Lump in throat

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Hi,

I have been suffering from GERD over a number of years. I have avoided medication as I am unable to swallow tablets (never take them). I have therefore relied on diet to manage the condition.

i have recently found that when laying on my left side I feel like there is a lump in my throat. This stops me sleeping on that side. I believe that this could be associated with GERD.

Is this feeling likely to be connected with GERD or could it be something else? Any advice greatly appreciated.

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  • Posted

    Hi Hatterlee, this sennsation, called globus, can commonly be due to reflux acid and/or pepsin irritation. If you type globus sensation into the 'search patient' box at the top right of the page and press Enter or click the magnifying glass, you'll see a list of articles and what not all about the matter. It would be wise to have your doctor check you out as well, though, rather than assume it is globus.

    You may be aware of other measures for reflux and similar troubles, which I and others have mentioned on other posts, but I can put them here for you as well if you have only altered the foods you eat rather than meals-size and so on. Best wishes.

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  • Posted

    I have been experiencing a lump feeling in my upper chest. I looked up symptoms and went to the doctor. They told me I have esophagus spasms. I had never heard of that before. Its ongoing. Anxiety seems to make it worse. I also have swollen lips at times, along with a swollen tongue. I take medium, but it doesn't always help. I fear esophagus inflammation but have not gone back to the Dr.
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    • Posted

      Hello Maggie, these spasms can be due to reflux, which is presumably why you''ve been given nexium, a medicine which lowers the acid production in your stomach. They can take up to a fortnight to do that fairly efficiently, so you may experience an improvement in time. Very cold and hot food/drink can also cause oesophageal spasms.

      Stress and anxiety can make a lot of things worse, and can lead to stomach illnesses or aggravate them. I will put the measures that help me with my trouble below, though I'm afraid they will seem of short-story length! You may benefit from any you care to try, but it is better to make changes to diet and lifestyle as well as take medicines to increase your chances of improving. Do keep your doctor informed, and tell them about your swollen lips and tongue. Best wishes.

      Several small/medium meals per day (I have seven medium, one every two hours or so), rather than fewer bigger ones, so you don't overfill your stomach. Eat relaxed, chew well. Be sat upright for and after meals, so you don't squash your stomach and press its contents upwards.

      Fried foods, high-fat foods/meats, dairy, high-salt foods, spicy-hot foods, tomatoes, onions, peppers, carbonated drinks, caffeine, alcohol and chocolate can all impact on stomach and reflux troubles for some people, so personal experimentation is key. Minty foods relax the lower oesophageal muscle, as do some of the above foods and drinks, which can let acid up easier, so they are bad. I use a fruity toothpaste, and strawberry gaviscon tablets for the now only occasional acid burn.

      Wholewheat bread, cereals, bananas, hardboiled eggs are a few of the foods that suit me, but there are pulses, rice, various beans (not kidney beans apparently) and many other things to try. Chicken is one of the best meats due to its lower fat content. Trial and error.

      Stress, excercise and bending activity that pressure and squeeze the stomach are also to be avoided. Be as calm and stress-free as you can.

      Having your last meal a few hours before bed can prevent or lessen reflux at night, but I found that waiting to be too empty caused hunger discomfort, assorted spasms and kept me awake or caused some burning through the spasms. I lie down about an hour and a half to two hours after last meal raised a bit on three pillows, on my right side, though the left side is usually recommended and there were test results to support this as being best for many people. Other people raise the bed-head itself about 6 to 8 inches or use a wedge affair..

      Another thing that helps me is to not burp after ten minutes after eating, as this can bring acid up and cause heartburn. I get the swallowed air out gently just after the meal, sittiing a little forward, then don't burp till after the next meal.

      Water triggering heartburn is common, even with some non-ill people. I get my daily requirement by drinking around 140 ml or so with each meal, which, in my case, is added to by some drinks of a nutrition drink. So generally I don't have to drink between meals. Everyone has to find their routine to get sufficient fluid.

      In tests there was an indication that some people with reflux suffer heartburn through drinking water in several gulps because their lower oesophageal muscle doesn't open and close correctly when doing this with fluid, and so acid can escape upwards. But just adding water to your stomach between meals, when there is still food and fluids in there, will increase its volume and raise it nearer to the top where the muscle is, the pressure of which, if too much water is drunk, can then cause the muscle to open and let stomach fluid up. Cold water can also cause spasms, so sips of usual water is best.

      Some say to drink water only between meals at points when the stomach is empty, but this cannot be done in my case, where I need to eat every couple of hours or will lose more weight by slowing digestion down. So a little drink of water or nutrition drink with each bite of food that gets well chewed, then a few more af the end of the meal suits me. I also have water with two cereal meals as I avoid dairy milk, and have yet to try them with the likes of oat, rice, almond or soya milk. But they are good milk substitutes for people who don't/can't have dairy, unless a person has issues with them. But we are all different, so, again, trial and error is the way.

      An update is that I have tried a few very low-fat milk-shake style drinks lately, and they have not impacted badly on me compared to how, for example, butter on bread always did.

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