Gagging, coughing, can't swallow

About 8 years ago I had to stop wearing polo neck sweaters due to constant pressure to my throat making me gag. I cannot wear a scarf too closely around my neck or I'll throw up. Every day I experience weird dry cough caused by tickles in my throat. And when the swallowing issue occurs it's very scary and feels like I have forgotten how to swallow or I am paralysed in my throat and it feels like drowning.

I am being treated for hypothyroidism and will be tested again next week but I was wondering if this is normal or should I tell my doc. I have to pick my battles with that woman so the smaller issues I usually try to sort out on my own.

10 Replies

That's how I felt before I was diagnosed hypothyroid - I felt like someone or something was trying to choke me. Hopefully this is what it is and isn't anything more sinister. Let us know your results- I'm pretty confident that it's that.

I assume you've had your thyroid checked out recently, e.g. aspiration/ultrasound. My wife had the same experience with pressure on the throat and eventually had a partial thyroidectomy to remove a suspicious lump which turned out not to be cancerous fortunately but nevertheless caused her a lot of discomfort. If you haven't had the issue properly investigated go back to your GP and ask to be referred to a consultant. It's your life - look after yourself and don't let some trumped-up misguided GP intimidate you. Good luck.

I had this before I was diagnosed too. Even now I am on treatment, I can't wear a roll neck jumper, tight necklace or scarf as I just feel unbearably constricted. When I have become hypo again through changes of meds, the gagging feeling and cough returns. Mentioned these feelings once to my GP who looked at me like I was nuts! That's been the same when I have mentioned lots of symptoms though!

Should also say that my Endo did check my throat though so as tcpace has said above, you should ask to be referred to someone who knows more than the GP.


You should tell your GP and ask GP to palpate your throat and neck to see whether there is swelling or lumps. If either are detected you should be referred for an ultrasound scan. I had similar symptoms which were caused by a large nodule compressing my trachea. The nodule was removed to relieve the compression.

Thank you all! I will try to convince my GP to give me a referral to see a specialist. I have not had any other thyroid check besides blood tests.

My little sis is hypo too and when she had her thyroid checked, the doc discovered a few nodules in her thyroid.

I was unable to fasten my tie for a long time before it got serious. This was a goitre which grew inwards rather than the traditional direction of outwards. Gradually increased pressure so that I was unable to breathe properly. Eventually, due to shallow breathing, I had several bouts of pneumonia and had a partial thyroidectomy in 1989.

In time you could likewise suffer with pneumonia, which does not do your lungs any good and is a killer if you are aged or otherwise infirm.

As any thyroid operation is classed as quite dangerous with the significant possibility of damage to your larynx, the doc will not be too keen on this unless it has become a matter of concern.

Thank you, Panda321! I have had unusually many longlasting colds with terrible cough in last 18 months. I'm concerned about the pressure, it's scary when I start choking out of the blue.

hi readng through i have the same symptoms which include pressure on chest and coughing up small globules like superglue and tight squeezing round chest and ribs. last time like this was respiratory infection. sats went down really low and pulse fast. it seems to be brought on by taking levothyroxine and i have mild hiatus hernia, cant swallow omeprazole. the only way i can deal and suggest may help others is detoxing the liver from meds. some we have to take but need to cleanse the liver of other toxins. see british liver trust for fact sheets.

Thank you!

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