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tightness in throat, chronic feeling like i need to gag, miserable

Hi, my name is will. i am eighteen years old and in very good physical shape an otherwise very healthy, but for a long time or at least its seems like an eternity, i have had this recurrent feeling of tightness in my throat just below my jaw bones on either side of my face. It is like i have this constant need to gag, and eventually i finally do but afterwards the feeling just comes right back with no relief.

Some times if i take a sip of a drink of some sort the feeling will go away for a second, but then comes right back and i have to sip on it continuously until it eventually goes away, sometimes not for hours. Another thing that helps a little is chewing peppermint gum. But neither of these completely relieve the feeling.

I have been to many doctors. Until just recently i have referred to this feeling as nausea because it always makes me feel like i need to gag an sometimes almost vomit. Due to this i have had many GI tests done with all clean negative results. I also seemed to notice that this feeling gets worse if i lay in an inclined position such as a dentists chair. This feeling seems to be completely unrelated to anything i do. i am unsure but sometimes it seems to come a little while after i eat, and many times after i eat i will burp for hours, long deep burps.
I have seen a neurologist who diagnosed me with abdominal migraines, and i have since tried several medicines to treat this, all with no results. I have recently several days ago been diagnosed by a different doctor with gastroesophagal reflux disease.
This seemed very strange to me as the main symptom is heartburn and i very rarely get heartburn.  the day before yesterday i was prescribed prevacid solutabs that dissolve in my mouth and gas x for the burping. so far i can tell no difference whatsoever, but it has only been two days and i am going to see if they work after a couple weeks.

I have always referred to this as nausea because it makes me feel like i need to gag and vomit, so i always believed it was some sort of digestive problem as did the doctors. and recently the idea hit me that this could possibly be something wrong with my throat?

This is so miserable, it is practically ruining my life. If anyone has any suggestions as  to what is causing this, or anyone out there with the same symptoms, please comment i would greatly greatly appreciate it and thank you for taking the time to read this
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Hey will did you ever get a diagnosis? My son is 15 and has the same symptonms you do its driving us crazy?
Avatar universal
I'm afraid I don't have any advice or cure, but you're not alone.

I started getting upset stomachs when I was a kid, they gradually got worse. I lost a lot of weight, people said "oh, she's just anorexic" and ignored me.

Nearly 8 years later I still have chronic nausea, heartburn (not as often), postnasal drip, and of course that tight gagging feeling in my throat. Sometimes it comes on when I get stressed, sometimes after I eat, sometimes for no reason at all.

People try to say my heartburn causes it too, but I don't think I believe that. I've had some pretty awful heartburn & reflux, but at the time I didn't have the tightness in my throat. Wouldn't it have been at it's worst then if that was the cause?

Others say it's just anxiety, yeah, right. It may make me anxious afterward, but most of the time I'm perfectly calm when it happens.

I wish I had some answers, but all I can say is don't believe everything your doctor says. Nearly every doctor I've seen has diagnosed me with something different. I'm not sure any of them have a clue, or else I'd be better after these long years of searching for answers.

I pray you have better luck finding a solution than me. Please update your post from time to time if you find out anything. Godbless.
Avatar universal
I, too have been experiencing this periodically since 2007.  No doctor has yet to diagnose it properly.  I am experimenting on my own.  I found that if I fast for 2-3 days, drinking water and hot tea only, the symptoms recede.  My symptoms are often accompanied by a tightness in my tonsil area of the neck.  Symptoms can also be relieved by stretching the neck or pulling the skin away from your throat slightly.

I believe that the nausea is caused by swollen neck glands.  What is causing the swelling is probably systemic, which would explain why letting the body rest for a few days during the fast seems to have an effect.  Very interesting!  
Avatar universal
I have had a tightness in my throat for years, and burping and gas all the time, and no one knew what it was.  I kept feeling like I was going to choke on any food, and gag all the time.  Then, I started to get really bad reflux (thank heavens!), so they did an upper GI endoscopy and found that my esophogus never developed fully, so they stretched it!  Literally, they opened it up!  But that wasn't the only problem, I have something that is fairly common, which I didn't know until the doctor told me, but it's a "stricture" at the end of my esophogus. Basically, it's a hole that closes, so any food doesn't get down into the stomach, and you don't digest it properly.  He said that because of this, my stomach muscles didn't work anymore, THEY WORKED A LITTLE, but, basically, they become paralyzed.  He took x-ray's of the esophogus, and stomach, and there was this huge lump in the upper part of my stomach and I asked him what it was, and he told me it was yesterday's dinner!!  It was GROSS!

Anyway, he put me on this medicine that I have to get out of the country because it's not FDA approved here for gastro problems (it was originally tested for use to get women to lactate better, and didn't work for that).  It is called Motilium, and it works like a charm!  There are a lot of people taking it, there are virtually no side effects, and it's SO MUCH safer than Reglan, which is what they give you here, and there are tons of lawsuits against that drug.

I don't know if you have all the symptoms I had, so this may not be it, but sure sounds like it, at least it's worth checking out.  I had bloating and a feeling of being "full" all the time, just general discomfort.

Another thing they thought at first was this esophogus disorder that, when you become stressed, your esophogus tightens up.  This can be "cured" or managed with specific breathing exercises, etc.  

Go to a teaching or research hospital where they are "up" on all these things, because it took years before anyone figured out what I had.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
Hi will,
My name is Anna
I started getting that tightness in throat feeling on 9/25/029.  Its terrible isn't it. I did not know what it was I thought I was having a asthma attack, because I could not breath.  It felt like someone was freaking choking me.  I went to the ER, but they did not do anything, because I did not have medical insurance at the time, so now I finally got insurance and I went to Sharp on 10/26/09, so the Doctor is ordering all these test and a endoscopy.  I had problems with acid reflux in 9/96, and it would come back now and then,but mine was so sever it would go into my wind pipes, I am scared as well because I would never was to get esophgal cancer, I am at high risk because I also had h.pylori, was treated for that in 2001, what even scarier for me is that for the last month, I awake with blood in my mouth.  I think yours is all related to acid reflux/gerd, I know it sounds hard to believe that gerd can do so much damage, but I know first hand it can, keep going back to the doctor, and take every medication for it that you can until you feel bettter, don't give up, your not alone, I will pray for you, your only a couple of years older than my son, and both my kids have bad asthma, and believe me I never give up on them, don't eat spicy foods, caffene or juice or chocolate, sleep on a lazy boy if you can and don't wear tight clothes.  

Hope you feel better soon

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