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Avatar universal

no burping / gurgling in throat

I am 19 years old, female, healthy, normal eating habits, etc, but I do not burp. I've tried drinking soda, swallowing air, etc, and it just makes me feel uncomfortable but doesn't make me burp. Instead, my throat gurgles. The best way to describe the sound is like a stomach growling, only in the throat. It's incredibly embarrassing and I can't prevent it from happening. It tends to happen a lot after I drink juice or soda, but also sometimes after meals where I only drank water. Along with the gurgle I feel some light pressure in my lower throat, near my collarbone, like there's air trying to get out (no pain). The pressure is momentarily relieved after I "gurgle", but then it comes back and I need to "gurgle" again.

I have met one or two other people who experience the same thing, including my sister, and seen other complaints online, but have found no explanation for why this happens, or how to prevent it. Any help?

I very rarely throw up either (only once in the past 8 years), I don't know if that's connected at all but I thought I should mention it.
306 Responses
Avatar universal
I am experiencing the same exact thing as you, with additional symptoms.  Doctors cannot figure out what it is, my throat always croaks, as if air is trying to escape, chugging a hot 7-up used to make me belch and relieve the symptom, but it's not working anymore.  While I was at the ER, I drank a small cup of water, just sitting there, my throat started croaking (gurgling), the ER doc was baffled.

I also have an enlarged thyroid, which may be trapping air in my throat.      

But I know exactly how you feel, and hope we both get an answer and some comfort.  Sorry, I didn't have an answer for you.      
Avatar universal
I experience the exact same thing. My throat also croaks, with the slight amount of pressure in the bottom. It will happen multiple times in a short amount of time. It is definitely imbarrasing. My family and boyfriend sometimes laugh about it, but usually just ignore it as they have gotten used to it. Strangers, however, look at me quite funny. I, also, have no answer... but if you find one, PLEASE share on here:)
Avatar universal
I have been diagnosed with LPR. I also have gurgling noises and the feeling of something stuck in my throat, like mucus.  I have taken several prescribed medicines from the ENT, nothing helps.  If anyone has any suggestions please let me know!
428363 tn?1414816538
You are the first one I've seen who has the same symptoms as me.  I've had all kinds of tests (going for a CT scan next week) and they can't find anything wrong. I did have a thyroid nodule that was removed but didn't help the lump feeling.   I also have the gurgling.   I have post nasal drip and was put on Zyrtec which seemed to help some with the lump in the throat thing but now I feel like I'm swallowing air all the time.  I wonder if the Zyrtec dried out the sinuses so now I don't have to swallow as much and am not used to it yet.  Since the Zyrtec I've also stopped clearing my throat all the time.  
Avatar universal
I am a 16 years old male and i have experienced terribly annoying throat gurgling sounds in my throat after i've eaten or drunk anything for a while. These sounds tend to disappear if i lie on my back, but that is the only way i know how to suppress the gurgling (and lying on your back after eaing isn't going to help digestion for starters). I also experience bloating and the sensation of there being something stuck in my throat or behind my breastbone after eating or drinking. Any suggestions would be extremely welcome, especially for the throat gurgling, which is extremely embarrasing and ruins my concentration.
Avatar universal
I have EXACTLY the same thing.  It does help me to lay down, but it is very embarrassing.  My boyfriend makes fun of me all the time, which doesn't really bother me.  What really irritates me is that I like to drink beer (socially) and if I have more than one or two, the burping lasts all night.  It seems especially bad with beer, but I don't really drink soda.  I have never asked a doctor, but I am working on trying to figure this out.  I've had it my whole life and there's only been one other person I know who has this.  Also like you, I don't throw up often, and I try to keep it that way (once in the past 11 years).
Avatar universal
Avatar universal
I just started noticeing it in the middle of the nite...when im laying flat after a few gulps of water...a delayed....gurgle...
i never noticed it during the day...what is IT??
Avatar universal
Same problem. I have had it for a while. It tends to start after drinking, but sometimes after a meal. It will usually last for a couple of hours. I have also never been able to burp. If I lay on my back, it will go away for the most part. What is REALLY strange is that if I lay on my left side, it continues but if I switch to my right, it goes away. I also drink a lot of milk so I am not sure if that has something to do with it.

This is really embarrassing and would love to have a diagnosis for it!
Avatar universal
Same here, same symtoms
Ive been through all sorts of tests as well
Im on Nexium for Reflux, but i dont actually thing i have reflux after reading these posts, im the one who implied i had it
And it doesnt actually stop the croaking and gurgling...

I also had a Urea Breath test and was positive to H. pylori which has now been treated but could be a cause

Lets hope someone finds a diagnosis
Avatar universal
Another update,

The Doc sent me for a Barium Swallow to check for a pharingeal pouch which could be causing the problem, they didnt find one, but they did find a mucosal protubence, whatever that means.

Back to the Doc tommorow to find out what that is...

Avatar universal
I started to get these symptons after a cold, this is my 4th month with these symptoms..gurgling/croaking noise coming up from the mid chest area, feeling like something is stuck in my throat, slightly to the right side of throat more so than the left, at first I had slight heartburn in the first month of the symptoms, but now just all the other symptoms.  I've taken coffee right out of my diet, and I'm trying nexium as well, but don't think I really have reflux, it's just really weird, I think it's hard to not think about it, because you're constantly wishing it will go away!
Avatar universal

Well the Barium was all clear and the protuberence is nothing to worry about, i am going for a endoscopy this week.
Im off the nexium, and i now do get a litlle reflux feeling, which i never did get

I had the feeling of something stuck in my throad as well for the last few weeks, its now gone away, but doc said it sounded like Cricopharyngeal Spasm and related to stress
Avatar universal
I too have had these throat noises all my life.  I believe my sister sometimes gets them, but I am not sure if as often.  I am so used to it I rarely notice it anymore, however, people who sit near me in class say that it is quite obvious.  I have had a few instances where I felt the pressure in my chest, as though food was not passing from my esophagus into my stomach and have wondered if it might be a diverticulum or alachlasia (?sp).  I have a history of intestine problems (a floppy intestine that was resected) and  I can't help but wonder with my history if it might also relate to my esophagus.  I am just getting over a cold and the throat gurgling has gotten way worse in the last couple days - to the point where I cannot ignore it.  If it keeps up I might try my luck at the university hospital and see if anyone will investigate it.  I'm so glad to have found this forum with others who are in the same position.  I look forward to hearing what others find out.
Avatar universal
I've had the same issue my whole life, but lately it has gotten worse and caused the lump in throat feeling because I'm incredibly stressed.  I went to an ENT who diagnosed it as LPR.  He gave me samples of Aciphex, which I took 30 minutes before eating a meal, twice a day (usually lunch and dinner).  The timing is important, so much so that he told me to just skip it if it was less than 30 minutes before I remembered.  Within a week this helped completely.  My body has gotten so used to forcing up the air bubbles that I do it naturally now, and with this medicine, I had no air to force up.  The lump feeling also went away completely.  I haven't taken the medicine for a while because I ran out of the free samples, so it came back...booo.

It's important to note that LPR is different than GERD and has to be treated a little differently.  Whereas one pill a day is sufficient for GERD and heartburn, LPR is a harder problem to fix because the acid is getting further up the esophagus.  The throat lump feeling is from the acid irritating your throat, and, like my doctor said, "It wasn't caused overnight so it won't be healed overnight."  

Hope this helps someone.
Avatar universal
I have had this as long as I can remember. Sometimes it gets so annoying and frequent it brings me to tears. As far as I can remember, I have not been able to burp. Granted I don't drink beer or soda, but I have had numerous people try to teach me, etc. and I just can't. It was funny when I was a kid, and I always figured the gurgles had something to do with the way normal people burped air, but it is becoming increasingly problematic. I also experience occasional hiccups which are extremely loud and painful, and while I went for years and years with frequent nausea but never able to vomit, I am now going through my first pregnancy and the morning sickness has made me really sick. I have found, however, that vomiting is very difficult, as though it gets stuck in my throat. This has caused extreme pain and the force of the vomit trying to get out has caused severe retching, coughing/sneezing, pain, and even loss of bladder control several times. I am worried I am at risk for bursting or tearing my esophagus when this happens.

From what I have found, this is being researched by a doctor in Chicago and has been identified as "Dysfunction of the Belch Reflex." Basically, the valve/sphincter in one's upper esophagus doesn't relax like it is supposed to- it relaxes to let things IN when you for example drink a glass of water, but does not relax to allow air out, which is why the gurgles happen- this should stimulate the valve to open and release the air but it doesn't so it is trapped, constantly trying to get out. They have recommended Baclofen, a mucsle relaxant, to try to help, but I don't know that there are any online reports of its use for this. I know one girl blogged extensively about her experience- she had a case which may be more severe or complicated than many of ours, as it was interfering with her ability to breathe when she had these attacks, but she traveled to Chicago to see this doctor and the tests they did found that in her case, she had a lack of proper response/relaxation in the valve mentioned in the upper esophagus, but also too much relaxation in the lower part, so for her a relaxant would have worsened the abnormality in the lower part of the esophagus and caused complications. That said, she had additional symptoms not described by many of the reports I have read so it is possible Baclofen could still work in some cases, or perhaps they could invent a device which manually opens the esophagus and lets the air escape?

Of course if they could address the root cause of the valve/sphincter malfunction it would be ideal but it sounds like it is controlled by the vagus nerve which is pretty complex, no idea how they would fix a malfunction of a nerve with such vast and different functions. In addition it seems like this may be something that occurs before birth or at least at a very young age, as it doesn't seem to just happen one day, it seems to have been ongoing for those who have it.

That all said, my research (which I just began searching online several days ago, I'm no expert) has found very little progress other than the burgeoning awareness that there are others out there with this and that it is a real gastrointestinal condition/problem. This doctor (I'll find his name and post) did a research study years ago, and also consults individual patients (I think the gal I mentioned had her testing done as part of ongoing research) but I can't find anything more general that would help those of us still suffering with this to get help, except maybe to print some of this out and bring it to our doctors, or try to contact this Chicago physician directly?

I know one thing many people posted that helps them is to stick their fingers down their throat and expel the air manually. They said it is uncomfortable and makes a very loud retching sound but is the only way they have found to get relief. I tried this for the first time today, it actually did work. I have never made myself throw up, but I think it would be the same concept, stick two fingers in your throat and kind of push in/down/back. You will gag first, and it will not be too pleasant, I was sure I'd just throw up, but surprisingly enough it produced a huge release of air. I think it is easier to do it when you feel the gurgles in your throat and the air starting to rise, that way you are kind of working with your natural reflex.. I know this is gross, and not a good long term solution, but for those of us who have this occurrence frequently, even while avoiding soda, beer, etc., it is good to know there is an option. Especially if this problem is causing other problems such as bloating and nausea, or interfering with your life, it does help to be able to just get the air out once and for all. I mean, I was starting to feel it really bad, feeling really bloated and nauseous (obviously some of that is because I am pregnant lol but even so, it's been an ongoing issue for me), I'd just drank a glass of water and the gurgles were coming like every ten seconds, which can sometimes go on for an hour or more, so after I did the fingers thing it was gone! It's by no means "the answer," I'd feel much more comfortable being able to correct the problem (or not having it in the first place, but oh well). I hope this helps out at least some, the internet is such a great tool since it allows people to network over things like this, little known medical issues, and seek solutions.. Best of luck..

The doc's name is Peter Kahrilas in Chicago, Illinois.
The girl who had the tests done is Julie, her myspace page is here, and her blog entries explain a lot about the condition and the tests she had done in Chicago:
I have the same issue and i used to make myself burp as you described but reading into it. This can often cause gastric acid to come up and cause more problems
569614 tn?1216874157
Wow, I can't believe other people have this condition like I do. Like everyone else....I have had this condition all my life. I like many others have never really been sick to my stomach. I think the last time I vomited was 20 years ago.

I usually get the gurgles after I drink water or soda. I am so use to it, that I just live with it. But it does get pretty bad on occasion, where it is very hard to breathe and swallowing is a little more difficult.

Like someone mentioned earlier, the only solution I have come up with is to lay on my back and after 10 minutes or so I am fine.

Maybe one day this will go away, but probably not?
Avatar universal
I've had this my whole life, and at 38 thought I was a lone weirdo till I met my next door neighbor, a 27 year old who also suffers. We were so happy to meet someone else. I went throught the whole Barium thing. Was told irritable bowel, which I also exhibit some symtoms of such as nausea and painful abdominal cramps. The only relief she and I know of is to put a finger at the back of your throat and push down on the back of your tounge. The air expels, making a loud puking sound. In my drinking days it would get real bad at the club with the bubbling coming up my throat. Would go in the bathroom, wait to be alone, and hopefully masked by the loud music of the club, force myself to gag a few times till the pressure was released. Also, yes, lying on your left side at night makes it stop, on the right makes it worse.
Avatar universal
I feel like this has taken over my life in the past 6 months.  Does anyone experience this gurgling when they swallow?  My throat feels like there is something in it and I constantly am swallowing.  I wonder if this is forcing too much air.  I also get the gurgling after food and drink at times.  I feel like I'm crazy and wonder if this is due a large part to stress.
Avatar universal
I have had this condition and with all tests including upper GI scans, nothing was found - unusual.

I usually end up feeling like burping and feeling like I have to throw up after a while.  I use to eat ginger to stop my stomach from gassing up (thinking thats where it comes from).  It doesn't help.

I found the following to work:
1.  When you feel like that, you may be stressed or fatigued or plain ole tired.  - Get some horizontal rest even if you don't really sleep.  I lay down for about 30 minutes or more with eyes closed.
2.  I stop coffee or any other stimulant at that point and only take in water if I am thirsty.
3.  If you feel the gases in your throat, lay down horizontally and on your back.  Allow the gas to go down or pass through.  Staying vertical can make it worse.
4.  Get a good nights sleep.  Early as possible.  8 hours worth is good.
5.  If you are having sex or doing stressful things before sleeping, make sure you get some extra sleep.  But wind down before sleeping.  Cool off!  Take in some water and fruits.  Refresh yourself.  Only take in a little not too much food.
6.  Be careful of what you eat.  Food allergies, stuff your system doesn't digest well, and/or acidic foods are bad.
Avatar universal
I have had the gurgling and food coming up every now and then and the lump in the throat for the last 6 months now.

Has anyone tried Propulsid? I am considering taking it.

Avatar universal
I think propulsid was taken of the US market.

I have the same problem and it is so annoying. I really wish there was more information and treatment. I asked my doctor, and like many of you have dealt with, while she found it very interesting, she had absolutley no advice or knowledge about it.
Avatar universal
Just to let everyone know:

A dedicated website is being set up to raise awareness and support people with this condition.  Until recently, there was no central place on the internet to discuss this issue.

The new site, ****.***, is now being constructed, but the discussion board is now up and running:

COMMUNITY: http://****.***
MAIN SITE: http://****.***

Please take time to visit, as we are hoping to help consolidate discussion of this condition so that information about it can be more easily accessed, searched, and readily available.

Avatar universal
Wow, this is exactly what I have... it took me a ton of googling to find it. It's been kind of an embarrassing condition for me. It was almost always paired with uncomfortable bloating and a light appetite. My ex-girlfriend said she almost broke up with me on the 3rd date when she heard it, and at one point, I did finally burp at a bar with her and her friend after I drank like 2 beers. I was seriously extremely naueasous beforehand and it was the loudest and most scary burp my ex had ever heard... it literally silenced the bar. I went to the bathroom and was still felt like throwing up for a few minutes. After that incident, she insisted I see a doctor.

I told the doc my symptoms, although as Murphy's Law would expect, I couldn't demonstrate the sounds. I did, however, tell him, "I can count on my hands how many times I've burped in my life."

After some blood work, the doctor diagnosed me with H.Pylori and gave me all the treatment I needed to remove it. The good news was the frequent bloating was gone, but the gurgling remained! Now I have a new girlfriend and she is just as turned off by the sounds.

It seems to worsen after I have fluids of any kind, and it doesn't have to be carbonated. It also seems to come with stress or nervousness. I'm glad the doctor at least treated me for something so it wasn't a total loss (H.Pylori can lead to stomach cancer later in life), but this problem is impacting my social life.

I'm glad I've found other people who have had it and a possible diagnosis. I just wish there was an easy fix for it. It sounds like there's nothing I can really do about my diet or even how to treat it without feeling bulemic by going to the bathroom afterwards.

I'm sure, since it's really all about burping, medication that could solve excessive burping could also treat this condition? Anyone have ideas?
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