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Can Anxiety Cause Difficulty Swallowing

Lump In The Throat / Tight Throat

Pill Swallowing Difficulty: Cause and Treatments (Pill Dysphagia)

The sensation of a lump in the throat is very similar to the sensation of a tight throat. They have similar causes too.

So Ive grouped them together.

Why Does Anxiety Cause a Lump in the Throat and a Tight Throat?

There are 3 ways that anxiety can cause a lump in the throat sensation or a tight throat:

  • acid reflux with anxiety often causing excess stomach acid theres more chance that some of it will reflux into your throat. If this occurs for long enough the acid will irritate your throat, causing a lump in the throat sensation or a tight throat
  • post nasal drip if your anxiety causes hypersensitivity youre more likely to become allergic to something. An allergy will produce excess mucus in the back of your nose and throat. When the excess mucus trickles down your throat it can make you feel like you have something stuck in your throat or that you have a tight throat
  • muscle tension theres a ring of muscle in your throat that opens and closes to let food down into your stomach. When youre anxious this muscle can become tense, causing the feeling that something is stuck in your throat or that your throat is tight
How to Stop a Lump in the Throat and a Tight Throat Caused by Anxiety

Theres a different approach to stopping these sensations in your throat depending on which of the causes is responsible.

Stroke Or Transient Ischemic Attack


A stroke occurs when blood flow is stopped by a clot in your brain or when theres a bleed in your brain. A transient ischemic attack often called a mini-stroke can cause similar symptoms as a stroke, but it lasts for less than 24 hours.

After a stroke or TIA, you may have weakened muscles of the oropharynx or it may affect your swallowing reflex. These both cause difficulty swallowing.

Treating stroke or a TIA

If you have symptoms of a stroke or TIA, immediately go to the emergency room. TIAs need to be taken as seriously as a stroke because they increase your risk of experiencing a full-blown stroke. Treatment includes anti-clotting medication and possibly surgery.

How Is Dysphagia Diagnosed

Diagnostic tests for swallowing disorders vary. Typical tests include:

  • Flexible laryngoscopy: This test is done by an ENT specialist. It involves placing a small scope in your nose and looking at your throat and vocal cords.
  • Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing : Performed by a speech therapist, this test involves passing a small camera into your nose and feeding you dyed liquids and food to see how you are swallowing. During the test, your provider will also look to see if the food is getting into your airway .
  • Modified barium swallow: During this test, a speech therapist gives you different foods and liquids to chew and swallow. The food will be covered with barium, a minty tasting liquid or pasty material. Barium allows images of your mouth, throat and esophagus to be seen on X-ray images. The speech therapist will tell you when to chew and swallow and the radiologist will take X-ray images while youre swallowing.
  • Esophagram: In this test, you drink barium and the radiologist takes pictures of your esophagus.
  • Esophagoduodenoscopy or upper endoscopy: This test involves a healthcare provider called a gastroenterologist who places a scope down your throat. The scope continues down your throat, into your esophagus and down into your stomach. This test is used to look for any narrowing, tumors or Barretts esophagus.

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Using Apple Cider Vinegar To Get Rid Of Dry Mouth At Night

The other option to quickly relieve dry throat at night is by gargling with apple cider vinegar. Apple cider vinegar is a great anti-itching remedy.

It is also a great antibacterial solution that will help get rid of microorganism that might be causing dryness and bad breath.

You will need to:

  • Use the resultant solution to gargle your mouth
  • Do this in intervals of two hours

Limitations Of The Study

Anxiety Disorders 8 Nov

This investigation has some limitations. First, since MUNOD is a rare condition, the number of patients included in the study is small, so only a limited statistical analysis could be performed. Second, the HADS questionnaire was used for screening of anxiety and depression symptoms. Possibly, a different screening tool or multiple screening tools would have led to different results. Third, three of the participants were taking psychiatric medication , which could have a negative effect on swallowing . Furthermore, the use of psychiatric medication could have led to an underestimation of the HADS scores. Furthermore, this investigation used a cross-sectional study design and was not intended as a therapy-effect study the effect of different treatment options could be examined in future research, which could also specify treatment strategies in patients with MUNOD and psychiatric comorbidity.

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Two Doctors Explain The Possible Causes Of A Hoarse Voice Coupled With Trouble Swallowing

The first expert source for this article about the causes of the symptom duo of hoarse voice and swallowing difficulties is John A. Elefteriades, MD, William W.L. Glenn Professor of Surgery, and Director, Aortic Institute at Yale-New Haven, New Haven, CT.

Youre probably wondering why a consulting physician for hoarse voice and trouble swallowing would be an aorta specialist, being that the aorta is the largest blood vessel in the body, and arises out of the heart.

An aortic aneurysm can, rarely, put pressure on the esophagus by virtue of its size, explains Dr. Elefteriades, and cause the symptom complex described.

An aneurysm is a ballooned portion of a blood vessel. When a portion of the aorta is abnormally enlarged, this is an aneurysm.

Think of what a snake looks like after it just swallowed a big egg the snakes body is long and tube-like, and the egg inside bulges at some point along the snakes body.


Thats kind of what an aneurysm looks like . But you get the picture.

Plus, if the aneurysm is located on the arch or descending portion of the aorta, it can cause compression of the nerve that controls the vocal cords, as this nerve passes along the aorta, adds Dr. Elefteriades.

This disrupts signals to the vocal cords and will result in a hoarse voice.

If you have trouble swallowing, plus a hoarse voice, chances are that this is NOT from an aortic aneurysm.

Is It Possible For Stress To Cause Swallowing Problems

Yes, it can! As mentioned before, stress brings with it a myriad of problems which can often make you wonder what is it exactly to youre suffering from. Most of you would not connect stress with a lot of symptoms it can give rise to, but stress has some major effects on health and how the body reacts.

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How Do You Relax Your Throat

How to relax the throat muscles quickly

  • Bring awareness to the breath.
  • Next, place a hand on the belly and relax the shoulders.
  • Exhale fully, allowing the belly to relax again.
  • Keep breathing this way, feeling the hand rising and falling with each breath.
  • If helpful, people can make a soft sss sound as they exhale.
  • 4

    Will I Need A Feeding Tube For Difficulty Swallowing

    Overcome anxiety and fear of swallowing

    If you cant get enough of the vitamins and nutrients you need, you are losing significant amounts of weight, or if you have a high risk of choking, your doctor may recommend a feeding tube. This medical device delivers nutrients directly to your intestines or your stomach. Your doctor will discuss your options with you.

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    What Causes The Sensation That There Is Something In Your Throat

    Many people who experience this sensation regularly and strongly become concerned that may be a real lump inside their throat, and often are frightened they may have throat cancer. However, in the absence of other symptoms such as real dysphagia, ear pain, a palpable neck lump or bleeding, the chances of a lump sensation being due to cancer are very small..The real cause of the lump feeling is a tightening of the muscles of the throat. There are over forty muscles making the throat work and they are all finely tuned and sensitive. Perhaps it is not surprising, therefore, that the throat is one of the commonest areas to tighten up when we are anxious.

    Can Stress And Anxiety Cause Hoarseness

    Stress canStress causescancanhoarseness

    Stress and AnxietyRecent research has shown that under periods of stress, the muscles that control the voice box become tense. Periods of prolonged muscle tension in the voice box can lead to an incoordination of the vocal control system.

    One may also ask, does stress affect throat? Stress or anxiety may cause some people to feel tightness in the throat or feel as if something is stuck in the throat. This sensation is called globus sensation and is unrelated to eating. However, there may be some underlying cause. Problems that involve the esophagus often cause swallowing problems.

    Just so, what can cause a hoarse voice?

    The most common cause of hoarseness is acute laryngitis caused most often by an upper respiratory tract infection , and less commonly from overuse or misuse of the voice .

    What medications can cause hoarseness?

    II.Causes: Medications

    • Angiotensin-Converting Enzyme Inhibitors or ACE Inhibitors
    • Anticholinergics, Antihistamines, Diuretics
    • Antipsychotic Medications
    • Sex hormones such as Danazol, Testosterone.

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    Dry Throat At Night Difficulty Swallowing Causes & How To Relieve

    Dry throat at night can be described as a rough, scratchy, itching and irritating feeling. Drying of the mucous membrane inside the mouth is the main cause of dry throat.

    In some cases, this is often a symptom of an underlying medical such as diabetes, anxiety, or menopause.

    In this topic, we discuss some of the common causes of dry mouth and throat, symptoms, cure and how to get rid of the dryness.

    Causes of dry scratchy throat at night

    dry throat at nightDry mouth medical referred to as xerostomia is a common condition caused by dehydration. Anyone can experience dry mouth at one time or the other.

    The dryness can be triggered by a change in the environmental condition or be a sign of an underlying medical condition.

    A dry throat can be a sign of different conditions. At night, however, the common cause of the dryness is often the result of dehydration.

    This can be as a result of lack of enough saliva, sleeping with your mouth open or due to emotional stress.

    Other common causes of dry mouth will include the following:

    The Oropharynx And Oesophagus

    Social Anxiety Disorder

    The journey of our food from our plate to our tummy starts in the mouth. The muscles of the tongue and mouth move the food to the back of the mouth, and then to the back of the throat. This area is the oropharynx. From here the food travels down to the upper gut.

    The gullet is part of the gut . When we eat, food goes down the oesophagus into the stomach.

    The upper section of oesophagus lies behind the windpipe . The lower section lies between the heart and the spine.

    There are layers of muscle in the wall of the oesophagus. These contract to push food down into the stomach. The inner lining of the oesophagus is made up of layers of various types of cells and some tiny glands that make mucus. The mucus helps the food to pass through smoothly.

    There is a thickened circular band of muscle at the junction between the oesophagus and stomach. This relaxes to allow food down, but normally tightens up and stops food and acid leaking back up into the oesophagus. In effect, the sphincter acts like a valve.

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    Should I Be Worried About Difficulty Swallowing

    Everyone gets a lump of food stuck in their throat from time to time. It can happen when you eat too quickly or dont chew your food all the way. However, if you frequently have difficulty swallowing , it may be due to a serious condition that requires medical treatment.

    Dysphagia falls into several different categories. Esophageal dysphagia is the most common one, and it refers to the feeling of food getting caught in your throat or chest when you swallow. Some causes of esophageal dysphagia include:

    Oral Or Pharyngeal Muscle Dysfunction

    A disorder of the nerves and muscles in the throat can weaken the muscles and make someone choke or gag when swallowing. Examples include:

    • cerebral palsy: a disorder that affects muscle movement and coordination
    • birth defects, such as cleft palate
    • myasthenia gravis: a neuromuscular disorder that causes weakness in the muscles used for movement symptoms include trouble talking, facial paralysis, and difficulty swallowing
    • a head injury that damages the nerves or muscles in the throat

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    Signs & Symptoms Of Phagophobia

    From my experience, those with Phagophobia can have any number of different symptoms, among the most noticeable are avoidance or extreme reluctance of swallowing pills, foods, or liquids.

    This is why Phagophobia can be extremely dangerous if it goes untreated. Someone with swallowing anxiety may stop drinking and eating for days or weeks at a time, causing them malnutrition, extreme weight loss, and dehydration.

    Other signs and symptoms of phagophobia may include the following:

    • Unexplained panic attacks
    • Rapid breathing and heart rate
    • Sudden weight loss
    • Extreme fear and anxiety when thinking about swallowing
    • Sweating when thinking about swallowing
    • Drinking frequently during meals and consuming very small mouthfuls of food to help in swallowing
    • Avoidance or reluctance of drinking or eating in the presence of others
    • Changing to an all-liquid diet in hopes of alleviating the anxiety caused by swallowing food

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    Whats The Connection Between Anxiety And Throat Symptoms

    My Anxiety // Swallowing

    When youre under stress or feeling anxious, your body reacts by releasing adrenaline and cortisol into your bloodstream. In addition to increasing your heart rate and blood pressure, the release of these hormones can lead to a variety of physical responses, such as:

    • rapid, shallow breathing

    found that visceral anxiety is one of the strongest predictors of the severity of dysphagia.

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    What Kinds Of Rehabilitation Help With Swallowing Problems

    Some people find rehabilitation helpful. A speech-language pathologist can teach you exercises to strengthen your swallowing muscles. To swallow safely, your SLP may recommend:

    • Changing how you eat and drink: Your therapist will guide you to take smaller bites and chew food thoroughly. You may need to add a special thickening powder to your drinks, since watery liquids can be tough to swallow.
    • Sitting upright while eating: To reduce the risk of choking, your therapist will show you the best way to sit while eating. You can also learn to tilt your head to make swallowing easier. These techniques reduce the risk of liquid getting into your airway .
    • Clearing your throat: Therapists can teach you how to clear your throat with a little cough if liquid or a small piece of food gets stuck.

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