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Old 08-09-2006, 08:01 PM   #1
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Feels like I can't swallow ...

hello, I'm new here. I need help trying to tell if perhaps I have a thyroid problem. At night, when I lie down and try to sleep, it feels almost as if there is a lump in my throat, or more like a knot. It's like a bulge ... sorry, I just can't adequately explain it. The "knot" is located under my adams apple, kind of in front where my collar bones come together ... Hope that makes sense.

I also have a very slow metabolism. I have a very hard time losing weight on programs that other's succeed at. I am very frustrated and the only thing I can figure is that I may have a thyroid problem. Also feel kind of congested in throat at various times throughout the day. Frequent heartburn, heart occasionally races, fatigued but cannot seem to rest/sleep.

Thanks. If you can enlighten me I appreciate it!
Joy

Last edited by cg2forrest; 08-09-2006 at 11:57 PM.

 
Old 08-10-2006, 12:51 AM   #2
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

I'm having a similiar sort of thing, when I'm asleep I suddenly wake up with the sensation that I can't swallow, I have to physically force my throat to swallow. It also makes me feel as if I'm dying.
I'm having issues trying to get my Dr to agree its thyroid related, hope some others can shed some light on this for you.

 
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Old 08-10-2006, 05:46 AM   #3
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Welcome to the boards! I had a total thyroidectomy three weeks ago, you'll see it referred to here often as TT, and difficulty swallowing was one of my main symptoms (I had a very large goiter, which is an enlargement of the thyroid). My swallowing difficulty was around the same area as yours and I often had to swallow multiple times when eating a bite of food. By congested in your throat, if you mean feeling like you have phlegm or something in your throat and need to clear your throat, I had that as well. Fatigue is also a major symptom, as are slow metabolism and weight gain and/or difficulties losing weight. Other symptoms which I had included sweating alot, heat intolerance, body aches and pains (including jaw and ear pain), snoring loudly, not sleeping well, low body temperature (around 97), hair loss, brittle nails and depression. Since my surgery, I'm doing very well and many of my symptoms have already disappeared.

My primary care physician found my goiter during a routine physical exam, so you might start there. If your physician feels a goiter, she'll probably just order an ultrasound herself (mine did). If your doctor doesn't feel anything, I'd ask for a referral to an endocrinologist to have your TSH levels checked. But, as many indicate in posts here, don't settle for just having your TSH levels checked. Make sure the doctor also checks your Free T3 and Free T4 levels (hormones your body needs). If those levels are abnormal, the doctor will probably order a thyroid ultrasound or thyroid uptake test.

There are many excellent web sites out there that can give you more information, and the support I found here has proved invaluable.

Best of luck and please keep us posted!

Intrigue

Last edited by Intrigue50; 08-10-2006 at 05:49 AM.

 
Old 08-10-2006, 08:12 AM   #4
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Thanks so much for your response. As far as something "in" my throat like needing to clear it, that seldom happens. It jut feels like there'sa constiriction?? Maybe that's a good way to describe it? It's only when I'm curled up in the bed, or like now, with laptop in lap and neck bent down. It doesn't hurt, it's just annoying.

Again, thanks so much for your response. Let me ask you this. Did they try thyroid medication before your surgery? What was the reason for removal ... that's kind of scary. I never heard of such a thing.

Have a great day,
Joy

 
Old 08-10-2006, 10:40 AM   #5
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Yes, constriction is a great way to describe it. I especially felt it at night lying in bed if I laid flat on my back, or if I tried lifting both arms over my head or bent down to pick something up off the floor. The reason for this, in my case, was that the goiter was pressing against both sides of my windpipe, restricting the amount of airflow and constricting the actual size of my windpipe.

The surgeon did not try any thyroid medications before surgery because the thyroid ultrasound showed the goiter was too large to not be taken out. So, he waited until after surgery to start me on meds. Some doctors do start their patients on the med though, from what I've read here.

Yes, it was scary, but hang in there and try not to worry -- it may not even be a thyroid problem. Please just take one step at a time and get into a doctor as soon as you can.

You have a great day too!

Intrigue

 
Old 08-10-2006, 04:02 PM   #6
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Please see a ENT, or Head and Neck Dr. so that these symptoms can be checked. I'm sure they will want to check your thyroid levels.

Keep us posted.

 
Old 08-10-2006, 08:14 PM   #7
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

thanks so much for your time in answering my questions intrigue. Will HealthBoards allow you to post a link for some of those good sites you found? And what do you think of "natural" remedies?

Thanks Hon,
joy

 
Old 08-10-2006, 08:45 PM   #8
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Joy,
I had the same thing happen to me. It just felt different when I went to bed, like something was there that wasnt before. I had a PET scan done for another reason and they told me my thyroid had uptake. I had an ultrasound done and it is a 4cm nodule. Ive had a biopsy that was suspicious so they are going to do surgery. Mine didnt hurt and I really couldnt tell from the outside that it was there. Good luck and you should have it checked.

Becky

 
Old 08-10-2006, 10:07 PM   #9
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Thanks to all, so much, for your responses. If there is something wrong there, what could it be? I mean, if it's swollen, then what's caused it or what can be done about it? Are there symptoms I can associate with thyroid problems ... and if treated can I get thinner

Thanks for your input and your patience
joy

 
Old 08-10-2006, 11:03 PM   #10
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

I have Hypothyroid, I gain weight like crazy, before I found out I had hypothyroid. I was having trouble swallowing, it felt like my thing that makes you swallow would not work. I would have to drink something to swallow. I hope this helps.


Hypothyroid symptoms

by Marcelle Pick, OB/GYN NP

Hypothyroidism is the medical term for a sluggish thyroid. It can lead to a wide range of hypothyroidism symptoms:

severe fatigue, loss of energy
weight gain, difficulty losing weight
depression and depressed mood
joint and muscle pain, headaches
dry skin, brittle nails
brittle hair, itchy scalp, hair loss
irregular periods, PMS symptoms
breast milk formation
calcium metabolism difficulties
difficulty tolerating cold and lower body temperature
constipation
sleeping more than average
diminished sex drive
puffiness in face and extremities
hoarseness
bruising/clotting problems
elevated levels of LDL (the “bad” cholesterol) and heightened risk of heart disease
allergies that suddenly appear or get worse
persistent cold sores, boils, or breakouts
tingling sensation in wrists and hands that mimics carpal tunnel syndrome
memory loss, fuzzy thinking, difficulty following conversation or train of thought
slowness or slurring of speech



Hyperthyroidism
Hyperthyroidism is an overactive thyroid, meaning the thyroid gland produces too much hormone. The condition occurs eight times more frequently in women than in men, and can develop as early as their 30’s.

Hyperthyroidism symptoms
A well-functioning thyroid makes a balanced amount of two hormones: T4 and T3. These hormones manage our metabolism and influence our body temperature, body weight and how many calories we burn. If your thyroid produces too much of these hormones, all the cells in your body increase the rate at which they function, resulting in thyroid problems and some or all of the following hyperthyroid symptoms:

Heart palpitations; accelerated heart rate
Chest pain
A feeling of being too warm all the time
Nervousness and trembling
Insomnia despite feeling exhausted
Breathlessness
Diarrhea and GI upset
Increased appetite
Light or absent menstrual periods; infertility
Weight loss
Muscle deterioration
Warm, moist skin
Hair loss
Bulging eyes, “spacy” gaze
Heightened anxiety, irritability, moodiness or depression

 
Old 08-11-2006, 09:00 AM   #11
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Wow! Thanks so much for the great info here. I suppose I have almost every symptom, except I don't sleep much at all ... never have.

Heard of a home test years ago, and had forgotten it until last night. I don't know how accurate it might be. If you rub iodine on your skin and it soaks in within 48 hours, it's suppose to let you know you are iodine deficient. Last night I painted my neck in the stuff, put some on my tummy, etc. This morning I found a little left on my tummy, but what I had painted on my neck was completely gone! Wow! I wonder if there might be a chance of this helping ... or if there are natural remedies out there that would help? Hmmmm ...

Thanks again,
joy

 
Old 08-11-2006, 04:52 PM   #12
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

i'm so happy i found this post. my enlarged thyroid was found accidentaly through a carotid artey ultrasound. i then had an ultrasound of htyroid and it showed an enlarged thyroid with multinodular cyst. then i had a nuclear uptake done and that confirmed the enlarged thyroid with a "cold" cyst. my blood work is normal but uptake showed hypo. it has taken me from june 26th until this afternoon to get an appt. with an endo. called 10 that my pcp recommended and finally found one who asked me to fx my reports and someone would get back to me. well it took 24 hours for her office to call back and they scheduled an appt on sept 11th and also put me on the cancellation list. all of a sudden one night i laid down and started choking. since then i know the feeling you all speak of. it's like the muscles in my throat don't work and i have to force myself to swallow. have seen the ENT 3 times, had a barium swallow and nothing else is wrong so it has to be this big thyroid. the sweating is horrible also. palpitations, depression, fatigue, muscle aches. i think i have some symptoms of hypo and hyper. i wish you all the best. this is a horrible thing. i don't care what they have to do i just want it treated. have a good night and thanks for being so supportive of each other

 
Old 08-11-2006, 06:46 PM   #13
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Thanks again intrigue. And ICC, nice to meet you ... wish it was under happier circumstances.

My problem with going to Dr. is that I am a caregiver to my husband who has had brain cancer for 20 months. I don't have time to mess with this, and we have no insurance. The bills from another doctor is simply not feasible. Is there no other way to care for myself?

And ... is there a chance that this could be an enlarged heart?

Thanks again,
joy

Came to edit this tonight ... my throat is hurting worse than ever tonight. It's almost like a sore throat ... so annoying. The constriction is worse than ever before. Is there anything I can do for instant relief? Can I eat something, take something, do anything that will relieve this thing?

Thanks again

Last edited by cg2forrest; 08-11-2006 at 08:49 PM.

 
Old 08-12-2006, 06:19 AM   #14
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

not being a dr. i can't answer all your questions but it seems we all have had this lump or swallowing problem. for all of those who have had TT it has relieved the symptoms. i feel so bad you are going through your own health concerns and being a FT caregiver. i'm not sure what to say about the insurance issue. can you get some sort of state aid? intrigue is right it's not someting to play with. i have heard stories about the goiter growing into the ribs and other body parts. please let us know what going on.

 
Old 08-12-2006, 06:48 AM   #15
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Re: Feels like I can't swallow ...

Thanks ICC ...

Last night I smeared iodine on my throat ... an hour later it was gone. Did it again before retiring. I know that may sound strange, but I was desperate. The constriction was driving me crazy. Felt like someone was holding a softball and pressing it against my esophogus ... ouch!

I tried finding articles on iodine rich foods ... why are there no websites telling you what you DO need to eat? It seems they all say what we don't need to eat LOL! I read something about yogurt containing iodine, so I tried that since I had some. I also tried a powdered drink that we used on my husband when he was first diagnosed with braint tumor. It contains barley grass, brown rice, whate grass, chlorealla and kelp. I tired it because I saw that kelp was full of iodine. I swear it seemed to help!

This morning I'm sipping coffee, a little paranoid to do so. Am searching for things I really can eat, hoping for more relief till I can get into a doctor next week. I have 2 boys on their way to college next week, and my 8 yo starts back to school ... plus taking care of hubby! ugh!!!! But I realize I must take care of me or the whole bunch will be in trouble. Eating the right stuff is a relatively easy thing I CAN do. So far I see molasses, apricots, dates, prunes (oh joy!) ... hmmm ...

Have a great day,
Joy

Last edited by cg2forrest; 08-12-2006 at 06:54 AM.

 
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