This is a condition resulting from motility disorders of the esophagus ranging from absent peristalsis to hyperperistalsis and spasm. Diffuse esophageal spasm typically causes substernal chest pain in association with difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia) of both liquids and solids. The pain may be severe and may awaken the patient from sleep. Liquids that are very hot or cold may aggravate the pain. With time, this disorder may evolve into achalasia (failure to relax smooth muscle fibers of the gastrointestinal tract). There may be reflux of recently swallowed food. Combinations of all of these with abnormal lower or upper esophageal sphincter function complete the clinical picture. Esophageal spasm may also produce a severe pain in the absence of dysphagia that is indistinguishable from angina pectoris . This pain is often described as a substernal squeezing pain and may occur in association with exercise. A specific cause is seldom found, but there may be associated reflux esophagitis (i...
Vascular spasms temporary limit blood flow to tissue supplied by that vessel. The most common symptom is pain. Other symptoms are caused by lack of proper circulation and will vary depending on the specific organ affected:
When the spasm affects circulation in a limb, there may be pallor and a sensation of cold in that arm or leg. Limb function and movement will be impaired.
When the spasm affects circulation in the heart, there may be symptoms similar to a heart attack and irregular heartbeats. Other names for chest pain resulting from vascular spasm are Prinzmetal's angina and variant angina.
Signs and tests
These vary depending on the affected organ.
Full Question: I have had migraines for as long as I can remember. About 4 years ago I started getting muscle spasms only on the left side of my head, with or without the pain. at first the spasm lasted only a short while, then a little longer and longer, now the spasm never goes away. It effects my vision, speech, balance, muscle weakness on the left side. My neuro had my on Topamax, it was a God send for about 5 mos. then it quit working, then he tried large doses of Zoloft no effect, the last thing he tried was Zonegran no effect what so ever. My neuro calls them Hemiplegic migraines. I need relief so I can function, the spasms NEVER go away. Can you please help? Susan. Answer: Dear Susan; You ask a number of very good questions relating to your headaches. Is your neurologist a headache specialist?? Your symptoms do not sound like like hemiplegic anything. Zoloft has had a dismal effect on migraines per se and the Topamax might have been increased slightly to...
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