Difficulty swallowing?

Hi, I’m just hanging around here in limboland, had two MRIs which showed a definite demylienated lesion on my spine and 5 things in my brain that are “unexplained”. Waiting for a lumbar puncture which I hope will be soon.

But my question is, I have read about the symptom of "difficulty swallowing " and when my neurologist asked me about it I said no. But later I thought, I do choke a lot, as in, liquid goes down the wrong way a lot and makes me cough and choke, and I suddenly wondered if that is what they mean?. Does anyone know what the term means, difficulty swallowing, or could describe it to me? I looked on the website here but it’s still not that clear to me! Sorry if this is a silly question!

Thanks in advance!

Hi, I’m sorry that your having this issue. I hope that I can help somewhat, I was diagnosed with Rrms in March this year and one thing I mentioned was a difficulty swallowing. It’s as if the muscles in my throat just freeze for a few seconds and nothing happens when I try to swallow. I would think that ‘difficulty swallowing’ is just that. If it’s not an easy natural thing- then it’s a problem/difficult.

i was referred to salt ( speech and language therapist) who gave me some tips which were useful, so maybe you could look in to that whether or not you are diagnosed as having ms.

i hope this helps


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Hi Emma thanks for your kind reply. It sounds from your description just like what I have read about. Definitely something to bring up with the neurologist when I see her next. Best Wishes Anjo

Difficulty swallowing covers a range of different problems with different causes. Yours sound like a problem of aspiration where food/water is breathed into the wind pipe. It would be relevant to mention it to your neurologist if you experience it frequently and out of the ordinary - everybody does it occasionally. Other people may have a problem where food only partially descends when swallowing and seems to get stuck and requires repeated swallowing or sips of water to help it down. Others may have problems effecting a swallow

Thanks mrbobowen yes mine does sound a lot like a problem with aspiration, i.e. liquid going down the wrong way, rather than food getting stuck, thanks for the observation. I do get it an increasing amount, so I think I had better bring it up when I see the neurologist next time.

Thanks again


I mentioned to a physio (of all people) a short while ago that I was often choking when drinking water. It didn’t happen with other liquids (coffee, tea, wine!) just water.

He explained that it can be due to the viscosity of water, ie it’s thinner so for some reason it’s harder to drink. He suggested as I take a slurp of water, tip my head forward and then the water can’t get in the windpipe. And it works. Also he suggested drinking water with a straw to avoid that same problem. So mostly I don’t choke on water anymore.

This is clearly different to a real problem with eating and drinking for which more specialist help would be useful, like from a speech and language therapist.