Anyone know about Globus?

TerriApril 4, 2001

For the last 2 years or so, I have developed a physical symptom of stress, or at least this is what I have concluded based on my own experience and what docs are telling me. It's called globus hystericus. I feel a big lump in my throat, and all the muscles in the front of my neck hurt, and sort of burning into my chest. I do have a lot of sources of stress in my life lately, but I never really had a reaction to the stress like this before. Now I'm wondering if this is just another of the wierd things your body does when there is a hormone imbalance. Anyone else have this kind of symptom or know about globus? Maybe this is just plain old anxiety.

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Hi Terry, You didnt say as much, but I assume you've been thoroughly checked out by a doctor or two. Some people would ask you, "What is it you want to say?" Something is stuck in your throat, let it out no matter how terrible you think it might be.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2001 at 10:53PM
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Are you sure this isn't an odd symptom of acid reflux?

    Bookmark   April 4, 2001 at 10:58PM
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I work for an ENT specialist and we see globus very often. We always get a barium swallow first to rule out any obstructions in the esophagus. I actually had globus myself when I was about 17 before I went away to college(many, many years ago). It lasted for 3-4 years on and off. Eventually, it went away on its own, but it's very frustrating and disturbing. The most common description we get from our patients is a feeling of a rubber ball in the throat.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2001 at 6:11AM
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Thanks for your post. And yes, I have been checked out, including a time on Prevacid for the reflux idea. Didn't go away. I've had the barium swallow test also. I'm pretty convinced this is a stess reaction. I was just wondering if anyone else has experienced this and what they have done to relieve it.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2001 at 5:07PM
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Almost 20 years ago I experienced this globus sensation. Had all the tests done, etc. No "problem" was found. Eventually after almost a year it went away on its own...overnight. It is very frustrating. Also happened a few times throughout the years, though for shorter periods of time. I am convinced it was a stress reaction. The 24/7 is real frustrating thing, but it will go away.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2001 at 2:04PM
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If you truly have globus hystericus, it is a stress reaction. If you use the diagnosis of globus hystericus on an insurance claim form, they very often won't pay the claim, as they say it is a psychiatic condition or diagnosis. When we code on insurance claims, we use dysphagia instead which means difficulty swallowing. It is a very frustrating, annoying, and uncomfortable sensation. I thought mine would never go away. At one point, I really felt I'd have it forever. For some reason, as I mentioned in an earlier post, after 3-4 years - it finally went away, although I can still relapse a bit every so often if I think about it too much and this is over 25 years later.
The muscles in the pharynx (throat) tighten - the feeling is akin to the lump in the throat feeling you get when you cry if you know what I mean by that. I, also, felt tightening of the muscles on both sides of my neck.
I don't know if it's a condition from menopause, but since we tend to feel more anxious and stressed out during this time of our lives - I would say it's a reaction to the increased anxiety caused by menopause.

    Bookmark   May 23, 2001 at 7:24PM
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Are those not panic attacks???

    Bookmark   May 23, 2001 at 10:42PM
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I posted something on this board on May 13 titled, Trouble Swallowing Food. The throat thing is what I've been having trouble with and it has caused me some major panic attacks. I went a whole day without eating because I was anxious about the lump in the throat thing. I love this site. Will we get some sort of reward for going through all these things?

    Bookmark   May 23, 2001 at 11:03PM
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I feel better having read these previous posts, only because I realize that I'm not alone. I am a male, 44 years old and have had this condition for about two years. I have seen all the doctors and had all the tests. I've even been to the Swallowing Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. It's clearly a case of Globus. I refuse to call it "Hysticus" because it's as real as real can be to me. The only thing I can't understand, that if it is caused by anxiety/stress... then why is it ALWAYS present.

Certainly you would think that there would be times that I have calmed down enough that this lump would go away, but it is ALWAYS there unless I take this medicine. The ONLY thing that has had any effect is a pill called Lorazapam.

The doctor said that it's very habbit forming and we have slowed the amount down to just 2 or 3, .05 gram pills per day. But with this amount, I still feel the ping-pong ball in the throat. It was better when I was taking 3 grams a day. But if the doctor wants to reduce the dosage - I'll try it.

Hang in the folks, and please post if you have solutions. I am rather inactive, so I shall start an exercise program to see if that helps to reduce the stress.
Good Luck!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2001 at 4:35PM
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It seems like anything that would reduce stress would be helpful. You cant go wrong by starting a gentle exercise program and progressing slowly to more vigorous workouts. If you've been inactive for some time it's always a good idea to check with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. check out the bookstore or library for some reading on stress reducing stategies. Web sites are helpful too but I always prefer the experience of reading a book. It would also be helpful to spend some time in self reflection about your own feelings and the happenings of your life.

    Bookmark   May 25, 2001 at 8:44PM
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Gary, I, too, have had globus - for a long period of time and still have flare-ups. I have finally decided that you have the sensation all of the time because you are so aware of it; so sensitive to the feeling, and so concerned about the pingpong ball being there, you never fully relax those muscles in the neck and pharynx (throat). Just the fact that the Lorazepam helps tells you something; it's relaxing the muscles that you can't relax on your own. It's almost not a conscious thing - don't you think? Your throat has been constricted like this for so long, as mine was, it's very difficult to "let go".
I understand not to want to use the world "hystericus" with it, as whether the ball is there or not; it is there for you, me, and hundreds of thousands of others who suffer with this. You're not alone; and it will go away.

    Bookmark   May 28, 2001 at 6:29PM
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I also have this globus hystericus for about 6 years, tried almost everything, now I am taking Xanax, it is helping, but I don't think this is a long term solution. on top of that just got GERD about 1 year ago, anyone in Los Angeles
area can refer me a good doctor knows about globus hystericus? I can really use some help.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2001 at 12:51AM
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All started in a restaurant in Spain last summer whilst out with friends. All of a sudden I felt I couldn't swallow and had to spit my food out. This continued and the doctor told me it was panic. Afew days later it started when when I was driving. I felt I couldn't swallow my saliva and it would cause me to panic whilst driving and I would have to pull over. It is awlays there. When I wake up in the morning I am immediately aware of the tighness on either side of my throat. I feel afraid to eat sometimes eating slowly because I get the sensation I will choke. I also just sip at my drinks. I feel if I am around others I'd rather not eat/drink in case I have to spit it out. I am 36 and I am now convinced it is something awful although my doctor has always maintained is it Globus. I am going to see at ENT shorly but that petrifies me - the swallowiong of the tube whilst awake gives me nightmares. Please, Please any advice would be greately appreciated.

    Bookmark   July 8, 2001 at 4:59PM
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Gosh, I just returned to this site after some time and this question that I posted and never imagined anyone would know what I was talking about. Thank you to all who have posted. It is comforting to think that "this too shall pass", I have to believe it will. I do believe this to be a stress/anxiety reaction. And exercise definitely helps me. I'm pretty adament about NOT taking anti anxiety or antidepressants. I just don't want to risk the side effects. So keep in touch, and let us all know if you learn anything new, or have an experience that is helpful

    Bookmark   July 13, 2001 at 5:42PM
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Globus sensation is caused by anxiety. The feeling of something stuck in your throat is very real and can lead to panic attacks through fear of choking. Anxiety management and medication can help overcome the problem but don't expect it to go away over night. A chronic problem requires a chronic solution. Six months to a year is typical.
"Globus" is NOT dangerous, no-one has ever died from a panic attack. You can & will get over it....

    Bookmark   October 10, 2001 at 3:49PM
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I found this site last night trying to figure out what in the world is going on with this stupid throat of mine. All your posts have answered my questions and my throat was not near as bad for the first time today, as it has been for over a year now. The only good thing that has come from it was losing over thirty pounds that didn't need to be there in the first place. Just knowing what is going on has taken away alot of the self inflicted stress.
Thank you.

    Bookmark   December 12, 2001 at 9:50PM
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Paula, I haven't got Globus, but did have to have an endoscopy several years ago in connection with a suspected ulcer; just felt I had to write to reassure you that it wasn't bad at all - I had no anaesthetic/relaxants at all, although I could have had if I had wanted to. It sounds terrible, I know, to have to swallow a tube, but it isn't nearly as terrible as it sounds! And if you get the reassurance of knowing there isn't anything wrong down there,(as I did), it's worth it. Hope all goes well for you.

    Bookmark   December 13, 2001 at 11:02AM
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You might want to have your thyroid checked. Swelling or tightening in the throat and losing weight sounds like you are hyperthyroid. That can be dangerous unchecked.

Barb D.

    Bookmark   December 15, 2001 at 1:11AM
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I did try to send a message (I'm a new member) - I'll try again. I am a 40 year old female. My feelings of extreme tightness at the front of the throat started 2 or so weeks ago, and seem to get worse if I think about it! 6 weeks ago I was diagnosed with Epstein Barr, although don't have glandular fever symptoms, just extreme fatigue and malaise. Iron injections have helped a little for my anaemia. I also had a feeling of a tablet being stuck behind my collarbone but this went after a couple of weeks of stopping the tablets. I don't seem to have any "reflux" but do feel as though food is taking a while to go down my chest. I have had quite a big lot of stress this year, but all of this is new to me. Does this sound like what everyone is talking about? Any feedback is welcome.

    Bookmark   January 23, 2008 at 4:35AM
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I was just diagnosed with Globus yesterday, after suffering with that annoying lump in the throat sensation for at least two years now. Two years ago I had an EGD and the doctor performing it dilated my espoghagus but it didn't seem to permanently take that sensation away. Just about a month ago I had it dilated again and this time it didn't seem to do anything at all. After having a Modified Barium Swallow Study, I finally found out it wasn't "all in my head"... I was so relieved to find that out. I will be going to 2 or 3 sessions with a Speech Pathologist to show me techniques on how to deal with this disorder as well as being prescribed Citallopram (in the Lorazapam family).

I am not going through Menopause (yet)... but came across this site and question when researching this disorder.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 7:16PM
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My sister suffered from this. She also suffers from O.C.D. When she started taking an antidepressant, which is the medication used to help treat O.C.Ã., she realized that her Globus went away. So I guess the anti-anxiety compound in her antidepressant worked to clear up her stress related throat problems.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2008 at 7:46PM
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Woke up one morning with the sensation of a pea in my throat. Immediately went into a panic attack that kept me anxious for days. Saw and ENT the following week and he did the nose/throat scope and saw nothing. He suggested it was globus caused by either acid reflux or allergies. The lump went away overnight.

Once the 'lump' went away I started getting what felt like spasms in my esophagus...freaked me out. Went to a gastroenterologist who did an endoscopy which found nothing. No acid damage, no hiatal hernia, nothing. He suspects acid reflux since all else was ruled out. Now on omeprazole - time release 40 mg once per day. Been only a week, but the spasms have subsided somewhat.

During a followup with the ENT her suggested a FEEST test. He scopes the throat via the sinus, and watches as green jello passes down the throat to observe what happens. That's tomorrow.

I have completely revamped my diet, so I am hoping that the meds (which I don't want to be on long term), some weiht loss, and change in diet can rid me of this. This whole thing just freaks me out and creates way more anxiety than is necessary.

If the anxiety is perpetuating it, seek out a health-care professional that deals with anxiety through non-med solutions....meds if you must.

    Bookmark   February 11, 2009 at 1:57PM
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This thread describes my problem so well... the feeling of tightness & a lump in my throat... gets worse as the day goes on... I've had several episodes in my 60 years, starting in my teens... the latest started in mid-April, so it's been 2 months... a stressful situation, babysitting my parents' old dog, seems to have set it off... then just when I was feeling like I was over it, my guy decided to be difficult!!!.. boom, back again... I've never associated it with anything but stress...

    Bookmark   June 16, 2009 at 12:27AM
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I have been experiencing symptoms a lot of you describe for about 3 months now, on and off, and it is so reassuring the read I am not the only one, and that these syptoms are real. Mine started a couple of months after my father died suddenly - related to stress/grief - draw your own conclusions! I think I am dealing with his loss pretty well, my throat says otherwise!
In terms of relief, sometimes a little warmth on my neck area is good, a glass of wine doesn't seem to do any harm either! i have had whole weeks without it, then fro no apparent reason it returns - this latest bout has lasted about 10 days so far. I did have a barium swallow about 3 months ago, just when the symptoms started, but now almost wonder whether I should have another one - probably just need the reassurance. Might be better just to talk to you guys a bit more!

    Bookmark   August 17, 2009 at 3:41PM
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hi ive been experiencing the same symptoms mentioned above. im glad to hear im not alone. i was beginning to wonder if i had ee or achalasia. my speech patho suggested globus hystericas and several mds suggested it could be psychological. i refused the anti anxiety medication; however, would rather try a therapist and learn relaxation tech. im beginning to believe it might be stress related. an egd was done gerd, hpylori and gastritis were found and treated, but i still have lump in my throat. a barrium swallow study was done and fine also. i hope thats all it is and i need to be patient with myself. thanks for all of your postings, since they were very helpful.

    Bookmark   June 5, 2010 at 10:17PM
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im interested to know what everyone did for nutrition, since eating was quite difficult. please let me know.

    Bookmark   June 8, 2010 at 10:02PM
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Hi I'm 51 and going through the menopause. I too have been experiencing this slight lump in the throat it seems to be there mainly in the mornings but gets less noticable through out the day. i have been ever so worried about what it might be but now I have visited this sight i feel more at ease. I did have a sudden bereavement last Septmeber when my x husband died. it was extremely stressful also for my children. I suppose the stress of that and the menopause have caused this reaction. I do exercise alot so hope it goes away soon. Thanks for sharing.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2011 at 10:11AM
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I've had the sensation that something is pressing on my throat for five months. It has been painful, constant and very annoying. I have had every test known to man ending with a heart cath yesterday. (All of the tests have been normal) I had been researching globus for some time and was in denial that it could be stress. I'm not that stressed but now I realize that I probably am an anxious person. I fret over many things and it comes so naturally to me that I don't realize that I do it. None of the tests have been bad enough that anyone should fret over having them. At least you will have the reassurance that you don't have physical problems causing the painful and uncomfortable sensation in your throat. You can then deal with the psychological things that are effecting your throat muscles.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2011 at 8:00PM
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