What's up with my throat?
March 29, 2011 9:54 PM   Subscribe

So I have been having this certain situation on and off for 8 years now. But lately, started last year, it looks like there's additional other discomfort added in my body. I am talking about my throat. I have this discomfort wherein I always feel the need to remove something from my throat, like phlegm or something. It's not actually painful, it's just annoying. And when I do so, sometimes there's some phlegm that comes out and sometimes, none at all. The phlegm that's coming out is also thicker and stickier than the normal ones we have when we are coughing or something. Right now, my neck is itchy also (as well as below my eyes) and like I said, it's uncomfortable because I feel as if there's something in my throat.

To the other discomforts, well my left arm is tingly and numb at times, especially when I lift it up- my doctor say it might just be frozen shoulder/nerves. And then the other one has to do with my stomach. Two days ago, I woke up feeling full, and when I try to breath (especially standing up) it's kind of painful especially on the upper part of my stomach, right below where the rib cage meets. It was gone after 30 minutes or so. And every time I eat and after, I get paranoid that it might happen again.

What could be wrong with me? I don't smoke, I drink very rarely.
posted by LittleMissItneg to Health & Fitness (17 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Acid reflux, and the arm thing is unrelated? IANAD.
posted by deludingmyself at 9:55 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

It sounds like it could be anxiety, compounded by the fact that it sounds like you're pretty anxious about the whole thing.

Or it could be something else.
posted by i_am_a_fiesta at 10:02 PM on March 29, 2011 [2 favorites]

it sounds like you should see a physician about your stomach. On the other hand I am pretty confident that the cause of the itchy throat is the phlegm and as you wrote this there was probably some there; you feel it because it's there. homeopathic solution- tea with apple cider vinegar.
posted by skwint at 10:10 PM on March 29, 2011

It sounds like you're describing a panoply of unrelated aches and pains.

The first thing you described made me think of tonsil stones. They can create the feeling of a foreign object lodged in your throat, but they're otherwise harmless.
posted by Nomyte at 10:15 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]

Globus Pharyngis

I have had a similar feeling at times. I have some phlegm issues as well. I also have discomfort in the center of my chest like that. So I know what you're talking about. I tend to push on the chest a bit as well. I wish I knew what it was. I don't know how severe yours is - mines more "discomfort" than pain. But it's annoying and hopefully you can find something.

I have a CPAP and I think that's contributed to my phlegm issue - do you use a CPAP? Maybe we should try skwint's solution.
posted by symbioid at 10:15 PM on March 29, 2011

I had a chronic sinus infection and didn't know how exhausted and ill I was until it was.......gone. (Which required a truly obscene amount of antibiotics.)

All of the head, phlegm, itchy eyes, stomach stuff -- that could all be allergies and postnasal drip. Are you left handed? Your arm thing sounds like what I do to myself with my mouse. But really, stop torturing yourself and just see a doc.
posted by desuetude at 10:34 PM on March 29, 2011

@symbioid I don't have a CPAP, and the discomfort is right below where the rib cage meets, upper stomach. I have to add that I easily get bloated now and then too. What other symptoms did you have with your Globus Pharyngis?

@desuetude I am not left-handed but I think it might be somewhat related to being in front the computer for a long period of time everyday.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 10:42 PM on March 29, 2011

Is it only during certain times of the year? Could be seasonal allergies running amuck!
posted by veryblue1 at 11:18 PM on March 29, 2011

I am not a doctor, and I am not your speech therapist, but I am a speech therapist treating clients with voice/vocal tract disorders.

If you walked into my clinic, the very first thing I would think is that you should get checked out by your GP for acid reflux. It can irritate your throat and/or the vocal cords making them inflamed and irritated and making it feel like there is something there. I might ask you a bit more about other symptoms.

I would also ask about your hydration levels. If you aren't drinking enough to keep your mucous good and runny then it starts to get sticky and sit around on your vocal cords, where you can feel it.

I might discourage you from clearing your throat when you feel you need to because the more you do it, the more you irritate your vocal cords and the more they get inflamed and irritated and feel like you need to do it again. BUT if you are spitting out lots of phlegm you don't want to suppress coughing or throat clearing too much. Try a hard swallow instead and try to ignore the sensation for a while if you can to see if it goes away.

I would be looking for signs of tension around the neck and strain in your voice, which can lead to globus in some people.

I would also generally be encouraging you to go to your GP because in a very, very, very small number of people this happens to there is genuinely something there and it's better to be treated sooner rather than later. This is extremely unlikely to be the cause for you. There are also other causes that might be linked to your medical history or medication.
posted by kadia_a at 11:22 PM on March 29, 2011 [3 favorites]

@veryblue1 On the consistency on when it happens, I don't really keep track- it can be 2 months after and I will have it again, can be a year and I won't have any issues with my throat. It comes and goes and it is not painful at all, it just is uncomfortable.

@kadia_a I do drink a lot of water, since this issue started like 8 years ago, I always have a bottle of water with me wherever I go. Always helps. I am not spitting lots of phlegm either, it can be that when I try to do it, it's either there's some phlegm coming out or nothing at all. I also noticed that when after eating, I feel the need to spit phlegm right after. I don't have any speech problems, no hoarseness or something, but you are right. I tend to force the mucus to come out and I believe that's not nice for my throat in general.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 11:45 PM on March 29, 2011

Bring this up with your doctor. You should rule out that this isn't a serious medical condition.

I had a friend who had difficulty swallowing every once in a while and just happened to mention it to her doctor in passing, but the doctor did some tests and discovered that my friend had the early stages of throat cancer. Luckily, my friend was able to nip the cancer in the bud before it got really serious.

I don't mean to scare you, I just don't want you to think that such a minor nuisance that's been occurring for 8 years should go unchecked by a medical professional. It probably isn't even serious, but it's still bothersome to you, and your doctor can still help you identify what the cause is. It could possibly save you from another 8 years of experiencing this issue.
posted by nikkorizz at 5:57 AM on March 30, 2011

@nikkorizz Does your friend a smoker or something? I don't smoke, and I read that most people who are hit by throat cancer are smokers. But I really hope it's just some kind of consistent allergy or something. It's just bothersome. Thank you for the heads up though, I am meeting my doctor tomorrow and will discuss things with her.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 6:18 AM on March 30, 2011

It sounds like reflux. Easy to treat, not cancer. Of course you should discuss with a doc, but there are plenty of OTC treatments for it.
posted by the young rope-rider at 7:21 AM on March 30, 2011

Yeah - I seem to get the discomfort kinda by my sternum, right above the stomach... Not sure about bloatedness, but sometimes it feels that way. I have thought it might be, as others said, reflux... Not sure if the OTC meds I got helped it though.

The phlegm is what really bothers me, and I'm not sure if it's just natural phlegm, but I feel like over the past few years it's really increased. I don't get the Globis feeling often, but I've had it a few times. And I do wonder if it is stress related. It's really annoying and I wish it were easy to figure out how to make it go away. It seems like there's no real clear answer from the little that I've read.

I've also had tingling in my left side, but I believe that's due to my posture. I had a neurologist check it out and they found nothing. Maybe it's related though? If so, again, maybe it's stress related. But I've found with the pain left-side pain, if I adjust my posture and such (I hunch over a lot at my desk at work) it can go away. Haven't had that happen in a while, or at least not to the degree it was affecting me.

If you find anything out (i.e. reflux) or whatever, please keep us updated.
posted by symbioid at 10:21 AM on March 30, 2011

Seconding, thirding, or whaterver numbering, but yeah, acid reflux. GERD. Some of the other things are unrelated, but the stomach thing and the throat thing is GERD.

A few years ago, a friend of mine complained about something being stuck or trapped in his throat, and which he could never quite get out. Turned out to be GERD.
posted by VikingSword at 12:07 PM on March 30, 2011

I had/have the same throat symptoms. I do not to my knowledge have reflux problems, but I do have allergies which apparently contribute to my post-nasal drip. Apparently most people don't have to constantly clear their throat, go figure. Wish someone would have told me 20 years ago.

The post nasal drip also causes tonsoliths, which definitely increase the throat problems a bunch. It gets where I can't swallow mealy foods or small pills without them getting stuck for a while in the back of my throat around the opening to the sinuses. Not recommended.
posted by RikiTikiTavi at 12:19 PM on March 30, 2011

Thank you guys. I will be heading to my doctor today and let's see what she has to say about this. I might do some tests too so at least to make me feel at ease. It's just bothersome that having the throat problem makes me all uncomfortable in all ways.
posted by LittleMissItneg at 5:05 PM on March 30, 2011

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