Question

Physical Effects of Fibromyalgia

How does fibromyalgia cause difficulty swallowing?

A Answers (1)

  • ACeleste Cooper, Rheumatology, answered

    Difficulty swallowing, dysphagia, has not been specifically associated with fibromyalgia, however, I have heard patients complain of this, including myself.

    Myofascial trigger points, which may be present in all FM patients, can occur in any muscle, including those involved with swallowing.

    Dryness of mucous membranes has been associated with FM and can affect the mouth and esophagus (the swallowing tube). Lubricate your throat before taking pills or eating by drinking some water first. Also have crackers or solid food standing by if pills get lodged and won't go down with water. 

    If your problems persist, discuss it with your doctor, you may need more diagnostic tests such as a barium swallow or an esophageal motility test.

    Read more about myofascial trigger points and fibromyalgia in Integrative Therapies for Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, and Myofascial Pain: The Mind-Body Connection by Celeste Cooper, RN and Jeff Miller, PhD.

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