Trouble eating and swallowing. Thightness in my throat

Hi everyone,

recently I have been feeling some sort of thightness in my throat whenever I take a deep breath. It is hard to sleep and swallow food or saliva. It is really annoying because I haven't been able to sleep well nor eat well ever since my anxiety has gotten worse. I panic and I just choke in the middle of class sometimes, it's so annoying and scary. I'm so scared of chocking and not being able to breath again, it's one of my biggest fears... I am scared to eat and have lost my appetite lately, I'm scared for my own health physical and mental health because I know that anxiety is all in my head. Does anyone have any solutions? I don't want to live my whole life like that its scary and depressing... Hopefully someone can help


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8 Replies

  • Hi IngridSixou, Sooner or later everyone who has anxiety goes through periods of throat tightness feeling. There is usually not a physical reason for it. It is emotionally caused. When caused by anxiety, know that you will not choke and you will be able to breathe. It's just that the muscles in your larynx tighten. Warm compresses on the neck area will help relax the muscles as well as sipping on a hot drink (not caffeine). Deep breathing and meditation also helps calm both the mind and the body.

    You may want to see your doctor to have a "swallow study". It's a simple non invasive test which shows you swallowing 3 barium liquids. Starting with water, ending with a little thicker consistency. It will show the doctor if there is a physical issue for this feeling. If not then you are back to anxiety caused. I wish you well. Let us know how you are doing.

  • Hi Ingrid. First off I feel for you! The symptoms of anxiety are awful! Have you tried removing yourself from situation for 5-10 minutes and do some deep breathing? Put your arms out like an airplane, take a deep breath, then let it out slowly, count to ten in your head, at same time bring your arms slowly down. Do 5-10 times. Take a break and breathe normally if you start getting a little light-headed. (which can be a normal reaction but doesn't usually happen) Then go back to whatever you were doing. That really helps me calm myself down. If you can lay down and visualize a calm place. Do the breathing but forget the arms. Continue as long as you need to. I know in some situations these methods aren't possible. If your like me, I can be doing nothing and those feelings come on. if you haven't seen doctor to rule out any other medical problems do that first. good luck to you!🍀

  • hi ingridSixou

    i dont believe everything is anxiety-its another thing gp's put symptoms down to because they dont know any different/consider all options,

    i dont want to scare you

    i had swallowing difficulties and after two years of being told "its your stomach",i had an endoscopy/colonoscopy and the barium swallow.i was diagnosed with hiatus hernia diverticulitis gastritis duodenitis and as a result of the Barium test-dysphagia.

    please ask your gp to refer you to a gastro enterologist and .for a Barium swallow test and maybe referral to a Speech and Language therapist,i was referred to a speech therapist but didnt understand how a speech therapist dealt with swallowing problems.

  • Common sense is n order first and foremost rule out physical causes.

    Schedule an appointment with a physician ASAP. Jumping to a conclusion

    That anxiety is the cause can be dangerous.

  • I have the same problem I blame it on anxiety. Think of it as a weight loss program. I am already very thin so I am not thrilled with the not eating part. I don't know what to tell you but you are not alone. I also hate this feeling I take anti anxiety and anti depressants. It stinks to live this way. I wish us both a cure.

  • We constrict our bodies having this anxiety. It will pass...mine does. On the worst of days i suffer that too. It is our anxiety. 😩😧

  • Freud would have had a field day with your 'thightness in [your] throat' and the pure linguists such as Wittgenstein in your inability to 'sleep and swallow food or saliva' which is phrased out of context giving the impression that you are attempting to sleep whilst swallowing food or saliva all at the same time. Forgive me, those were the thoughts which came to mind when reading your complaint for the first time and I have no desire to belittle your experiences in such matters which I can appreciate are frighteningly real to you. I have to say that before I discovered this site some eighteen or so months back, I had no idea that such a thing as 'health anxiety' actually existed yet during that period of eighteen or so months one thing I have discovered is that the word 'anxiety' has been lifted from its rightful place in our lexicon and re-invented in an almost populist guise as something akin to a virus which can be caught, like measles or chicken pox, which it isn't. It is devastating and it causes so much damage to those of us who unfortunately have to live with it that 'normal' life simply is not possible. We obsess and then we obsess about obsessing and therein the cycle begins and a cycle such as that is incredibly difficult even to modify let alone break. In my experience there are two ways to approach such matters, they being either to continue with matters as they stand which essentially means that all pleasures of life, and I am told there are many, are negated, shifted to the sidelines in favour of fretting or worrying or to seek medical help which, initially anyway, involves medication. That poses further worries for many people who dislike the thought of any psychotropic medications floating around their bloodstreams yet once the right balance of medications is reached, and that alone is a process of trial and error and is not simply a trip to the GP who provides a prescription for some drug such as lorazepam or diazepam or propanalol (that stricktly speaking is not a psychotropic medication but is a beta blocker which, at the correct dosage which varies from person to person, relaxes the heart from beating like mad which is a typical feature of 'anxiety' and thereby lessening or even eliminating physical awareness of the heart beating far too quickly) but if thought through in a logical fashion and providing the correct medications are of value, then why not. Further down the line there are all of those 'talking therapies' such as CBT, CAT, mindfulness and God alone knows the other sorts of therapy there are these days, some of which are quite bizzare but useful to some people. Your 'whole health' is your concern, is something unique to you and should the betterment of that take six months, twelve months, five years, it will still be worth the effort of taking them on board as a matter of your own assessment. Human beings live only for a short period of time relatively speaking and surely if the only alternative to using that time to discover love or to discover hate or to discover nothing but contentment is to discover nothing but a new twitch in the face, a new, almost sub-atomic flinch in the right hand side of the left hand (!) it will be, as far as I am concerned anyhow, nothing but a ullage of waste. One must imagine Sisyphus happy.

    Apologies for the rant! I wish you all the best of British.


  • what has happened to you in the past few weeks?

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