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St. Vincent Healthcare
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Nutcracker Esophagus

What is Nutcracker Esophagus?
Nutcracker Esophagus is a condition in which the muscles of your esophagus contract too powerfully. Over half of the cases of nutcracker esophagus are related to GERD.

What symptoms will I experience if I have Nutcracker Esophagus?

  • Chest pain
  • Difficulty swallowing, or a sensation that food is stuck in your esophagus
  • Heartburn

How is it diagnosed?

  • Esophageal Manometry
  • EGD: Esophagogastroduodenoscopy

What is the treatment process for Nutcracker Esophagus?
There are several treatment options available for patients suffering from nutcracker esophagus.

  • Anti-reflux medication: since over half of all nutcracker esophagus patients develop nutcracker esophagus as a result of GERD, treatment of reflux symptoms can be effective.
  • Other medications: medications such as nitrates and calcium channel blockers can help to relax the muscles of the esophagus and stomach, however they are not overly effective.
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