Thyroid Disorders Community
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Avatar universal

Choking Feeling - Tightness in Neck

After reading a few threads, this is something I've been suffering with since Oct 2001 and no doctor has been able to give me an answer.  This is the cliff notes version.

I've seen THREE endocrinologists (going on 4), an Immunologist, ENT (who pointed towards the thyroid more than once), Allergist, a dentist specializing in TMJ and even a chiropractor which felt like it was irritating my neck with adjustments.

It started with a choking feeling in my neck. I came home from work ripping off my turtle neck and having dry choking heaves. After that I couldn't wear anything around my neck including necklaces, turtlenecks, or my hair touching it.

About two months later, I was diagnosed with mono and was in bed from Jan 2002 to March 2002. During this time I gained 50lbs in those months going from 140 to 190lbs.

I saw an endocrinologist in April in Rochester NY who said I had "Fibromyalgia of the thyroid" and that there was nothing wrong with me.

I went to another endo. in Buffalo NY. She looked at my blood work and said "There is nothing wrong with you."  
I said: Why do I have this feeling in my neck?  
She said: Don't know.
-- and  sent me on my way

I had an ultrasound in 2002 that showed some nodules on the thyroid. No doctor addressed it.

I continued to have this feeling in my neck.  My shirts are all pulled out, I wear V necks, I put my hair up, I can't wear necklaces and I also cannot touch the front of my neck. It's hard to find a comfortable spot when sleeping because pressure below my jaw radiates.  I can't wear a scarf or a winter coat with a high collar because it rubs on the sides of my neck.

I began to live with this as annoying as it was.

Last year, I went to another endocrinologist regarding some other problem and stressed that I had this issue since Oct 2001.  She did another thyroid test and found my leves were off. Gave me synthroid.

She did an ultrasound and took a biopsy of the nodules. No cancer. Thyroid was a little enlarged.
I was told to live with the feeling in my neck.

I CAN'T DO THIS ANYMORE!!!!  Right now the neck is too tight, I have keep taking Advil which is not good to relieve this tightness. I feel like no doctor cares to help and that I'm the only person in the area with this problem.
It all started around the time I was experiencing symptoms of mono before I was diagnosed.

I see another endo in November. What else can I ask for to see if this problem can be solved (aside from having the thyroid removed).  I'm at my wit's end!

Thank you for any help!
51 Responses
1425146 tn?1282765484
This symptom is common in post thyroidic removals, but not that usual when your gland is only "slightly enlarged." See posts on this at: http://www.************.com/Tightness__fullness__painful_neck_post_Thyroidectomy_t79020.html

In your health history discussions with your Endo, did you mention your history of Mono and the weight gain? Is it possible this was a misdiagnosis? I would suggest you discuss your medical history very thoroughly with the new Doc.

With my throiditis, I have redness across my chest, just as if I had worn a wide open collar shirt and gotten a sunburn from it. It is slightly sensitive at times, but nowhere near your symptoms. This is fairly common I've learned, but your level of pain and discomfort should be addressed faster than 1 month. Consider a detailed physical with a GP sooner, and address the health history and current issue at length with them first.

Good Luck
I am having the same problem.  It started last year and did some test.  Everything negative.  I just discovered that the bra contributes to the problem.  
Try to go away from your bra and see if it helps.

Again check Hashimoto's disease.  Something that I just come across now.
Avatar universal
Yes the Endo knew the whole history (actually I saw two of them the year I had mono which was 2002).

The neck problems were fully documented by the Allergist and I have those records. I will be passing them onto the next doctor(s).

I do get a redness in the area around my thyroid like I have a sunburn.

Unfortunately Buffalo NY doctors take you when they take you which is usually 1-3 months if you are lucky. The endo's wait is usually 3-5 months. Nothing sooner unless you leave the area.
1504101 tn?1299158864
I have the choking feeling too, and the strange redness around my throat in the thyroid area. I have found that when I first wake up it's not there, but after a few minutes of drinking something (AM coffee), it starts again. So, I'm thinking mine (thyroid gland) is becoming irritated and swollen from the swallowing. It could be caused by stress, or angina of the throat. My mother had angina of the throat and chest after my brother died. I think she was prescribed Valium at the time.  If you have a nodule that is large it can cause this (like mine), or a goiter. I would ask/demand if you have to that another ultrasound be done on your neck..if you can't find a good/willing endocrinologist, then maybe a good ear, nose, and throat specialist can help find the problem. My thyroid issues were discovered by my GYN, but I was only going to her and no one else at the time.
Avatar universal
Thanks so much! I am going to keep pursuing this with a decent endo. I went to a neurologist and he said this was not neurological because the feeling wasn't just on one side which would indicate the brain is controlling this.

The sad thing is, I have valium for panic attacks however when taking it, the feeling never goes away.

Would an MRI show anything? With all my complaints no one has issued an MRI of the area.

1369218 tn?1282427484
I have Hashis and have had a tight feeling in my throat for a while. I had a positive blood test for gluten sensitivity so my GI doc did an upper endoscopy. I did not come back celiac, but he said I do have acid reflux. Well it was pretty mild, so I ignored it. Six months later I saw a new ENT and told him about my throat. He asked me about acid reflux and I said that I get a little bit of heartburn. He put me on Protonix, for acid reflux, and my throat is not tight anymore. Just my story, maybe you should check it out.
1518151 tn?1320452547
I have experienced this choking, gagging feeling for a while now with large goiter.  Have you had a recent thyroid ultrasound?  If not it may have increased in size.  I also have complained of a strange red "flushing" on my neck above the thyroid for about a year and a half.  My family doc just shrugged it off.  Don't be discouraged, it is so aggravating when you know something is wrong and doctors don't take seriously.  I agree that it would not hurt to make sure your heart is okay.  Angina can cause neck tightness although that would be a long time to have that.  Definately need current ultrasound as mine almost doubled in size over 3 years.  Your neck symptoms sound just like mine, nothing but v necks for years.  Hope this helps.
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