I have trouble swallowing and with food “backing up.” I often wake up coughing at night from (excuse me please, but no delicate way to put this) choking on said regurgitation. I also have this horridly severe and relentless pain under my breastbone that comes and goes at random. Oh and gas. Lots and lots of gas, which if I do not express it, will cause me horrendous pain. Oh, ya. I'm real fun at parties. Don't feed me after 6 pm. Ha ha ha.
My rheumatologist told me that these symptoms are common in Lupus patients, but she was a little vague about what it actually was and what I could do about it. So, of course, as a writer, I had to look it up for myself.
Turns out that this is not fatty liver, gerd, acid reflux or cancer of the esophagus, but a malfunction of my esophagus. Esophageal hypomotility is hard to pronounce. It sometimes goes by other names. However, whatever it's called, it's still good to know why I'm going through this.
Now, I'm not a “self diagnoser.” However, I do have the exact symptoms of this affliction, bar none, so it's pretty obvious. It's also been discussed and confirmed with my rheumy, of course.
Meanwhile, let's get to the love, shall we?
First of all, if you have Lupus or another autoimmune disease, you may be going through the same thing. So, my experience and research may help you. And that's a wonderful thing. I love helping my peeps.
Secondly, there is one side effect to this esophagus malfunction that's great for me. You see, I'm still about 50 pounds overweight. And this condition often results in weight loss because you have no choice but to eat light. Now, I do have to be sure to get my nutrients because my food sometimes does not digest properly and I don't eat much.
But hey, with autoimmune diseases, it's very important to look on the bright side. This extra weight I'm carrying around is terrible for my overall health. So, while I do feel like crap for sure and the Lupus is no joke, at least I'm losing weight.
Don't worry you guys, I am very careful to get everything I need nutritionally. I'm not wasting away or depriving myself. It's just that I have to deal with this regardless and I prefer to look on the bright side. When my willpower wanes, the symptoms of this condition force me to cut portions and eat nutrient dense food. That's at least a good thing.
So thanks, Lupus for messing up my esophagus and forcing me to eat more sensibly. Heaven knows, I have a hard time doing so on my own!
PS - A wonderful thing has occurred. Since writing this article (about a month ago) my swallowing issues have greatly improved. In fact, they have all but disappeared. So, of course, you'll want to know why and so did I. So I looked it up and conferred with my doc. It seems that the high doses of Vitamin D that I recently started taking are, as a side benefit, beginning to heal my esophageal muscles.
And just when I had started to love them! What a shame!