Swollen throat sensation!

I couldn't get to sleep last night because when I was lying down I felt as if my throat was closing. I have also noticed difficulty in swallowing the calcium torpedoes I have been prescribed. Am I just getting into a tiz again or is this a side effect of Pred. ?Or a PMR symptom? I am also on Atenolol for raised blood pressure and Thyroxine for Graves Disease. Has anyone experienced this symptom? I seem a bit prone to choking too. I haven't felt so panicky before though.

29 Replies

  • Hi Jane,

    Can't say either Pred or Atenolol has affected me in this way, so no help - sorry.

    I know what you mean about the panicky sensation though - I'm allergic to rhubarb (yeah I now, strange!! that's me) and I had a mild anaphylactic episode when I was sixteen - never forgotten it! Nor eaten rhubarb since!

  • Thanks for replying! I just looked at some old posts about a tight throat sensation and someone said it led to a GCA diagnosis! Someone else said that the buffalo hump and the swollen face and neck contributed to the sensation or silent reflux.

    I prefer the rhubarb story for now, I just need to find my rhubarb and avoid it.

  • In the first 5 years of my PMR I started with a slight permanent sore throat and tickly cough and on occasions I struggled to swallow. That all disappeared after I was given pred but has returned since the flare I had in the early part of the year, almost went at 15mg, back at 10mg. It is thought to be an indication of inflammation of the chest arteries and into the throat and are listed as GCA symptoms.

    Have you put on weight around your neck? When I had I used to feel as if I was choking if I was in the wrong position when I went to sleep - and I snored wonderfully

  • Hi PMRPro, same here.

    Had largynitis off and on consistently for a year prior. Have read that laryngitis is a symptom of GCA.

    Best, Whittlesey

  • I try to sing with my little grandson and my voice has become a wheezy strained sounding croak. Fortunately my graduate son is a good musician and singer, he's at home considering his options hmmm......

  • Thanks, yes I have a swollen looking neck and face now. I am reducing Pred and on 12.5 for the next couple of weeks. I'd better see the doctor if it could be GCA linked. My husband is the snorer as I can testify as I lie awake seething.

  • I think of you every time there is an earthquake in Italy and this is now the third. I pray you are safe and have no damage. I am not sure of your location but just in case I am praying. Hope to visit you if I ever get back to Italy.( things are looking up )

  • That was for PMR pro

  • Thank you - we are a very long way from the region. Four and half years ago we felt tremors but nothing this time - other than 7 people obviously in tall buildings much further south in Bozen who called the police! The foreign papers are saying that is "near the Austrian border" - all relative I suppose!

    All the quakes have been concentrated on an area just south of Assisi which of course had a big quake some years ago.

  • You will one day - we all have our own versions of "rhubarb" Just have to hope there isn't a frog living under its leaves - that would be too much!

    Suffice to say when my prince came along he loved rhubarb crumble - and do do the kids! ahh the things you do for ❤️ love!

  • I think that suffocating feeling is related to sleep apnea, and I've had it occasionally since starting pred, and it relates to the position of my head. I have to sleep on my back now because otherwise my legs and hips become painful and wake me up, but I have also to turn my head to one side to avoid waking up choking! I just read up on it and unfortunately indications are that even after off pred this may not go away. The same article said it was likely due to extra fat deposits, but I don't think that can be true in my case. I'll blame the ubiquitous muscle weakening.....

  • I sleep ( ha ha) propped up on pillows, on my back, changing the habit of a lifetime.

  • Hi

    I see you are on Thyroxine for Graves disease as far as Im aware Thyroxine is prescribed for underactive thyroid Graves is caused by a overactive one.

    I suspect you have Hypothyroid which is why you are on thyroxine .

    Throat problems could be caused by being under medicated due to your Thyroid.

    Have you had your thyroid bloods done recently


  • I was treated with radio- iodine and now have no thyroid function of my own. I'm on 125 mgs of Thyroxine, forever. I prompt my GP to test thyroid levels ( another disease that doesn't excite them).

    My swollen neck looks a bit like a goitre. I wonder if suppressing Graves Disease led to PMR?

  • Hi Thanks for clearing that up

    I had Hashish's been on 150 thyroxin but since Aug have gone down to 125 have had thyroid disease for about 15 years

    Like you had problems GP will only test TSH which does not give a true reading .

    Are you in a position to pay for blood test .

    Have a look on Thyroid site on Healthcare unlocked information about blood test .

    Would also suggest you ask for vitamin B to be tested as often people with Hypothyroidism are low on B

  • Thanks Rose54,

    The vitamin B deficiency is interesting as well as the possibility of a private blood test. I have had Graves' disease since 1984 and I didn't know either of those things, in spite of having a friend with Hashish's who is like a walking medical book. She managed to get treated with T3 I think and for the first time felt truly well.

    Sorry that you have the double whammy too.

  • Hi

    Are you aware that thyroxine should be taken at least 1 hour before food and with water only .

    I only found that out 1 year ago I was taking it with coffee with my breakfast

    They say thyroxine may not be absolved so well when on Steroid's.

    Again something I only found out this year when going for thyroid blood test always fast and go early in the morning and don't take thyroxine before blood test,

    Apologies if you already knew any of this.

  • I have been taking thyroxine for many years and didn't know this! I take a "pick 'n' mix" every morning after my breakfast. Maybe I'll have a chat with the doc at next appointment

  • Hi GP wont agree with fasting for blood test but thyroid up do ,When you think about it if you have taken thyroid meds its going to give you a false reading .


  • Hi Jane

    I had trouble with my calcium tablets for a slightly different reason, they were too chalky for me & when my mouth was affected by chemotherapy I spoke with the pharmacist at my regular chemist for an alternative, she gave me the details & my GP happily changed my prescription, so explain to your GP they are making you choke.

    When I was on high doses of Prednisolone I used to sleep on three pillows, I couldn't wear anything with a high neckline as I often felt I couldn't breath. I'm at 6.5mg about to start dropping to 6mg & I don't feel so 'choked'

    Hope you feel better soon 💐

  • Thank you for this, maybe I can take it in another format. You describe the symptom I have perfectly, even necklaces bother me. I am reducing Pred. So hopefully this will also go.

  • I had the same issue with necklaces too, so l bought a silver link bracelet & attached that to make them longer, it worked well!

    Good Luck & hope you feel better soon 💐

  • To Sheffield Jane

    Sorry to hear about your throat. Have you had a bad cold, sore throat recently or very heavy catarrh? If you have then I think you should get medical advice.

    My husband had this and needed treatment in hospital but what he had was very very rare.

    If you are still worried it might be advisable to get it looked at.

    Best wishes

  • I have mild cold symptoms almost all the time, one of the hazards of caring for Theo aged two who brings lovely germs home from his nursery. Thank you for all your good wishes and advice. I will follow up and let you know if it is relevant to us.

  • Yes Sheffieldjane I have this, mostly if I am a bit agitated or stressed about anything. I can't say that it has varied with the amount of steroids that I take but certainly when helping to organise my daughter's wedding last year I was often aware of it. Also couldn't wear some necklaces, they seemed to choke me or high necklines on jumpers. I also have resorted to sleeping on my back, propped up.

  • Oh don't remind me Jackoh. My daughter's been married for 3 years and has a dear little boy and I'm still not over her wedding. Talk about high stress and walking on egg shells. But I could swallow because I Swallowed 3 times before my little speech so that I didn't dry.

  • Hello Jane - the calcium tablets I've been prescribed are 'chewable' and they really are! Just as well, since I've never been able to swallow tablets, ironically the exception being the coated 2.5mg Pred....

    The calcium tablets are a bit larger than a Dispirin (and if I have take those, I get the soluble type!)

  • Thanks Rockerman they sound like the way forward. Some supplements are a ridiculous size.

  • The throat being constricted was one of my first signs of Temporal Arteritis. I also had difficulty chewing . But my throats felt "full" before that, I also had a hard time swallowing and was on a liquid diet .

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