March 13, 2012

Is That a Lump In Your Throat, or Do You Have a Globus Pharyngeus?


While searching the web today, I found Pukeko's personal account of enduring Globus Pharyngeus -- that "lump in the throat" sensation that I am experiencing nearly every moment of every day.   

She notes her symptoms:
It started about a month ago with a feeling of a lump in my throat. It is as I would imagine I would feel if someone were choking me, but not quite enough to actually block the airway. 
Then I became aware of a few more symptoms. Here is a list: 
  • Feeling of a lump in my throat, which eases during eating 
  • Mild chest pain 
  • Heartburn and gas, bloated stomach 

Feeling of lump in throat -- check!  (Though mine can continue through eating…)  Mild chest pains -- no, thank goodness.  Heartburn and gas -- check, check!  Bloated stomach -- yup!

Pukeko found the following changes helped manage her "lump in throat" issue:
  • Reduce stress.
  • Elevate my head when I sleep, so my neck is above my stomach.
  • Eating certain foods only in the morning, like dairy, acidic fruits (oranges,  kiwi fruit, etc.) and not more than one cup of coffee per day. 
  • If I have a morning cup of coffee, I need to drink an equal amount of water.
  • Avoiding fatty foods a few hours before bedtime, and no eating at all within an hour of going to sleep.
She also notes she was on medication for one month.   Managing coffee intake by taking an equal amount of water is interesting.   I wonder if this would work for my tea consumption and controlling reflux.   

As always…it's challenging finding "authoritative" sources for anything medical online.   I do find the "firsthand accounts" often posted on medical bulletin boards and advice sites valuable, a way to gauge and compare my own situation.  And, it's heartening to read about someone else's similar experiences.   Take this post on ehealthforum, for instance:
I have been having food stuck in my throat for two years now. It is a constant feeling after anything I eat. The feeling of the food stuck always starts at the top of my throat than moves to the bottom of my throat just above my collar bone. I have been to 6 ENTs and nobody knows what it is. I have had MRI (nothing shown), I have had CT scan (showed mild calcificaiton of the Styloid Process) not significant enough to cause my problem, I had a motility test (showed slight motility disorder) nothing you can do about it. I had 24 hour PH test (showed mild acid reflux) I am taking Prevacid Solutab 30 MGs every morning, doesn't help). I have also had three endoscopies (showed smaill hiatla hernia, had another endoscopy showed it went away. Showed H Pylori as well. I took antibiotics to get rid of the bacteria. Now, I don't have H-pylori but, I still have the feeling in my throat). I have also had 6 lyarenoscopies and never shows anyhting. I also had three barium swallow and nothing. Any ideas

Here are some materials regarding Globus Pharyngeus from medical sources:

Royal Berkshire NHS Foundation Trust patient info sheet

Clinical Trial: Prevalence of Salivary Hypofunction in Patients with Globus Pharyngeus, Samsung Medical Center


Most require paid access (or free institutional access) but here they are, for your reference.  Also note most academic articles come out of the UK….

International Journal of Otolaryngology: A Natural History of Globus Pharyngeus

Management of Global Pharyngeus: Review of 669 Cases, Journal of Laryngology and Otolology (abstract only)

Globus Pharyngeus and an Approach to Dysphagia, Medicine Today: The Journal of Peer Reviewed Clinical Practice

Globus Pharyngeus: A Postal Questionnaire Survey of UK ENT Consultants, Clinical Otolaryngol Allied Sci


And this blog post, Globus Hystericus Relief - I Almost Died in My Sleep, an article on a commercial site for panic attack sufferers.    


  1. Taking antihistamine and panadol helped me a lot followed by a cup of hot chocolate .seriously i panicked last i couldnt even sleep , tried sleeping upright on my side , nothing worked but sleeping on my stomack with a pillow underneath it did help.

  2. The cup of hot chocolate (I make mine with almond milk!) sounds lovely. Panic and anxiety attacks -- ugh -- and three weeks of congestion (a cold? allergies?) are just making my overnight reflux a nightmare. I hate taking medication unless I'm desperate so for now I'm "riding it out." Chamomile tea seems to be a huge help in settling my bile/acid and also calming me. Good luck with all this!

  3. Glad my experience is helping you. For me, as long as I keep following the advice and keep stress in check I rarely feel the "lump in my throat" anymore. Thanks for featuring my page.

    aka Pukeko

  4. Your symptoms sound like they are very frustrating. I can only imagine how it must feel to have food lodged in your throat every time you eat something. I think that these links could help others out with the same symptoms. I know there is something that could probably help you out.

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