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Thread: Throat/Swallowing Issues/Panic/Anxiety

  1. #1

    Throat/Swallowing Issues/Panic/Anxiety


    I'm new to this site and I guess I'm just looking for some reassurance. I have had some health anxiety before but nothing to this level. I have been having issues for the last 2 months and I'm really struggling with daily life. It's quite a long and complicated story so I will try my best to keep it brief and to the point.

    It stated 2 months ago when I had a minor bout of tonsilitis (I used to get it all the time when I was younger and am used to it). I had a bit of the pus on the tonsils, felt mildy unwell for a few days and then it cleared up and I didn't think anything more of it.

    A week after that I was eating some crisps at work and a small piece felt as though it got stuck in my throat and I had a full blown panic attack thinking I couldn't breathe (when obviously I could). This was socially awkward because I'd just started a new job and didn't want to let anyone know I was panicking and didn't really have any work friends I could turn to. I eventually calmed down, but for a month or so after that I was very cautious about eating, chewing very slowly, eating soft food and anytime I thought something was stuck would have a mild panic attack. This was annoying but I was managing to eat, felt well and was generally getting on with life.

    After about a month of this I received some bad news that my mum and sister both have breast cancer. Around this time I noticed that I started having more frequent and intense panic attacks attached to eating and feeling like something was stuck in my throat after eating. I also felt unwell so I went to the doctors about this and they said my throat looked a bit inflammed but they thought it was globus. I went back a week later as I still didn't feel right, they ran a load of blood tests and everything came back fine. They have said they will refer me to ENT if I want, but they believe it's anxiety.

    Realising I am under a lot of stress I decided to try and wait it out and do everything I could to calm myself down. However about a week in I got an infection in my gum and was put on antibiotics. This made things worse because I had no appetite, felt sick and had a horrible taste on my tongue which made eating difficult.

    I have now finished the antibiotics and feel back to where I was before the gum infection.

    Trying to rationalise this, I have got to the point where it seems that tiny particles of food are getting stuck in holes in my tonsils and they are swelling up in reaction to this everytime I eat. At least this is what I think is happening. I don't think it feels as though the lump is always there and it seems to move position. My throat also feels tight some of the time. Can anxiety/stress be causing this feeling in my tonsils swelling up?

    I'm so anxious about eating that I can't eat on my own. I have limited my food intake, have lost weigh (when I can't afford to) and generally feel like a shell of a person. It's effecting all areas of my life and i'm struggling to function.

    I think I realise that this is stress/anxiety related - this year I have lost my grandad, changed jobs, got a new nephew, started a business and now have 2 close relatives with cancer.

    But for some reason knowing this isn't helping with my symptoms which feel very real. It also doesn't seem as though there is anything I can do about any of those things to try and remove some stress.

    I'm not really sure what I'm asking. But if anyone has been through something similar or has some advice I'd really appreciate it as I'm feeling very alone and frustrated.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Throat/Swallowing Issues/Panic/Anxiety

    Hi Mrs. Strikeman,

    I hear you, and I'm sorry for everything you're going through. I've gone through similar scenarios before. It's very possible to develop anxiety related to something specific like swallowing if there are other issues causing stress in life. That's quite a list of losses, changes, and stressors you listed above. I'm not surprised you're struggling with this swallowing issue. It seems very much like an expression of everything else weighing you down, especially since your tests have come back normal. Will you choose to see the ENT for peace of mind?
    I encourage anyone who's struggling with their doctor to take your health into your own hands. You can always start by checking reviews at And don't forget to leave a positive review for the doctors you appreciate! FYI: Here are some tips on writing an online review of your doctors:

  3. #3

    Re: Throat/Swallowing Issues/Panic/Anxiety

    Hi Bulan

    Thank you so much for your kind reply. It's comforting to know you've been through something similar relating to anxiety, although I'm so sorry you've had to experience this too.

    I actually went to the Dr again this week and they have now prescribed me with Omeprezole incase it's reflux. I think I will give those a go. I've had my first one today, no improvement yet but I guess they need time to work. I'm due back in 3 weeks so if there is still no improvement I will ask to be referred.

    I also had some very small tonsil stones come out from my tonsils this morning, so I wonder if there has also been some kind of infection. Plus my throat still doesn't feel right sore/strained voice/swollen.

    I guess I just need to try and understand that I have some mild symptoms but that I'm also anxious and stressed and thats making me over estimate the danger of the symptoms. Although that feels a bit easier said than done right now!

    Did you find your symptoms went away eventually?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Re: Throat/Swallowing Issues/Panic/Anxiety

    Sounds like a great plan, mrs.strikeman!

    To answer your question, I haven't been doing so well lately. I have new swallowing problems now, but I've had similar issues in the past. I'm hoping it's just psychological, but at the moment it feels as though my ability to swallow is weakening. It's distressing, but only time will tell, so I need to wait.
    I encourage anyone who's struggling with their doctor to take your health into your own hands. You can always start by checking reviews at And don't forget to leave a positive review for the doctors you appreciate! FYI: Here are some tips on writing an online review of your doctors:

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