Difficulty Swallowing - anyone else feel the same? - Thyroid UK

Thyroid UK

120,327 members140,034 posts

Difficulty Swallowing - anyone else feel the same?

Blossom234 profile image

Hi there, anyone else having trouble swallowing food? When I swallow something it sometimes feels like it goes down very slowly. It goes down the right way but the only way I can describe it is as if it just slows down? This probably sounds very weird actually. :)

It isn't as bad as it used to be, but I did have a goitre in January last year. It eventually went down in a few weeks but I went to two nurse practitioners in two different walk-in centres and they both noted I had a slight goitre. This was before my hypothyroidism was found. Every doctor I went to before the diagnosis said that I didn't have a goitre!

With things now, I just take my time and eat slowly. I even drown my food in lots of sauce to make it moist or if that isn't possible I eat something soft. I don't want to waste away as I have done in the past because of this!! :(

Anyone else experience this? I feel alone with this problem as I have no visible goitre but still get the problem now and again.

Thanks!! :) x

22 Replies


I am Hyper and have this problem, in fact sometimes I have such really bad problems I end up choking on what I am eating fortunately I have never been alone.

I don't have a Goitre but I do have nodules on my thyroid I have been told that this has nothing to do with my thyroid and to chew my food properly.

It is bad at night as well some nights I feel as if there is something blocking my throat and I cannot breath properly it is awful but again I have been told that it is nothing to do with my thyroid and it is all in my head.

Now I say nothing other than I am fine no matter how I feel.

I have to see my Endo this week and I am dreading it yet again however I have a shock for her because I am taking my daughter who can be very stroppy but she is also a vetinary nurse and knows all about thyroid so maybe this time I won't be fobbed off.

I know this isn't much help but at least you know you are not the only one who suffers from similar problems.

I hope you have a good doctor and they give you answers.

Good luck


Blossom234 profile image
Blossom234 in reply to elayneg

Hi Elayne I empathise with you about this and thanks for your answer. My previous GP was exactly the same - they refused to keep testing my thyroid and they were going to refer me to a counsellor as they kept saying that it was all in my head. When I changed to another GP they were brilliant and they were the ones who proved me right - that I did have a thyroid problem.

Good luck and take care xx

I feel the same all day & night I also feel as if there is something blocking my throat and I cannot breath properly and nobody give me a solution yesterday the gastro doctor recommended me to go to a pshyquiatra...he said all is because my anxiety.. i am hypo nd also suffer of acid reflux...but its insoportable the blocking on my troath.

You might find these sites interesting:




Jane x

Hi Jane thanks for the links.

I would never have thought mold exposure would cause difficulty swallowing, but we do have some issues of damp in our flat. They're on outer facing walls and are worse when it's been raining or cold.

I'm now wondering if this has brought on the Hashi's. :o

Thanks x

Hi blossom

Last year my swallowing was getting worse and worse. My GP were decreasing my Thyroxine(I had my thyroid removed long time ago) and I was getting worse and worse with swallowing difficulties and pain in my chest. I was sent for barium meal which showed a slight problem with peristalsis, but didn't explain all the symptoms. I then insisted on a CT scan and it showed that I had a small kidney cancer. It had nothing to do with the swallowing problems but I was lucky in a way that I had insisted on a CT scan and found cancer which has now been removed. Anyway that didn't make my swallowing any better. I had been prescribed high dose of Lanzoprazole for reflux,( which I didn't have) and it knocked out my stomach acid production which made the swallowing and pain worse. The other thing that was affecting it was that I am sure I had myxoedema in the oesophagus (you will get myxoedema in all tissues even your bones I read somewhere)and I am sure this stopped it working properly. It has completely resolved now when I stopped lanzoprazole and my thyroid levels have improved.

GPs always take swallowing problems seriously because it can point to a serious condition sometimes neurological. You should have it investigated but be very careful if the GP wants to prescribe Omeprazole or Lanzporazole. If you are hypothyroid you may have low stomach acid anyway and it will lower it further. You also need to make sure that have optimal thyroid function (which is easier said that done, I know).


Blossom234 profile image
Blossom234 in reply to roslin

Hi Roslin thanks ever so much for your answer.

Yes, to be honest I've gone down the antacid route myself before I was diagnosed hypothyroid. I've taken things like Gaviscon and Rennie's but that didn't do very much at the time (I mean this is going back years.) I did think that it could be myxoedema and that there's myxoedema in the oesophagus - it could explain the sluggish feeling I'm getting. I do also get sluggish feelings elsewhere like my legs but that's another issue.

Wow -- sorry to hear you had cancer, but at least it was found in time.

My swallowing issues weren't taken very seriously to start with, which is why I've not seen any more doctors about it. I went to the Accident and Emergency department at my local hospital and the doctor I saw there looked down my oesophagus with a torch and said that it looked like I had a narrow oesophagus.

My previous GP never mentioned to me about having a barium meal but they were more interested in putting a tube with a light at the end through my nose into my throat - which I didn't want to do as I thought it would hurt. I did however have an ultrasound done on my thyroid which showed the thyroid as "bulky" at the time but the ultrasound people sent the report back to my GP saying it came back normal.

I went to my previous doctors as I still had problems and they kept telling me it was a psychological problem and they weighed me. They said if I kept losing weight I would be referred to a counsellor! I had visions of me being in a room on my own and being force-fed! Luckily it didn't get to that stage as the choking/gagging episodes stopped. With the onset of the swallowing problems I weighed around 7.3 stone (at Jan 2013) and I now weigh 7.12 stone.

I'm just worried that my new GP will think the issues are still in my head although I don't know if this is the case since I've been diagnosed hypothyroid. I don't think I get a lot of acid reflux or indigestion so I'm not sure. My eating habits are much improved and I'm now finding it hard to *stop* eating - which is good so far as my folks are concerned, so I think what I'll do is go to the follow-up in a few weeks time when my blood test result is due and tell them then if the swallowing problem is still bothering me.

It's good to know that I'm not on my own with this. :)

Thanks xx

bossbird profile image
bossbird in reply to roslin

hi i have a hiatus hernia which i believe is caused by being undiagnosed for too long in my case 15 years so i have to take omeprazol what can i do? x

roslin profile image
roslin in reply to bossbird

dont know very much about hiatus hernia but have a look at


and do the self test


PinkNinja profile image
PinkNinja in reply to bossbird

You might want to post your own question otherwise you might not get the answers you need :)

i also was diagnosed with Hiatus hernia and acid reflux as with hypothirod and i have to take Esomeprazol the rest of my life is what the dr said...

It's not stress related is it? This can be painful too, even at night when you think you are calmer. I found that my problems were linked so antacids wouldn't help.

Blossom234 profile image
Blossom234 in reply to PoppyRose

Hi PoppyRose, I don't think so although when I think about choking, straight after I do choke. Although this has not happened for at least 6 months!! :) I get pain on swallowing especially if I eat a chip that's hard at one end and I don't break it down properly before swallowing. The end scratches my oesophagus and that can be extremely painful. I've gone as far as alter my breathing pattern, anything that I know would help for it to go down the right way.

So far it's gone ok and I've read on a site that myxedema can accumulate in any human tissue, so I'm guessing that I've got myxedema in my throat tissue? Could explain why I feel it going down so slowly.

no had a camera twice my mum who was undignosed with hashi for 30 years had a HH defo think its related xx

Hi yes I have a huge problem swallowing and have to drink large amounts of water when eating, also have some breathing problems but its all due to a large goiter which i am waiting to have surgery for, its a horrible feeling of something in your throat all the time, hope you get yours sorted.

Blossom234 profile image
Blossom234 in reply to Tatty10

Hi there Tatty thanks for your answer.

I've been drinking milkshake when eating as that's thicker than other drinks my partner and I have at home. I don't have problems like wheezing or getting short of breath but I've had occasions when I keep wanting to take deep breaths - I'm guessing I don't get enough air but the GP checked my oxygen sats and they were at 99% so I don't understand that.

Hope all goes well with your surgery :) xx

Hi I had thyroid nodules in one side of my thyroid, the lump in my neck used to go up and down and seemed worse when i was stressed or anxious, I could feel it in my throat inside, they took half my throid out nearly 2 years ago, they said it was larger than they had expected and had seen on the scan, since then if im stressed or anxious i can feel something inside my neck when i swallow, my guess is my thyroid is enlarged, tests say im within normal range so it appears I just have to live with it !

Blossom234 profile image
Blossom234 in reply to jackyc

Hi Jacky thanks for your reply.

Yes, unfortunately I've been told the same although it was more along the lines of having to cope until my GP knew more about it. The two nurse practitioners I had seen suggested I use a food blender but we haven't got the room for that in our flat, let alone the money. So I eat a lot more slowly and take my time with it.

At one point my thyroid did swell up quite badly, so much so you could see it if I turned to the side - and I only have a small neck and that was when I was told the tests were within normal range! It is frustrating to live with such a distressing symptom even more so when I have my mum and stepdad directly tell me I've lost weight. When they first told me that I burst into tears because I'm kind of seen as my mum's little girl. :(

The first pamphlet I read about hypothyroidism said that it greatly affected smooth muscle. The throat is made of smooth muscle and that's how food enters the stomach so I do feel that's the main cause. I think when you have optimum levels of the hormone, it will improve.

I have to sit down and eat. I can't speak or walk with food in my mouth - no bag of chips on the way home - and I think it's down to a feeling of fullness in the throat. If you try to make yourself snore right now, bringing the sides of the throat together, that's how it feels, as though the food would be competing with air in that small space. Sometimes I get that closed-up-throat snoring feeling through exertion. I have also had problems with respiratory allergies and often feel as though there's something in my throat but I can't swallow it.

Apparently my mum has a congenitally small throat opening which was found when she did a sleep test for sleep apnoea, so I suppose I could have that? My gp tells me it's anxiety. :-)

I feel the same and the dr also told me it is anxiety...

Hi I also have a problem swallowing mainly steak my mother died three years ago with a stroke she to have under active thyroid and complained she had trouble swallowing like she had swallowed a toothanditstayed there I to have the same problem and was told I had a ledge but when they operated and stretched my windpipe so I could swallow easier which helped for a week it was found it was one of the two muscles in nutria the that wasn't closing I believe it's a problem people with thyroid are suffering I'm not sure if it the meds causing it. It restricts my breathing as I don't take deep breaths I shallow breath which isn't good for the lungs I am now attending hospital as they are talking about Botox which I am consirned about as the plumps up things ! My worry is when I'm old I'll be unable to tell them if food has gone down and if I can't say I'll not be able to breath I wish doctors would look at us all suffering the same problem I had a barium swallow that found when I swallow all of it doesn't go down some remains in a pocket in my throat and I have job swallowing tablets and I have a sore throat all the time is this caused from food rotting in my throat it worries me watch this space I'll let you know what's next x

You may also like...