Very Painful Result From Eating Brussels Sprouts (and some gross TMI)

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    May 31, 2016 12:28 PM GMT
    Last night I had the munchies, so my husband suggested I have a couple sprouts from the fridge. Well, I didn't want to bother cooking. He said eat them raw, like I do many other vegetables. After all they're just a variety of cabbage. So I trimmed a couple down and sorta ate them like a cabbage or lettuce, peeling away the layers. A little tough, but tasted fine.

    On the second one my esophagus was suddenly burning in incredible pain, just above my stomach. I wasn't choking, nothing stuck in my upper throat to block breathing. But the waves of pain were disabling, almost doubling me over. They'd subside for a moment, then start again.

    I kept waiting for it to totally stop, but meanwhile I started drooling badly. I know, gross TMI. And more a mucus than regular saliva. It wouldn't stop, so I had to carry some paper towels with me back to the office, my operations base when I'm home. I tried drinking water, and some milk, and each brought the pain back rather than giving relief.

    I waited 2 hours, in pain so bad at times my eyes were tearing, and I was gasping. And wondered what could this logically be? I was diagnosed with esophageal perforations (aka ulcers) 11 years ago; had the rough food torn them open? I thought they were healed and under control. If not, this required an ER visit.

    With my husband driving, since I could not in this condition. I hated to do that to him, and at night, plus all the hassle. Or was something stuck down there? Never heard of that before. I was still able to drink, so not blocked. Maybe a half-chewed hard leaf adhered itself to the esophagus wall? Or wedged there, a partial blockage? Maybe that kind of local irritation would induce the drooling, too.

    Trying that hypothesis, I started drinking sips of water, while forcing myself to swallow hard. Knowing that swallowing causes a wave to travel down the esophagus. Despite even more pain that was making me pant & groan so loud my husband became alarmed.

    After a few minutes I actually felt a kind of snap sensation above my stomach. And almost instantly - relief! No more pain! And the drooling stopped, too. So some food stuck down there and causing irritation, perhaps where I'd had a prior perforation, must have been the cause. The perforation scarring maybe causing a narrowing at that point, or simply a source of extra sensitivity. Never had that before.

    I guess my Mother was right - always chew your food thoroughly! Especially when it comes to rough, uncooked leafy foods like Brussels Sprouts. Oh well, another stupid Bob misadventure. It's amazing I've managed to live this long. icon_redface.gif
  • leanandclean

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    May 31, 2016 9:27 PM GMT
    OK, sorry that happened.
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    May 31, 2016 10:42 PM GMT
    leanandclean said
    OK, sorry that happened.

    Thanks, I'm OK now, a day later. I just hope no one else experiences similar. Or maybe it's just stupid me. And not just with Brussels Sprouts, but anything rough and not fully chewed. Something to consider if anyone suddenly develops these same symptoms.
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    May 31, 2016 11:01 PM GMT
    That's pretty freaky/scary... did you research this? If you have a regular doctor, I would let them know and consider getting tests/scans... but that's me.
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    Jun 01, 2016 2:07 AM GMT
    manboynyc saidThat's pretty freaky/scary... did you research this? If you have a regular doctor, I would let them know and consider getting tests/scans... but that's me.

    I do have a primary care provider (PCP). But he's difficult to schedule, and when I can't, his office tells me to go to the ER. Typical of doctors in this area. Meaning I have to schedule routine visits months in advance, but if something sudden happens I'm SOL.

    I also can use the VA, but those doctors are more likely to harm me than to help. Trust me, I used them for years, and to save money the VA hires underpaid overseas doctors who get their questionable medical degrees from Third World schools. Doctors whose interest in their patients and medical skills are as poor as their English.

    I haven't researched it, don't know where to begin. And there's always a danger in trying to self-diagnose on the Internet. Like it's said of beginning medical students, who begin to think they've personally got every illness & disorder they're currently studying.
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    Jun 01, 2016 3:24 AM GMT
    leanandclean saidOK, sorry that happened.


    lmao.
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    Jun 01, 2016 4:47 AM GMT
    Most old people usually choke to death on some kind of meat. You might want to start blending your food. It's perhaps caused
    from many things, but it's common. Maybe you can have someone do the Heimlich maneuver?

  • fixedpole

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    Jun 01, 2016 8:37 AM GMT
    Sounds so painful. I can almost feel it. Hope you've recovered completely. Thanks for sharing.
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    Jun 01, 2016 11:59 AM GMT
    2Bnaked saidMost old people usually choke to death on some kind of meat. You might want to start blending your food. It's perhaps caused from many things, but it's common. Maybe you can have someone do the Heimlich maneuver?

    As I said I wasn't choking. The problem was at some spot in the esophagus lower than the tracheal opening at the larynx. Based on the pain location I would place it just above the stomach. I don't think the Heimlich maneuver would have helped dislodge any food from there.

    I hadn't heard about a choking risk for old people. But I'll ask around. Aside from medical people I know, perhaps veteran restaurant owners will know something about choking risks. And what groups are most susceptible to it. I would have thought it'd be children. Thanks for the input.
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    Jun 01, 2016 12:30 PM GMT
    fixedpole said
    Sounds so painful. I can almost feel it. Hope you've recovered completely. Thanks for sharing.

    Thanks, fully recovered from it. Yesterday evening I attended a business/pleasure dinner I arranged that included some friends. I ordered a salad with grilled chicken strips, and I cut those pieces, even the greens, into much smaller than usual morsels. And chewed each one until they were totally mush. I wasn't gonna have a repetition of the night before, in public and while trying to secure a deal with a gay magazine publisher from Miami. Had no problems on either count. icon_biggrin.gif

    I have no idea how common (or perhaps rather, how rare) an occurrence like mine is. In 67 years it was my first. Maybe aging effects, or the result of a poor choice of food and bad eating habits. I have heard, though, that thorough chewing is beneficial for all aspects of digestion. I had a BF who believed that, and he took forever to finish his meals. Whereas I tend to gulp and run, an old Army habit.

    It could be quite comical to watch him, slowly chewing away like a cow. Maybe he was right all along. icon_question.gif
  • Svnw688

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    Jun 01, 2016 6:24 PM GMT
    Dang that sounds painful as heck. Glad you're better now.

    While I know raw vegetables are best for you, and the less manipulation a food receives the healthier it is, but I can only eat brussel sprouts that are booked and have bacon and a few onions in them. In fact, I ate some at Annabell's in Hell's Kitchen the other night, delicious!
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    Jun 01, 2016 11:33 PM GMT
    Svnw688 saidDang that sounds painful as heck. Glad you're better now.

    While I know raw vegetables are best for you, and the less manipulation a food receives the healthier it is...


    Not necessarily. I remember watching a documentary where it was explained that, for some foods, the cooking process actually makes the nutrient value more readily available to the body. I wish I could remember the name of the documentary.

    Art, any undue flatulence from those raw Brussel sprouts?
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    Jun 02, 2016 12:41 AM GMT
    Svnw688 saidDang that sounds painful as heck. Glad you're better now.

    While I know raw vegetables are best for you, and the less manipulation a food receives the healthier it is, but I can only eat brussel sprouts that are cooked and have bacon and a few onions in them. In fact, I ate some at Annabell's in Hell's Kitchen the other night, delicious!

    Thanks for your concern. I usually have sprouts steamed. In fact, we sometimes get frozen ones for convenience, that you steam in your microwave inside sealed individual serving-size plastic bags. Some vegetables can cook really well in a microwave, an easy way to make several side dishes while cooking the main course by more traditional & slower means. And no pots to clean. Plus saves on energy, water, time, and again, clean-up.

    I think one brand calls theirs Steam Fresh, and we also like their peas and loose corn. We do "baked" potatoes and corn on the cob in the microwave as well, properly wrapped, our preferred method anymore.

    BTW, at a restaurant tonight they had a steamed Brussels sprouts salad. I laughed and showed the menu to my husband. We decided not to tempt fate. Instead I skipped salad and just had seared grouper, very nice.
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    Jun 02, 2016 12:49 AM GMT
    Not4u said
    Art, any undue flatulence from those raw Brussel sprouts?

    No, just some burping. I don't think I ever get gas from vegetables, raw or cooked. Raw broccoli is another one that can produce burps.
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    Jun 02, 2016 6:37 AM GMT
    Thats what one gets for eating cattle food.
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    Jun 02, 2016 11:42 AM GMT
    Aunty_Jack said
    Thats what one gets for eating cattle food.

    In that case many foods should come off our menus. For instance oats, which in the pioneering 1755 English dictionary by Dr. Samuel Johnson are described thusly:

    Oats. n.s. [aten, Saxon.] A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.
  • Svnw688

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    Jun 02, 2016 6:23 PM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Aunty_Jack said
    Thats what one gets for eating cattle food.

    In that case many foods should come off our menus. For instance oats, which in the pioneering 1755 English dictionary by Dr. Samuel Johnson are described thusly:

    Oats. n.s. [aten, Saxon.] A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.


    Dr. Johnson throwing shade.........

    images?q=tbn:ANd9GcSK0upSNCG9P8kV6d3KWyV
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    Jun 02, 2016 6:39 PM GMT
    Svnw688 said
    Art_Deco said
    Aunty_Jack said
    Thats what one gets for eating cattle food.

    In that case many foods should come off our menus. For instance oats, which in the pioneering 1755 English dictionary by Dr. Samuel Johnson are described thusly:

    Oats. n.s. [aten, Saxon.] A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.


    Dr. Johnson throwing shade.........

    A common practice in Britain in that era, and for some years yet to come. If Dr. Johnson had a snide comment about the Scots, what was being said about the Irish was even worse.
  • StillFrisky

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    Jun 02, 2016 10:15 PM GMT
    You had something called an esophageal spasm. I had almost exactly the same symptoms about a month ago after gulping down some insufficiently chewed food. Luckily my husband is a gastroenterologist and correctly diagnosed the problem. It was still miserable and really painful. The cure: sip warm water and take a tranquilizer if you have any.
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    Jun 02, 2016 10:19 PM GMT
    StillFrisky saidYou had something called an esophageal spasm. I had almost exactly the same symptoms about a month ago after gulping down some insufficiently chewed food. Luckily my husband is a gastroenterologist and correctly diagnosed the problem. It was still miserable and really painful. The cure: sip warm water and take a tranquilizer if you have any.

    Thanks for this info! How long did your episode last? Mine was over 2 hours. What kind of tranquilizer? We don't keep any on hand. In fact, we don't ever use them at all.

    I was also struck, as I noted above, by the sudden snap I felt in my esophagus, after repeated forced swallowing, with sips of room temperature water. After that snap the pain disappeared instantly, as did the strange drooling. Perhaps you could ask your husband about that. Thanks!
  • carew28

    Posts: 658

    Jun 03, 2016 1:06 AM GMT
    Art_Deco said
    Svnw688 said
    Art_Deco said
    Aunty_Jack said
    Thats what one gets for eating cattle food.

    In that case many foods should come off our menus. For instance oats, which in the pioneering 1755 English dictionary by Dr. Samuel Johnson are described thusly:

    Oats. n.s. [aten, Saxon.] A grain, which in England is generally given to horses, but in Scotland supports the people.


    Dr. Johnson throwing shade.........

    A common practice in Britain in that era, and for some years yet to come. If Dr. Johnson had a snide comment about the Scots, what was being said about the Irish was even worse.


    The climate is cooler in Scotland, which is likely why oats became the staple grain for human consumption there, while wheat was the staple grain for human consumption in England, oats being primarily fed to horses........ Incidentally, Scottish men have long been famed for their fine physiques, superior athletic prowess, and attractive appearance, and Scottish women for their beauty. And the Scottish people have always been known for their work ethic, and for their thrift. While in England, the horses are renowned for their strength, speed, and endurance.
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    Jul 17, 2016 4:45 AM GMT
    All I'm gonna say is that, those dense leafy veggies are way too tough for us to break down efficiently. We need our cabbages cooked, to assist in digestion. It's not the same as spinach! And even a leafy green like that can be digested without as much protest if it's been cooked. The way you described getting one stuck on the way down sounds AWFUL! Next time roast them with some butter and eat'em with BBQ.