Many people have experienced the sensation of a “lump in the throat,” also referred to as Globus, at some point in their lives. This feeling, often associated with anxiety, is characterized by a foreign body sensation in the throat and is frequently caused by gastroesophageal reflux.
Causes of “Lump in the Throat” from Reflux: Recognizable Symptoms
The feeling of a “lump in the throat” is accompanied by specific symptoms that are recognizable when associated with reflux. These symptoms include:
- Intercostal pain
- Retrosternal burning (burning sensation behind the sternum)
- Excessive mucus in the throat
- Dry cough
- A rapid heartbeat after meals
- Sensation of breathlessness
Treating “Lump in the Throat” from Reflux
When the sensation of a localized constriction in the throat, with hoarseness, a lowered voice tone, dry cough, and the need to clear the throat, prompts a patient to seek medical advice, they may initially consult an ENT specialist.
However, once the nature of the “lump in the throat” is determined to be caused by gastroesophageal reflux, the patient should consult a gastroenterology specialist.
After evaluating the patient, the gastroenterologist may recommend drug therapy to reduce gastric acidity.
“Lump in the Throat” and Seasonal Changes
The symptoms of a “lump in the throat” caused by gastroesophageal reflux can worsen with seasonal changes, particularly during early spring and the beginning of fall.
This condition is also influenced by lifestyle and diet. Individuals with sedentary lifestyles are at a higher risk of gastroesophageal reflux compared to those with active lifestyles.
Certain foods can significantly worsen the symptoms. Examples include tomatoes, kiwis, citrus fruits, coffee consumed on an empty stomach, licorice, chocolate, mint, still and sparkling white wine, spirits, carbonated beverages, and tea.