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Throat Pain

  I have been experiencing pain and tenderness in my throat for the
  past two months.  The tenderness and pain actually seem to be
  felt on the outside more than the inside.  My throat pain is not
  like traditional soreness on the back of the throat i.e. when
  you have cold.  It seems to be only on the left side - my doctor
  said it is near the cartilage around my thyroid.  I have
  difficulty in swallowing and the feeling of a lump in my throat.
  Pain radiates upward into my jaw and left ear, and sometimes into
  my chest and is constant.  It doesn't seem to be made worse by
  what I eat.  I do not smoke or drink.
  I do have occasional heartburn, but nothing that keeps me awake
  at night or that I would call frequent or severe.  I would say
  I am aware of heartburn maybe only once a month or so.  My doctor
  is trying Prevacid for a couple of weeks to see if it makes a
  difference which would mean GERD.  If that doesn't help,
  he wants me to see an eye, ear, nose & throat doctor.I'm confused
  feeling I would have more chronic heartburn if it were GERD.  I'm
  also worried that if it is GERD, I must have some damage to my
  esphogas since my pain seems to be worsening.
  Do you agree with his suggested method of diagnosing my
  problem and agree that it could be GERD?  
Dear karen,
There are three possible explanations for your symptoms. Thyroiditis (inflammation of the thyroid gland) can cause a sore throat similar to that which you describe.  A second explanation is esophageal reflux.  Finally, one must consider an esophageal motility disorder.  
Although many patients have burning in the lower chest as the predominant manifestation of the reflux, there are some people who present solely with laryngitis and sore throat.  To determine if your symptoms are related to esopahgeal problems, it will be necessary to perform an esophageal motility study and 24 hour pH probe.  To evaluate the thyroid, it will be necessary to have blood tests.
This information is presented for educational purposes only.  Always consult your personal physician for answers to specific medical questions.
*keywords: sore throat, esophageal reflux

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