Lump in Throat feeling when Swallowing, Meaning, Causes, How to Get Rid and Treatment

Lump in throat feeling is a condition that is also medically referred to as Globus Sensation. So, how does a lump-in-throat-feeling arise and what does it really mean? Is a lump-in-throat-feeling a more serious medical condition? Get insight on the causes, how to get rid of it and treatment.

Lump in Throat Feeling – Meaning

lump in throat feeling

lump in throat feeling causes

Persistent feeling of a lamp in throat without having the actual lump is known globus sensation. Though it is uncommon many people experience this painless sensation at least once in their life time. In United state of America various researches at the Meryland University Medical School have shown that over 10% of population in USA experience globus sensation each year.

Many researchers aren’t sure what causes globus sensation, but it affects people of all ages and gender. It may come and go throughout your life. The most important thing that causes a feeling of a lump in throat apart from other potential causes is swallowing related problems. If you have a difficulty in swallowing, you may be experiencing another more serious issue.

What does it Mean when you feel like you have a Lump in your Throat

A lump in throat feeling is the persistent sensation of having phlegm, a pill or some sort of obstruction in the throat when there is none. Swallowing can be preformed normally, so it is not a true case of dysphagia, but it can become quite irritating. One may also feel mild chest pain or even severe pain with a clicking sensation when swallowing.

Feeling like a lump in your throat is often caused by inflammation of one or more parts of the throat, such as the larynx or hypopharynx  due to cricopharyngeal spasm, gastroesophageal reflux [GERD] laryngopharyngeal reflux or esophageal versatility.

What Cause the Feeling of a lump in the Throat

  1. Acid Reflux

According to The American College of Gastroenterology [ACG] ,acid reflux occurs when some acidic content of the stomach flows up into the food pipe. This happens due to failure of the of stomach valves- gastro-esophageal sphincter which normally act as a valve that let food into the stomach but not back upwards.  Acid reflux is also known as Pyrosis, heartburn or acid indigestion. Acid reflux creates a burning pain in the lower chest area and in the throat. ACG also estimates over 50 million Americans experience heartburn at least once a month.

Stomach acids entering your esophagus can cause a feeling of swelling in your throat tissues. This may feel  like a lump in the throat or a blockage.

Also acid reflux can be caused by  Gastroesophageal reflux disease ( GERD), which is a disease affecting the stomach valves that close food in the stomach from coming back into the aesophagus. GERD is most common in western countries and various researches has estimated at least 23% of the population in western countries are affected.

  1. Postnasal Drip

Postnasal drip is a condition where by mucus from the nose and sinuses accumulate in your throat. However, due to sensitivity of throat muscles, as mucus slides down your throat, it can cause a lumplike feeling in your throat.

  1. Emotions

Stress, grief, anxiety and pride can trigger the feeling of a lump-like in the throat. Some studies have found that psychological distress such as stress, depression and health anxiety is associated with higher rates of feeling of a lump like in the throat.

Many studies at The American Collage of Gastroentrology  [ACG], have also linked stress or traumatic events to lump like feeling in the throat or making symptoms worse. Many gastroenterologists have also recommended further studies to determine the link between psychological factors and globus sensation.

  1. Thyroid Diseases

According to world Journal of Gastroenterology 70% of people with symptoms of globus sensation have thyroid malfunction or abnormalities. The journal further explains that the correlation between thyroid disease and globus sensation is still unknown, but however, after the thyroid has been fully or partially removed symptoms of globus sensation normally go away or are reduced to a great extend.

  1. Allergies

Allergies can cause swelling in the throat a factor that lead to feeling of a lump in the throat. A study carried out at University of Maryland USA , found that many People who complained that they had a feeling of a lump-like in the throat were treated by giving them anti-allergy treatments.

  1. Tonsillitis

A study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology, tonsillitis can cause inflammation and difficulty when swallowing. According to the Journal, the symptoms of tonsillitis include swollen glands, redness, pain, blister on the throat, white spots and fever. Therefore, swollen glands may be the reason you feel a lump like sensation in your throat, especially if your throat is red and inflamed.

  1. Growth in the throat

This condition is rare, but if it happens its due to an cancer carcinoma. A growth in the throat can cause a sensation of lump like feeling in the throat.

Lump in throat feeling when Swallowing

A lump in throat feeling when swallowing is a medical condition referred to as Dysphagia. Gastroenterologist Prof.  Norton J. Greenberger defines dysphagia as ‘’ It is When swallowing and you have something in throat feeling or you have a feeling like food is stuck in your throat or any point before going into the stomach.’’

He also explains that swallowing is a complex process that involves many nerves that help the muscles of the mouth, throat and esophagus work together. A brain or nerve disorder can alter the balance between this muscles and hence creating a lump like feeling in the throat.

According to professor Norton ‘’ stress or anxiety may cause some people to feel tightness in the throat, or feel as if something is stuck in the throat’’. He further explains that the problems that involve esophagus are responsible for this problem of feeling a lump like in throat when swallowing and they include:

  1. Abnormal spasms of the esophagus muscles
  2. Cancer of the esophagus
  3. Tumors in the chest that press on the esophagus
  4. Scleroderma–a disorder in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the esophagus.
  5. An abnormal ring of tissue or tissues, that forms where the esophagus and stomach meet (schatzki’s ring).
  6. Failure of the muscle ring at the bottom of esophagus to relax.
  7. Scarring of the epithelial lining of the esophagus. This may be due to radiation, chemicals, chronic swelling, medicines, ulcers or infections.

Can Anxiety Cause Lump in Throat Feeling

lump in throat feeling

lump in throat feeling

Anxiety can indeed cause a constant lump in the throat feeling, a condition which is medically referred to as Globus Hystericus. Many people who are nervous or anxious experience this feeling. Anxiety activates the stress response. The stress response causes immediate physiological, and emotional changes in the body that enhance the body’s ability to deal with a threat- to either fight with or flee from it- which is the reason the stress response is often referred to as the fight or flight response.

Some of the stress response changes include causing the body’s muscles to tighten so that they are more resilient to damage. This act of tightening muscles can affect any muscle or a group of muscles in the body including throat muscles that help you swallow. This symptom is an explicit example of how the throat can feel when the throat muscles are tight due to anxiety.

Persistent stress can also cause a lump in the throat feeling. Having a constant lump in the throat feeling is a common symptom of persistently elevated stress and how that stress affects the body’s muscles, including the muscles in the throat.

According to Calmclinic when you suffer from anxiety, your body is constantly stimulating your sympathetic nervous system. This leads to an increased heart rate, increased breathing rate, and muscle tension, and in some people that muscle tension can cause the throat to feel inflammation. In many people that feeling is described as a lump in the throat. It may be referred to in medical circles as: Globus Pharyngis or globus sensation or globus hystericus. When anxiety causes the lump in your throat, it may not necessarily be a dangerous medical condition.

How to Tell the Difference Between Anxiety Throat Lumps and a Health Problem

If you have a strong feeling that a lump in your throat is a serious health issue, you need to visit your doctor. But in rare cases, a lump in the throat may be a serious issue, such as a type of cancer or GERD- gastrointestinal reflux disease. It’s your doctor that can tell you if the lump in the throat is something more serious or not. But signs that it may be anxiety include:

  1. There is no clicking sound or severe pain when swallowing.
  2. The experience comes and goes, and is more common when you’re feel high anxiety.
  3. You have suffered from a panic attack or recent very stressful situation.

Why lump in Throat Feeling Comes and Goes

The feeling like lump in throat that comes and goes is medically referred to as intermittent esophageal dysphagia.  Intermittent esophageal dysphagia happens due to the aperture in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes being wide either because of partiality or completely weakened diaphragm. This form of dysphagia affects 10% of the united state of America [USA] population irrespective of age-young or old.

Feeling of Lump in Throat and Burping

feeling like a lump in throat

feeling like a lump in throat

Burping is also known as belching or (eructation), and it is the voluntary or involuntary release of air from the stomach or esophagus through the mouth. When burping, the release of air from the stomach sometimes noisy and some other times not noisy.

Burping 2 to 4 times after eating is normal and is usually caused by swallowing air. Other causes of burping may include nervous habits or other medical conditions, such as an ulcer or a gallbladder problem. In some cultures, a person may belch loudly after eating to show appreciation for the meal.

Burping can also be due to a vague feeling of fullness, gnawing, or burning in the chest or upper abdomen, especially after eating. A person may describe this feeling as a lump in throat feeling. Other symptoms may that may accompany burping due to feeling of fullness in the chest include rumbling noise in the abdomen, increased flatus, poor appetite, and a change in bowel habits.

According to the views of Prof. Norton Greenberger, MD, Clinical professor of  Harvard Medical School, Burping is generally caused by swallowing air when eating or drinking and subsequently expelling it, so in this case the expelled gas is mainly a mixture of Nitrogen and Oxygen.

Burps can also be caused by drinking carbonated beverages, such as beer, soft drink, energy drinks and wine in which case the expelled gas is primarily carbon dioxide from the drinks itself.  Common diabetes drugs such as metformin and Byetta can cause burping, especially at higher doses and in this case burping usually resolve in few weeks.

Burping combined with other symptoms such as dyspepsia, nausea and heartburn may be a sign of an ulcer or hietal hernia and should be reviewed by a doctor. Prof .Norton also assert that other causes other causes of burping include food allergy, gallbladder problems, acid reflux disease, H.pylori and gastritis. Burping sometimes result to a lump-like sensation in the throat.

Also, According to Dr. Paul  Berggreen, MD, a Gastroentrologist and Founder of Arizona Digestive Health in His Article titled: 4 things your Burps are trying to tell You, notes as follow.

  1. You are eating too fast

If you tend to rush through your meals-gulping down coffee in the morning, grabbing a quick bite on your lunch break, wolfing down dinner- you may find yourself Burping a lot. ‘’The single most common cause of burping is swallowing air. You burp when the upper esophageal sphincter muscle relaxes and all that air is expelled’’ says Dr. Berggreen.

  1. Your sinuses are acting up

When you’re feeling stuffy, you tend to breathe through your mouth. “Swallowing air happens much more frequently when people are having problems with their sinuses” Berggreen says.

  1. You are taking a lot of Drinks

Carbonated beverages basically deliver air directly to your stomach. Carbonated drinks usually cause gas to come out of the solution in the stomach. Burps that come from the stomach typically have a stronger smell, as the food has been at least partially digested.

  1. You might have reflux

‘’If  belching is accompanied by nausea or heartburn- or it feels like you throw up in your mouth a little when you burp-you might actually have gastroesophageal reflux disease-GERD. People sometimes feel food or fluid coming up into their chest or even into their throat’’ says Berggreen.

How to Get Rid of the Lump in Throat Feeling-Home Remedies and Treatment

Lump in throat feeling has no treatment. There is a lot of research still ongoing in this area to establish the exact cause and treatment for Globus sensation. Some of the causes of the lump-in-throat feeling are treatable. Treatment for some common causes include:

  • Steriod Nasal sprays prescribed by the doctor can be used for treatment of posrnasal drip.
  • Over-the counter decongestants may also be taken to help remove the buildup and eliminate the drip.
  • Sucking on throat soothing suckers.
  • If the cause is anxiety, grief, depression and other mental health issues, use of antidepressants as directed by your doctor may also help treat the underlying issues that leading to this feeling.
  • In cases of acid reflux, over-the-counter antiacids or Acid Reducers for Heartburn may be recommended.
  • Reflux prescription and medication can help ease acid reflux.

Home remedies for Lump in Throat feeling

HERBS

Herbs are among ways to tone and strengthen your body system. Herbs can also cause side effects if they interact with other medications.  You may use herbs as:

  1. Dried extracts (powders, teas or capsules),
  2. Glycerites such as glycerine extracts.
  3. Tinctures (alcohol extracts).

To use herbs:

  • Make teas with 1 tablespoon herb per glass of hot water.
  • Steep covered for 15 minutes for leaf or flowers and 30 minutes for roots.
  • Drink 2 to 4 glasses a day.
  • Always tell your doctor about the herb you might be using.

LICORICE

Standardize licorice extracts taken 1 hour before or 2 hours after meals, for reducing spasms, swelling and pain specifically in the gastrointestinal tract. Alternatively, chewable lozenges may also be effective in getting rid of lump in throat feeling.

SLIPPERY ELM POWDER

Slippery elm protects irritated tissues and promotes healing.

To use slippery elm:

  • Mix 2 tablespoon of slippery elm powder with warm water
  • Stir thoroughly and allow the mix to steep for 5 minutes.
  • Drink 3 to 4 times daily until you get rid of the feeling.

MARSHMALLOW

Marshmallow as tea helps to smoothen and moisturize any inflated tissues. To use marshmallow:

  • Take a handful of marshmallow dried leaves and add them into a cup. Add hot boiling water to the cup.
  • Allow the mixture to steep for 20 minute before drinking it.
  • Drink 2 to 4 cups daily to get rid of Lump like feeling in the throat.

ACUPUNCTURE

Several clinical studies suggest that acupuncture can stimulate the swallowing reflex and ease a lump in throat feeling, in people who have dysphagia due to stroke. However, other studies show no benefit. More research is needed to evaluate the therapeutic effect of acupuncture on dysphagia after stroke.

HOMEOPAPTHY

The following are some of the homeopathic remedies used for dysphagia and consequently help ease lump like feeling in the throat:

  • Baptesia tinctoria. If you can swallow only liquids especially if you have a red, inflamed throat that is relatively pain free.
  • Baryta carbonica. if you have large tonsils
  • Ignatia. For lump in the throat feeling, back spasms, and cough, especially when symptoms appear after you have experience grief.
  • Lachesis. Especially if you cannot stand to be touched around the throat.
  • Carbo vegatabilis. For bloating and indigestion that is worse when lying down, especially with flatulence and fatigue.

Further references:

  1. https://www.health.com/health/lump-in-throat
  2. http://www.medicinenet.com/script/main/art.asp?artclekey=9023
  3. http://www.anxietycenter.com/anxiety/symptoms/constant-lump-in-throat-feeling.shtml
  4. https://www.merckmanuals.com/home/digestive-disorders/lump-in-throat
2018-10-14T15:37:07+00:00

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