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The possible physical symptoms of anxiety
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The possible physical symptoms of anxiety

I'm curious about the depths of the physical symptoms of anxiety.  My research leads me to wonder if anxiety can be at least partially responsible for a hyperactive gag reflex and the feeling of "a lump in the throat" as well as stomach discomfort (acid).  I've found I get nervous pretty easily and I can see my body adjusting to it, but I am actually not a nervous person and function perfectly fine in any situation.  When trying to find out the cause behind my hyperactive gag reflex and lump in the throat on medical forums, it all came down to anxiety and stress from what other people were saying.  I'd like some opinions on this matter, and whether or not trying a prescribed anxiety medication would be a good idea.  Thank you!
Tags: hyperactive gag reflex
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370181_tn?1408130715
I agree with remar. Anxiety can and does create very real physical symptoms and that is why we are very adamant on this forum about doctors ruling out ANY AND ALL possible organic cause for those symptoms BEFORE they slap a diagnosis of anxiety on us. And I want you to be very aware that this happens far too often to those of us with anxiety issues to be ignored! Anxiety should be diagnosed when it's the ONLY card left on the table. I am speaking from over 40+ years of experience and has made me horribly aware of how a great many doctors will ask if we're "nervous, anxious or tend towards hypochondria." If we answer yes to any of those questions, a number of tests that should be ordered are withheld. This has happened to me and many other people with anxiety, so I'm not just flinging paranoia around. The very last thing I would EVER tell someone to do is withold information from their doctor.But I'd be willing to bet that if you went to your doctor and described your hyperactive gag reflex and the feeling of a lump in your throat and then told him you're wondering if it could be related to your anxiety............it's my guess that instead of sending you to a gastroenterologist for further testing for GERD or ulcers or other GI issues or an endo to check if that lump in your throat could be an enlarged thyroid gland.........he's going to put it down to anxiety, maybe give you a script for some PPI and have you call him in 2 months if you're not all better. This to me is an unacceptably lackadaisical assumption and one that could, as in my case, be a near fatal mistake. (I had not planned on saying anything about my panic disorder, but unfortunatley, my anti-anxiety meds were on my list of current meds taken)
But, this wasn't my first rodeo and I got a second opinion, which saved my life.
I don't want to scare you, but at the same time, I want to make you aware that SOME doctors out there treat us like we are handicapped. They just can't move past that "Scarlet Letter."
I think your two symptoms deserve to be evaluated for the very real physical problems that could be causing them.
Peace
Greenlydia  
10 Comments Post a Comment
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Avatar_f_tn
The symptoms you're having can be caused from anxiety. You say that you don't feel anxious though so I'm thinking this could be a stomach problem like GERD. Have you researched that to see if you the symptoms of GERD? It can cause stomach upset, a burning feeling in the throat, and other symptoms.
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370181_tn?1408130715
I agree with remar. Anxiety can and does create very real physical symptoms and that is why we are very adamant on this forum about doctors ruling out ANY AND ALL possible organic cause for those symptoms BEFORE they slap a diagnosis of anxiety on us. And I want you to be very aware that this happens far too often to those of us with anxiety issues to be ignored! Anxiety should be diagnosed when it's the ONLY card left on the table. I am speaking from over 40+ years of experience and has made me horribly aware of how a great many doctors will ask if we're "nervous, anxious or tend towards hypochondria." If we answer yes to any of those questions, a number of tests that should be ordered are withheld. This has happened to me and many other people with anxiety, so I'm not just flinging paranoia around. The very last thing I would EVER tell someone to do is withold information from their doctor.But I'd be willing to bet that if you went to your doctor and described your hyperactive gag reflex and the feeling of a lump in your throat and then told him you're wondering if it could be related to your anxiety............it's my guess that instead of sending you to a gastroenterologist for further testing for GERD or ulcers or other GI issues or an endo to check if that lump in your throat could be an enlarged thyroid gland.........he's going to put it down to anxiety, maybe give you a script for some PPI and have you call him in 2 months if you're not all better. This to me is an unacceptably lackadaisical assumption and one that could, as in my case, be a near fatal mistake. (I had not planned on saying anything about my panic disorder, but unfortunatley, my anti-anxiety meds were on my list of current meds taken)
But, this wasn't my first rodeo and I got a second opinion, which saved my life.
I don't want to scare you, but at the same time, I want to make you aware that SOME doctors out there treat us like we are handicapped. They just can't move past that "Scarlet Letter."
I think your two symptoms deserve to be evaluated for the very real physical problems that could be causing them.
Peace
Greenlydia  
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Avatar_m_tn
Thank you both very much for your replies, they were very helpful.  I've been going to a PA (otorhinolaryngology) for a while now trying to figure out this problem, and I first thought it was GERD as remar said, and she gave me medicine for it (some anti acid reflux) and it didn't work.  she also gave me different allergy medications, another stomach acid one, and some corticosteroids, none of which worked.  She did some kind of scope to check out my throat and everything seemed fine, ruled out post nasal drip.  I printed out some medical forum dialogue and she definitely recognized anxiety as a possible cause but like you said greenlydia, she is trying to make sure everything else is ruled out before combating anxiety.  I will probably be prescribed some anti-anxiety medication in January, I'll let you guys know how it goes.  Thanks again!
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370181_tn?1408130715
I'm glad we were able to help even in a small way. It sounds like you are in incredibly good hands and I have no doubt she is going to get to the bottom of your problem, even if it IS anxiety related. But you will at least know that diagnose was arrived at with excellent MEDICAL eveidence.
Namaste
Greenlydia
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480448_tn?1403547723
Check this out...it's about something called globus hystericus, and is caused by anxiety.  Some of your symptoms sound similar.

http://www.google.com/url?url=http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmedhealth/PMH0034094/&rct=j&sa=X&ei=qC3FUOi8H8i1iwK12IGABg&sqi=2&ved=0CCoQ4xIwAA&q=globus+hystericus&usg=AFQjCNF_6njC_qOBczyKfrX4TEsZOMs56A

Just something to take a look at.  Anxiety can and does can very real physical symptoms, which is why it's important to address it with a professional.

I don't think it would hurt trying to treat this as anxiety...while you continue working with your doctor to rule out a medical cause of course.

Best of luck!
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Avatar_m_tn
it's funny that you mention that, I have researched that before and my best bet is that it is mainly caused by anxiety...I first got the "lump in the throat" feeling the night before my new semester started, my body was really anxious  unfortunately, now it comes and goes.  Thanks for the reply.
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Avatar_m_tn
As for an update, we've tried even more things, and it seems it's getting worse (tends to get worse with cold weather), and I've also had terrible congestion and now have cysts in my nose, as well as spurs and inflammation (inflammation in my throat too) and have lost my singing voice...I also learned this summer that I'm allergic to 42 out of 43 things so i've been doing the nightly hyposensitivity allergen drops for months...it's kind of weird how all this stuff is happening to me, I'm perfectly healthy (play sports and even eat a really strict diet) and emotionally stable, not too anxious except for my body lol...I'll keep you guys posted, hopefully this'll all get better someday.
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416318_tn?1358208615
I have had that lump feeling. And i have slight Gerd too.
Not bad tho.  But the lump can be from anxiety. Anxiety does so many weird n scary things to your body that u wud never think of.
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Avatar_m_tn
OK guys, another update.  Zephyress yes I agree with you, I want to try to get my PA to prescribe me some medication for anxiety as we've tried pretty much every other kind of med, any recommendations?
Ok so I got a CT scan done and the otorhinolaryngologist head doctor found a very big cyst in one of my sinus cavities, and commented on my deviated septum and how it is very crooked (genetic) also the cartilage is structurally messed up and both nostrils have a lot of blockage...my nose basically ***** at doing its job.  They're going to have surgery to fix it so that I can breathe properly through my nose.  He said that he believes it's related to my gagging problems too since mouths are for eating and talking and I breathe way too much from my mouth because my breathing from the nose is so poor.  I am very interested and think this will actually solve most of my problems!The only bad thing is because of insurance and the surgeons involved and the need to take off school/work after the surgery I will have to wait 'til at least spring break and maybe even summer to get it unfortunately (I've gone through this hell, I can keep pushing through) I will keep you guys posted, God bless!
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Avatar_m_tn
Update--So April 4 2013 I had surgery to correct my deviated septum, treat a sinus infection, remove sinus cysts, and rhinoplasty to move my nose up a bit for more efficient breathing.  Like I said before, the doctor said that this should fix everything basically.  They say the swelling takes up to 6 months to decrease, but they also said I should be able to see a noticeable difference at least in the first two months.  My breathing is actually a bit WORSE than before, as I always have green and yellow mucus that I have to shoot out of my nose and one side is always clogged.  I'm really losing hope that I'll ever be better, maybe I should look around for a new specialist doctor.
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