I have been having problems with a "tight" throat for the past month or so and finally realized that this was a symptom of GERD. I don't have heartburn associated with it, but in the past I have experienced heartburn in the night if I rolled over, etc. so I know acid reflux has occurred. Also, when I eat I feel as though my food isn't moving down as quickly as it should and I burp a lot after I eat. I've never choked, luckily! I can't see the Gastro Dr. until the end of Oct.(busy Dr.'s I guess!) but meanwhile I've been taking Nexium and I think it has helped with the burping and the throat AT TIMES but what is confusing me is that somedays I think I'm much better, then I'll have a day when my throat feels tighter again. Sometimes I can eat and not feel the food sitting there, other times it seems I can feel it a lot. I am being careful of what and how much I eat as well. I'm just getting discouraged and worried -
Can anybody who has had this feeling tell me if you have had similar experiences witht the tightness coming and going, etc.? I am getting so tired of this feeling in my throat because it is all I can think about! Thanks for any advice.
I've been having the same thing (throat tightness) for just over a month now. For instance, yesterday as I was sitting in my office at work, I took a drink of cold water and could feel it slowly drain all the way down my esophagus until the sensation ceased as it entered my stomach. Same thing happened later that day as I ate an apple. To me, it feels like my esophagus has tightened up/narrowed to the point where only a little food/water can pass at a time. Most of the rest of the time, it feels normal and I just get occasional flutters or rapid spasms in the center of my chest.
I, too, have never had extremely bad acid reflux or heartburn, but I usually notice it if I've eaten something spicy or if I eat to close to going to bed it'll rear its ugly head. I'm waiting to see the doctor as well (mid-September) and have been taking one Zantac 75 a half-hour before each meal for the past week and it seems to help reduce the frequency of all this, but its not completely going away.
Let me know what you find out...I'm impatient and want to know what my doctor's going to say RIGHT NOW! =)
Starling, the flutter you are talking about, does it feel like someone put a vibrator in your chest. I also get this sensation, not painful at all, just like a vibration feeling for up to 10 seconds at a time throughout some days. I am not sure if its due to a vitamin deficiency, being hypothyroid, or because of the GERD.
Ginger, I have no idea what a vibrator feels like (lol), but I would characterize the sensation as painless, occasional except for certain days when it becomes frequent, and duration of 1-2 seconds most of the time with very infrequent bouts of up to 5 or 10 seconds. At first I described it as a very strong "gurgling" sensation, but now I want to call it similar to someone rolling their "R's" inside my chest very lightly. I still can't say if it's a sensation that originates deep inside my chest or if it's relatively shallow (like ribcage muscles spasming), but since the frequency is impacted by how regularly I take Zantac, I have to believe it's deeper than just a ribcage muscle.
This might sound nutty, but could this 'throat tightness' possibly be caused simply from tight muscles? I have noticed my throat feeling tight before, usually after a long period at the computer. I don't know if this could affect eating. Try laying down and gently massaging the muscles in the throat area (that worked for me). If that helps, please come back and let us know, I'm really curious about this. It doesn't seem to me that it would be caused by GERD if someone wasn't really having other symptoms of GERD.
Thanks for replying Starling and Ginger! Starling - I feel just like you do when swallowing food - I can feel it go slowly all the way down and sometimes when I eat lettuce it feels like I still have a lettuce leaf in there - yet I can swallow water okay and everything. I had a really cold slushie type drink the other day and I felt it slooooooowly go down and linger before it went in my stomach. Very unsettling. I frequently have those heart palpatations which are called PVCs (premature ventricular contractions) which sometimes feel like a fluttering - but I also think I've had that fluttering when it hasn't been the heart beat. The PVCs are harmless they've told me. In fact I was taking a calcium channel blocker to reduce them and then I found out that calcium channel blockers can relax the muscle that keeps the stomach acid from backing up so I just can't win. (I've stopped taking it because it didn't do that much for me anyway). I always found that when I sat down (especially driving my car) I had more of that fluttering or PVC - so it made me think that my stomach was pushing on something like my heart - but that doesn't make much sense! But this throat thing is annoying - Starling and Ginger - is your throat tight through out the day, and do you find that it is very uncomfortable to shout or sing (especially high notes)?? I will be sure to let you know what I find out - please do the same as I am very curious. I want this to go away for good!!!! I'm so glad someone else there can relate, but I'm sorry you are having it too.
Thanks for your idea, Shadepra. I'll try massaging but I think I actually do have GERD symptoms since I feel like my food sits in my esophagus for a very long time. Yesterday I ate a little more regularly than I had been around 4:00 or 5:00 and even at 3am I felt like food was still trying to get into my stomach. Does anybody else have this feeling? The Nexium helps some, I don't have bad burning, but my throat is irritated and that old food just doesn't want to get moving! I hate to think of it sitting in my esophagus - yuck. Please let me know if anybody else feels like this. Thanks!
I'm on twice a day Nexium (80 mg total) and two Pepcid before bed and I still have throat tightness. Mine also comes and goes and doesn't have much to do with eating. Although sometimes it feels better after I eat. Evidently GERD causes all sorts of problems and this is definately one of them. It feels like I'm wearing a turtleneck that is too tight.
Thanks KJM - that makes me feel better to know I'm not the only one who feels that way. That's a good description of the turtleneck feeling - I know just what you mean. I wonder how long it will take before it will heal/go away? I keep waiting!! Thanks for posting.
I know. It's good to know other people go through this too. Then you know you're not crazy. Some days are better than others, but when it's bad, it's very frustrating and uncomfortable. You almost want to pull your skin out to loosen things up. I have other throat/pulmonary problems that are reflux caused and the docs say it's harder to treat than regular GERD, so I might be considering surgery in the next few years if it doesn't get better.
Oh, and you should know that my kind of reflux (sometimes called extra-esophageal reflux, laryngopharyngeal reflux or atypical reflux) doesn't always produce regular "heartburn" symptoms. Sometimes it's just tightness, throat clearing or coughing, hoarseness, shortness of breath, etc. Some doctors think that more than half of all asthma sufferers have reflux and that their asthma is induced by reflux. Some docs also think there's a connection with this kind of reflux and SIDS in babies.
Thanks for your notes KJM! I do feel better knowing I'm not alone and thanks for taking the time to write. Now it seems like my throat (the part you are aware of when you swallow) gets irritated after I eat. I didn't think it did that so much before. I'm still taking Nexium. I guess it's always something! What are your other throat problems that you have? That was interesting about the asthma being tied in to acid refulx. I have recently had some asthma and I wonder if it isn't connected to my acid reflux now. There is so much to learn about this topic! I really hope you feel better soon. Thanks again KJM.
thanks alexis and KJM for the posts! i have very similar affects as both of you. it is amazing - we definately are having a similar experience.
2 mos ago, developed pressure behind breastbone, felt like i had to burp bigtime
after 5 days, ended up with a feeling like someone is grabbing my throat. that's what i have now 1/2 of the time.
VERY stress related. if i'm arguing with my wife, it gets worse by the minute.
doctor said that if it was GERD, prevacid (which i took for only a week and stopped because of lack of results) would have immediately resolved it. after reading posts on this board, that doesn't sound right after reading some of the posts here. seems that prevacid does not work for everyone.
i never had or have feelings of heartburn, just the contstriction feeling. doc said could be globus or a spasm (will be going for a barium swallow soon).
otherwise very healthy and fit - just the constriction. voice sometimes mildly affected. comes and goes. some days worse than others. the only thing that i've been able to identify as worsening it is stress/arguing. food helps it (makes it go away for .5-1 hour at least). exercising helps it too (it goes away if i'm riding bike).
i have a feeling it is GERD, but again, my doc said prevacid would have showed almost immediately relief and it didn't. plus, i don't feel the heartburn feeling, but i do feel that sometimes the food is just below the esophogeal sphincter percolating (just an intuition).
it was good to read that neither of you had the typical heartburn feelings. the turtleneck analogy is right on. the only thing i'd like to know from you both is whether stress plays a roll because it certainly does with me.
btw, i forgot to mention that my doc prescribe xanax which definately helped me (80%), but i don't want to take those for too long. try to keep the board posted on whatever you find out. at least now i know that there are others who are experiencing basically the exact thing that I am.
The symptoms that you are all describing are very typical in reflux. Not everyone with reflux suffers with heartburn. Plus there are actually two types of reflux, acid reflux and alkaline reflux (sorry don't know too much about the latter but probably will by next week as I think my grandaughter has this), some people actually suffer with both types.
Problems with swallowing is actually called dysphagia. Over here in the UK specialist speech therapists trained in dysphagia can offer lots of advice with regards to the problems that you have been describing.
My own grandaughter most certainly has this, she's 19mnths now, but has suffered since newborn. One day she can eat for England, the following she will hold her throat all the time, the next she eats okay, the next she will choke on everything that goes near her. Reflux is a very long walk, two steps forwards and one step back for a lot of people.
I also get this feeling of tightness, mine is worse if I'm smoking ( I know disgusting habit lol).
Try to avoid stress as much as possible as it really does affect reflux.
Another problem with refluxers is, many about 41% I believe also have a motility problem. This is when the stomach has become very sluggish or stops working completely. It is very common in people with diabetes for example or someone thats had damage to their vagus nerve. Delayed gastric emptying can mean that food is in the stomach for longer than is needed, thereby producing more acid than it normally would. There are drugs available that can help this. My grandaughter has domperidone, eurithmarycin (sps?) is a good anti biotic that works in the same way.
Dysphagia is a very common complaint, not just reserved to refluxers. So a problem with swallowing doesn't always mean you have reflux.
Hope I havent rambled too much and that I've helped someone.
Hi everyone ! I am new here & have finally found a place that describes my symptoms!yea! I have the tightness in the throat but I have alot of coughng- choking with mine....how embaressing when u are out! Does anyone else suffer with choking - coughing alllll the time? I am getting ready for more tests next week! I hope there is something out there to help this.