In today’s time where people usually develop a bond with their doctors. Because of having faith, there is no second opinion in people’s minds, due to which sometimes the result is wrong. Usually, we forget that doctors are also human beings and that two doctors can have differing views. Therefore, getting a second opinion can give you more information about your situation and help you better determine your next steps. This can be avoided by simply making sure that you are on the right track, which is exactly what a second opinion is. healthzen:Get the best advice from top medical experts. A History of Excellence. A Commitment to the Future.
We are not demotivating you in any way but your health matters to us. That’s why we have brought some special stories which will help you to think and understand how important a second opinion in your life is.
Hi, My Name is Ritu from Karnataka, I have a story to tell you about my misdiagnosed. I had an esophagus but I was being treated for allergies.
It was an average day for me. I woke up feeling completely normal and went about my day as usual. All of a sudden, when I was driving and running errands, I felt like I couldn’t swallow. Saliva pooled in my mouth—like that feeling you get right before you throw up—and I had to force it back, throwing my head back to force the excess buildup down my throat. I felt like my throat was tightening. I stopped and tried to drink some water, hoping to clear the blockage, but I couldn’t swallow – I coughed up the water and some of it came out of my nose. Limited swallowing was soon accompanied by chest tightness.
I managed to make it to the store and my friend came and took me to the emergency room. When I described my symptoms to the nurse, she immediately asked, “Are you allergic to anything?” I said anything made from orange or orange flavour. Then I realized that the chicken I had eaten earlier was marinated in orange and lemon juice. The doctor thought my sensitivity to orange had turned into a full-blown allergy. They sent me home with a seven day prescription for steroids.
A week later – the first day off the steroid – I had the same type of episode. I didn’t eat anything made with orange or orange flavor, but I had lemonade. Was I now allergic to all citrus? This episode was much worse. They brought me to a nearby emergency room where they gave me another shot of Benadryl and also Pepcid. My doctor told me to eliminate all citrus fruits from my diet because they could trigger acid reflux – a digestive disease in which stomach acids back up and irritate the esophagus, which can also cause the same symptoms as an allergic reaction: chest tightness and difficulty swallowing.
He also suggested I see my GP. I did and she sent me for an allergy test for all citrus fruits: orange, tangerine, lemon, lime, tomato and grapefruit. Every test came back negative. Still, my doctor advised me to stay away from all acidic foods—as well as cut out coffee, alcohol, and spicy foods—saying it had to be acid reflux because it wasn’t an
allergy. She also put me on Nexium, a proton pump inhibitor used to treat various gastrointestinal problems. healthzen:Get the best advice from top medical experts. A History of Excellence. A Commitment to the Future.
But I wasn’t convinced. The most common symptoms of acid reflux are heartburn and the taste of acidic regurgitated fluid. I haven’t experienced either. My throat felt like it was bloated with a lot of air and the only thing that gave me some relief was the occasional belch.
The acid reflux diet may not sound like a diet until you realize howmany of our everyday foods are considered acidic. I lost 18 kilos in couple of months.
With no reason for the cold, the episodes continued every few days—with symptoms lasting several hours each time—despite a restricted diet and medication. It felt like something was blocking my passage, like my esophagus was a pipe, and all I wanted was the medicinal equivalent of Drain to clear it out. I continued to see doctors, looking for answers and relief. One doctor I saw was convinced that I was self-inflicting these symptoms and that I was suffering from panic attacks, which can also have physical symptoms like an allergic reaction and acid reflux: chest pressure and difficulty swallowing.
My next stop was a gastrointestinal specialist. He said that it could be acid reflux but that it could be something more and that there are tests that will determine for sure what has been going on with me for the past few months. Finally the doctor decided to get to the bottom of it with me!
First, he recommended a less invasive test called a barium swallow study, or esophagram—a radiographic examination in which a series of X-rays is taken of the upper gastrointestinal tract while you consume both liquid and pill forms of barium sulfate, which highlights the tube. While the liquid went down without any obstruction during the test, X-ray technicians saw the barium pill get stuck about halfway through. They let me take three big gulps of water before she finally passed.
My doctor explained that I could be experiencing esophageal stricture, a condition that causes damage to the lining of the esophagus, which then causes narrowing and inflammation. The next step was a more invasive approach, endoscopy; a procedure used to examine the digestive system using a small camera at the end of a long, flexible wand. If I was actually dealing with a narrowing of the esophagus, the doctor said he would inflate a balloon in my esophagus to “pull it back” to normal size.
He was right. After thousands of dollars, blood tests, many doctors, hospital visits, and medications, it turned out that I had been living with a narrowing of my esophagus for four months. I developed a ring in my esophagus that caused me to experience the same symptoms as an allergic reaction, acid reflux, and panic attacks. Chest pressure and difficulty swallowing were caused by food hitting the ring. It wasn’t the acidity of citrus that I should have avoided all along, but rather solid foods, especially meat. Another name for this condition is “steakhouse syndrome” because steak, chicken, and any other type of meat is chewy and therefore harder to break down, making it more
likely to get stuck.
Instead of using the balloon technique, I woke up from the procedure to find that my doctor had actually cut the ring open with four incisions and removed pieces for biopsy. The results were benign. My recovery time was longer than expected because my esophagus was raw for about a month after surgery. My doctor decided to remove the stricture rather than his original plan of “pulling it out” because of the chance that the stricture would narrow again over time.
Today, I’m still very conscious of what I eat, what bites I take and how much I chew – to the point where I’m always the very last person to finish my food and my food is always cold. Still, I’m extremely grateful to the doctor who finally diagnosed me correctly and that hisprocedure brought me back to my normal self. healthzen:Get the best advice from top medical experts. A History of Excellence. A Commitment to the Future.
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