by Ken Pishna – MMAWeekly.com
Once promising UFC middleweight-turned-welterweight Mike Swick may have been headed for a drop to lightweight, but more likely was headed to a permanent exit from the Octagon, if not for a recent visit to the doctor.
Swick, for the past four years, had been quietly dealing with a stomach condition called dyspepsia, for which he was told there wasn’t much he could do other than take medication and modify his diet to try and manage the condition.
In trying to manage the condition, Swick says his modest diet caused him to lose about 30 pounds and forced him to drop down to welterweight.
“I was misdiagnosed with a condition called dyspepsia,” he said in a recent video blog on YouTube.
“After my last fight it got to an absolute breaking point. It became a question of whether I could even continue to train and fight at this level.”
That’s when he decided to see a specialist to determine whether or not there were any options to help him deal with his condition and continue fighting.
They ran some tests and corrected the diagnosis to esophageal spasms and acid reflux, which is treatable.
The Mayo Clinic defines esophageal spasms as, “painful muscle contractions that affect your esophagus… and can feel like sudden, severe chest pain that lets up after a few minutes.”
Esophageal spasms interfere with the ability to eat or drink, which is the likely cause of Swick’s dramatic weight loss.
“This week, I plan to get a neurotoxin injected into my esophagus, which should paralyze the muscle, giving me relief,” said Swick.
If that doesn’t work, medicines and ultimately surgery are other options, but the neurotoxin injection is the least invasive option and the first choice.
Surgery is the final option, but Swick says, “(It is one option) that I will be willing to take if that’s all that’s left.”
It’s still too soon to say when he might be able to return to fighting.
“I wanna get this under control and then gain a little weight back before fighting (again),” Swick told MMAWeekly.com. “Hopefully the end of the year.”