Globus Sensation / Tightness in neck / Strangling Sensation

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It started on August 2011 the 8th around 8pm I was eating but had some difficulty getting it down . The discomfort in my throat & neck quickly spiralled out of control and I had several panic attacks with a constant urge to keep swallowing. I paced up and down like a nervous wreck for over 12 hours desperately trying to convince myself it was entirely mental.

Since then it's never really gone away and has put my life on hold.sad


-tinnitus in right ear

-panic attacks (rare)

-urge to swallow

-stifled breathing (rare)

-thick saliva / phlegm at back of throat (often)

-feeling of hair stuck in throat (often)

-feeling of someone strangling neck with an invisible wire (often)

-feeling of discomfort around adams apple area (often)

-discomfort in neck when lying down (often)


-GP guitar behind right eardrum / congestion

-Barium swallow -VE

-ENT tube thing down throat -VE

It's gotten worse this year. I now have difficulty swallowing most of the time and frequently panic.

I'm thinking I should get a MRI scan of my neck as I can't take much more of this.

If it was mental why does it strike so randomly? question

1 like, 81 replies

81 Replies

  • Posted

    Hi, sorry to hear what you are going through. I have'nt been diagnosed yet but having a Barium swallow at the end of this month. It is a horrible feeling when food gets stuck in the chest. I saw a speech therapist and she said my swallowing is fine so no problem there. I am hoping it is not Achalasia, although I get some of the symptoms that you have. Is the tube down the throat painful. I think it is .called manometry. Hope you will get sorted soon. . 
    • Posted

      Having Achalsia is not great but there are far worse things. I find I can mostly manage my symptoms and the Manometry is unpleasant but not painful. It is essential to have this to be properly diagnosed.   

      Do let us know the diagnosis.....all the best. 

  • Posted

    Thanks for your responses so far.

    " some people achalasia causes no symptoms and is only discovered when a chest X-ray or other investigation is performed for another reason."

    I really don't think I have achalasia.

    I was thinking it could be:

    -problem with C1/C2 vertebrae

    -obstruction due to tumour / oesophageal cancer

    -blocked saliva glands

    -swollen / infected tonsils

    -lung cancer

    -recurring tetanus causing neck muscles to spasm


    • Posted

      It is very frightening not knowing the cause of your symptoms, your mind goes into overdrive. I had the the same back in November and just before Christmas, I was really miserable and Christmas dinner would not be enjoyed. I thought I had a goitre ( I have Hashimoto so quite possible) Doc said no Goitre. I had loads of phlegm in my throat, swallowing saliver was near impossible to get past the build up in throat. I felt like I was being strangled. I could feel the food travelling down my Osophagus. I had pain in Osophagus when I drank tea or coffee even.

      I had my Gastroscopy yesterday (camera down throat and 4 biopsies taken). They take biopsies, whenever someone has had trouble swallowing. The person with the camera said, 'no Cancer there'. I decided, to not have sedation, so I could see on the screen what was in my Osophagus. My Osophagus looked healthy all pink and also my stomache . All that worry and discomfort. I have been feelling  lots better since December, but lost about a stone in weight since it started. I shall look forward to result of my biopsies. It takes time for Osophagitis to heel and repair itself, it may only be infection of your osophagus. I thought I may have had Hiatus Hernia, but no, she said some people just have a tendency to Reflux. I will be having some sort of test to see how acid the stomach becomes. I shall continue with Ranitidine and carry on being careful what I eat.

    • Posted

      Whatever it is it sure doesn't feel right.

      I'm not anxious at all right now but my neck just won't co-operate. Almost like part of the swallowing muscles have gone numb.

    • Posted

      Hello, I am going through all those symtoms too, lost weight aswel with pain every area of my body. I had my Gastroscopy done yesterday the said everything things looks normal, but they took some boipsies I am waiting on the result, I am much calm that noting nasty was found during the Gastroscopy but I am still worried with the boipsies. sad

      Have you received your result, hope all is well.

      I need my life back again, this feeling is very stressfulsad

  • Posted

    It's unclear to me if you have recieved a diagnosis or not , but assuming it is Achalasia I believe I know the symptom you discribe.  With me, I get symptoms I would discribe simularly to how you discribe these, when my oesophagus has food or drink in it.  The difficulty breathing, for me, is from the ease of aspirating the contents into my trachea.  My Achalasia is advanced to the point where there are instances where I must  induce regurgitation in order to breath.  I am in the queuefor a procedure.
    • Posted

      That's insane.

      I'm too young at 26 for achalasia andI don't have any problem with my oesophagus.

      Beconase nasal spray is the only thing that seems to work for me but it's not enough.

      As soon as I stop taking the sprays I get the feeling of a hair in the back of my throat and start coughing after eating yoghurt or cereals.

    • Posted

      That's insane.

      I'm too young at 26 for achalasia and I don't think the problem is the oesophagus.

      Beconase nasal spray is the only thing that seems to work for me but it's not enough.

      As soon as I stop taking the sprays I get the feeling of a hair in the back of my throat and start coughing after eating yoghurt or cereals.


    • Posted

      i havent been diangosed with achalasia but had the swallowing choking etc for two years before a gp did anything.i saw also a speech and language therapist and advice was to stop eating cereals that made me choke(ie rice crispies (and shredded wheat possibly)being the main switched to oatibix.
  • Posted

    I do not think you are too young at all to have achalasia;  the picture s compluicated because for many people it takes so long to obtain a definitive diagnosis.   When you say it is a 'mental' thing, that is not the complete story, because it often has to do with how the muscles operate to achieve the peristalsis, or contractiions  that progresisvely push food down into your stomach, and it is the nerve endings that drive those muscles that can be affected.    Yes, stress, tension and anxiety will probably make it worse.

    There are a range of motility problems that can be suffered, and it needs a specialist to sort out exactly what you are suffering from.

  • Posted

    Hi Sam

    I am 28 years old and for the past two weeks I have been experiencing the exact same symptoms as you have described. Have you had any further analysis or results? I have made an appointment with the ENT.  I am desperately looking for some answers. Hope you can help. 



    • Posted

      There are all sorts of things that can cause such symptoms so you will need to be open-minded.   The dioctors will be guided by the tests and so on.   For achalasia there will ideally be a barium swallow (where you swallow white liquid and the X-ray film charts its progress through your system);  an endoscopy (miniature camera down your throat that can look around for physical obsturctions);  and manometry (tests the pressure at various points in the system).    The definitive diagnosis for achalasia is ideally based on all three tests. 

      Achalasia is unusual, so you are entitled to ask the doctor about whether it might be achalasia that you are suffering from.  It is usually the surgeons in the Upper GI (gastrointestinal tract) centres of excellence that specialise in the condition - these will be the same centres that deal with oesophageal cancer, which is a major part of their work, but also complex benign conditions like bariatric surgery.

    • Posted

      Hi Alan,

      I have a motility problem and was told by my GP that it was not too bad, whatever this means. I was told this after a barium swallow about 3 months ago. I can only eat soft foods and have lost a lot of weight. I also get a heavy feeling in my chest after eating but not every time .

      But the worse thing is severe chest pain when I sit down after standing  up and I also get the pain when bending over or sudden movement. It only lasts for seconds but it is severe and I sometimes feel  dizzy and get facial flushing with the pain and it causes my blood pressure to rise. I also have an hiatus hernia which was diagnosed over 20 years ago but told last year that it is mild, so I don't know where the pain is coming from. I just wondered if you have heard of anyone having pain like this with this condition. I was told my heart is sound after tests, although, I suffer with ectopic heart beats and sometimes the pain cause the ectopic beats but not every time.  

      I am waiting for an appoinment to see a gartro Dr but don't know how long I have to wait. 

    • Posted

      The 'heavy feeling in your chest' sounds like it might be that food is blocking up just above your diaphragm area because it cannot get past the lower oesophageal sphincter from your oesophagus into your stomach.   This could be because your sphincter does not open properly, or a pouch has developed so that there is a bit of sagging that hinders the free flow of food, or the muscles in the lower part of your oesophagus do not work properly.   Or a permutation of all three, or none of them.      I suspect that 'not too bad' means that the food does get through in the end as distinct from having to be regurgitated back up again.

      So eating soft / liquid food little and often may be your best option to maintain your nutrition / weight levels, staying away from heavy meals. 

      Try and adopt a relaxed posture whilst you are swallowing, and perhaps experiment with whether stretching your neck up might make a little bit of difference to letting the food go through.

      The pain may be the effect on pressure on the nerve system causing the muscles to go into spasm.   It may be that as you have moved into a different position it somehow presses against part of the nerve system and creates extra pressure.   And perhaps standing up straight eases the motility problem and allows gravity to help the food go through.  

      It can be very painful.   People do try buscopan, fizzy water and other remedies to try and resolve it.

      The hiatus hernia may well be allowing stomach acid to creep up and cause heartburn.   If in due course you need some surgical procedure, then the surgeon could probably repair the hiatus hernia at the same time.   People are prescribed a proton pump inhibitor (like omeprazole) to reduce stomach acid, and over the counter remedies like gaviscon can provide a short term remedy in some cases.

      I hope this helps

    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply. I have been on Lansoprazole for about 10 years and it stops the acid coming up, this is the only meds that work for me. I used to be on the plastic coated one's but they was sticking in my chest just below my throat and coming back up whole, so my Dr prescribed the tabs that disolve on the tongue and I have been on these for 5 years. It seems my dismotility problem started from there.

      I forgot to mention that when I get chest pain I also get a lot of burping and when I lean forward to burp the pain then clears until it builds up again. I am getting the pain more often now whether I eat or not. I hope the gastro Dr will do something and soon.

      Thank you once again for your help.     

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