Sharon Giannotti: The Trouble with Swallowing Pills

Eight years ago, Sharon Giannotti was standing at her kitchen counter doing her nightly ritual of taking her supplements. “I was taking a gel cap a Vitamin E or fish oil, and all of a sudden I was gasping for air. My husband thought I was joking, but I couldn’t get air in, I couldn’t get anything in, it was stuck. He called 911.” At the hospital doctors dismissed the event as nothing, saying she just had something caught in her windpipe.

Then, it happened again a few months later.

As she was getting her son ready for school, she grabbed her vitamin and swallowed it. Once again, she started choking and couldn’t catch a breath. This time, her son called 911. All she remembers is her brother waving to her in the back of the ambulance as she was taken to the hospital for a series of tests.

Sharon later discovered she had Gerd, which is one of the most common reasons people have problems swallowing.

Gerd develops over time in the lower esophagus tissue from the continuous cycle of damage and healing caused by acid reflux. This causes inflammation and scar tissue to develop, which in turn can result in the narrowing of the esophagus. This narrowing of the esophagus leads to difficulty swallowing. “I just couldn’t take pills. They discovered I had Gerd—it’s a natural thing that a lot of people get from indigestion,” explains Sharon.

A recent study reported in The New England Journal of Medicine outlined that among adults 65 years of age or older choking or pill-induced dysphagia caused 37.6% of all emergency department visits. The study examined 3,667 emergency room cases related to adverse events caused by dietary supplements between 2004 and 2013.

To deal with her problems swallowing, Sharon stopped taking supplements for a long time. “I would take gummies, but it’s like eating candy. Some are disgusting and so heavy mineralized in flavor. Chewables were horrible. I was resorting to taking the kids’ or not bother at all. People would say you can crush them but it just wasn’t worth it to crush them and mix them in applesauce. It didn’t make sense to me.”

Having spent most of her career cooking, catering and as a teacher, Sharon says, “My main bent has always been nutrition.” She also spent a number of years as a rep for products in the natural products industry. So, she was thrilled to learn about Tespo, which she discovered from an ad on Facebook. “I love it. I just love it. What’s interesting is it is so novel, new and cutting edge. And everyone is into single-serve mentality, I think it is the perfect thing.” She adds, “The taste is so good and fresh.”

But what Sharon likes most is how she feels when she takes Tespo. “I didn’t really notice it at first. But within a couple of days, I wasn’t feeling sluggish or having that feeling at 3pm that I wanted some caffeine. My energy felt sustained. For the most part in terms of a multi, this is the only vitamin that has given me quick results.” She and her husband have now been using Tespo for over two months. Read More from their Blog!

Sharon now is a Tespo Brand Ambassador, sharing with people how Tespo has helped her. If you have a story of how Tespo has helped you, please send it to us at We’d love to hear from you.