Step 4

Take medication to help reduce the spasms. Acute spasms can sometimes be treated with a nitroglycerin tablet dissolved under the tongue. Chronic cases sometimes are treated with a low-dose of an antidepressant.

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