Anxiety, reflux or both? Please help

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My whole life ive had stomach problems, they started really affecting me about 6 years ago and I started having even more health issues at this time too (reflux, anxiety, dysautonomia, etc.) within the last 2 years I started experiencing what I think is reflux in a different kind of way. Sometimes When I try to lay down to go to bed, Ill start to feel a terrible sensation in my throat, sort of like it's closing up and sort of like I have to throw up, even though I never actually do. Sometimes I start to choke, which scares me and makes my anxiety worse, since I have a bad fear of throwing up. These episodes can last a couple hours to all night long, last night I didnt fall asleep untill 7 am because of this. When it happens I cant sit down or lay down at all or I will start to choke within seconds. Whenever this happens I feel exhausted and anything I have scheduled for the next day is ruined. I avoid sleepovers and all things involving being away from home overnight because of this and I wish I didnt have to, I am missing out on a lot because of it. Soemtimes i think its brought on by stress, sometimes it will happen when im not stressed at all. I have been told by the doctor that its reflux but it almost feels more like an allergic reaction/ throat spasm. I am not sure and I really dont know what to do, its making it hard to be a normal teen and I wish it would stop. 

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  • Posted

    Hi Addie 

    your right it does sound like both. The reflux can be helped by medication if possible but does need confirming by Ent ear nose and throat consultant.

    As for the anxiety it almost feels like you've a belt round your neck doesn't it? It may sound daft but prop yourself up in bed a little don't think about your neck and breath works for me 

    let me know how you go

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  • Posted

    Hi Addie,

    Straight away I will say don't lay down flat at bedtime, you need to prop yourself up to sleep. As soon as you lay down your problem begins and once the acid has creeped up then you stress about it you end up awake all night in agony. You need to get some medication to help with the acid from your GP, I myself had Nexium 40mg also ranitadine 300mg and lots of Gaviscon Double Action..

    As I had been suffering from reflux all my life I opted for surgery and 6 weeks ago I had fundloplication op to fix it. It's a big op with a long recovery but I haven't had any reflux problems since and no more meds..

    Good luck with everything.


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  • Posted

    These are typical reflux presentations. It makes you feel as stated and many more. I sympathise with you especially that you have this so early. I suspect however that there is more you could do by way of lifestyle changes. Eat little bland meals, avoid alcohol and cigarettes and eat your last meal two hours before bed. I hope your doctor has done an endoscopy to look closely at your stomach and intestines.
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  • Posted

    My mental health issues were originally diagnosed because of my acid reflux and insomnia which was originally blamed on stress.

    Other things worth trying may be Lansoprazole, Ranitidine (300mg) or Gaviscon ADVANCE < which I think is only available on prescription. 

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  • Posted

    Reflux can cause throat tightness and soreness. I have those symptoms as well, but anxiety is also guilty of making us feel like we can't breathe or were choking. And anxiety is also much worse at night for most people than during the day. Do you have any other symptoms associated to reflux other than the choking feeling? Such as heartburn, bloating, excessive belching, bitter taste in your mouth, chest pain, or back and shoulder pain? Is so then it is probably reflux if not then it's more than likely your anxiety. In that case it's all about making your mind believe that the sensation of choking you are feeling is simply your anxiety, that you will in fact be fine in a few minutes. As much as it sucks, I myself have spent many nights talking myself down from a complete panic attack session. I hope you get some answers and start resting at night

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