Posted by: Lyn | 2004/10/13

Breathing & swallowing difficulty

Please help. I have been having swallowing and breathing difficulty since June. When I attempt to take a deep breath it feels like I am going to stop breathing. I wake up in the early hours of the morning battling to breathe. I feel incredibly fatigued and go to bed at 18h00 every night. I cant stay awake. I also cant swallow. i actually have to move my mouth around to swallow my saliva. And consuming solids is impossible. Sometimes i even have difficulty drinking liquids. At times, which is rare, I find it easier to consume cold substances than hot substances. I have lost alot of weight due to this. I also have extreme muscle weakness. Sometimes when I pick up a cup or any other object, it is hard for me to grasp it or hold onto it. I am seeig a specilaist physician who just doesnt seem to have an answer to my problem. I am becoming increasingly frustrated and irritable because I want an answer because what I am experiencing is not normal and no one knows what is wrong. I am extremeley discouraged by our doctors in this country. Please help. I am desperate

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Our expert says:
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Lyn, the two main things we have to look it is an obstruction in the throat and a neurological/muscle disorder. The obstruction might be due to an enlarged thyroid, growths and even chronic infection/inflammation. An ENT surgeon should be able to sort it out for you. Then comes the more scary part – the neurological/muscle disorders. This includes disorders like Myasthenia gravis and MS. Your specialist physician will have to do tests (yes’ I know they’re costly) and one by one eliminate the possible causes. I know you’re getting frustrated with the whole thing but believe me, you won’t get the high standard of service you get in SA anywhere else in the world especially if you don’t have a medical aid.
If you don’t like the specialist physician you’re with at the moment ask your GP to refer you to someone different or go to one of the academic hospitals. Good luck.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Lyn | 2004/10/18

Where do I find an academic hospital.
Do you have any references or contact numbers.

Reply to Lyn
Posted by: Lyn | 2004/10/14

I have been to a neurologist. I am not on a medical aid and cannot afford to go for the MRI scan.

Reply to Lyn
Posted by: bibi | 2004/10/13

Go and see a neurologist and mention all the symptoms especially the muscle weakness, they should then send you for various tests including an MRI of the brain etc to rule out nervous disorders. Dont give up go for 2nd and 3rd opinions until you are diagnosed.

Reply to bibi

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