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Thyroid UK
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Sudden pressure and lump in throat - anxiety or thyroid?!

Hi all,

Around two months ago I started to find breathing to be difficult at times. To begin with it happened when I had a cold, I'd have to lie in bed with my head tilted up to maximise my airways. It felt like my throat was swollen and closing in. It passed along with the cold within a week but came back along with pressure in my throat a few weeks later. I've had a goitre in the past but couldn't see one at this time and it felt as though someone was pushing on my throat at times, causing pressure. Along with this, my tongue felt really big for my mouth and the only relief I could get was to pull my tongue forward in my mouth. It was most noticeable at night when I was trying to sleep but if I woke in the night it was generally slightly easier to breathe.

Around a week after the pressure and breathing problems started, I suddenly started to get lots of the symptoms I was initially diagnosed as hypothyroid with, including increased thirst, numb little and ring fingers and low mood.

I went to the doctor and said that I suspected it was thyroid related and they did a full thyroid blood panel with results as follows. The doctor said that 9 times out of 10 that pressure and swallowing/breathing problems are anxiety related but I've always felt I was a very strong person and things like that don't affect me, although the problems breathing were then making me feel anxious! Motor neurone disease runs in my family as well as Hashimotos, so when I had breathing problems I will admit it did scare the cr*p out of me and made me think the worst and obviously made me very worried and anxious.

TSH 1.75 (0.35-3.5)

FT4 13 (8-21)

FT3 4.1 (3.8-6)

B12 >2000 (130-1100)

Serum folate 8 (2.7-15)

Ferritin 26 (23-300)

I didn't fast or miss my levothyroxine dose before the test as I didn't realise this was the way to do it. I do take my levo before bed though so it would have been the night before the test rather than that morning that I took it.

Anyway, based on the results I persuaded my doctor to up my medication from 75mcg to 100mcg and found within 24 hours that my breathing was so much better, although the other symptoms remained and 6 weeks later they are still there but easing. I doubt that an increase in dose with just one pill taken would be the cause of the pressure in my throat and breathing problems easing. So, now I'm wondering if it was all just anxiety. I'd recently starting driving again after having a 3 year break and it was making me nervous but I didn't think it was affecting me once away from the car. It also doesn't explain the sudden onset of other symptoms that I get when I go hypo.

I've read about Hashi flares but I thought they would result in going hyper rather than hypo.

If anyone has any similar experiences or advice I would really appreciate it. Thanks for reading my waffley post!

6 Replies

Have you ever had an Ultrasound scan of your Thyroid? If not would you ask GP to send you for one?

Have you considered asking your GP for a referal to ENT for a nasendoscope to take a closer look at the inside of your throat?



After a cold or any infection you may feel worse because when our Antibodies increase to fight the infection then our Thyroid comes under more severe attack also.




Meant to ask:

Why is your B12 so high?

Is that good?



Hi, thanks for your replies. I haven't had an ultrasound and it was something I was going to ask for, but as it passed and I feel my throat is normal again I'm not sure they would now do it.

I had some high strength b12 supplements which I took occasionally to keep my levels up as they had been low in the past, but as my tongue felt swollen and large I took them for a whole week just before my blood test, so I think it might be due to that.

They did my thyroid antibodies on the same blood test and they were the lowest I'd ever seen them.

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You could still ask for the scan though. Although it may only confirm your Thyroid diagnosis.

If you have recurring symptoms and concerns about your throat you could also ask for the ENT referal. See how it goes. No harm in asking. They can only say no. Then if symptoms recur you can ask again when symptomatic.

My throat problems come and go. I also have some acid damage to the cricopharyngeus (posterior cricopharyngeal Prominence ). That was revealed in Barium Swallow though. I have Laryngopharyngeal Reflux , this is when stomach acid rises above the oesophagus into the throat. It can pool in the throat at night. So I didn't know I have a hiatus hernia as I didn't get heartburn or much acid taste in mouth only on rare occassions.

Anxiety and stress can cause lumpiness in throat and also increase stomach acid. But other conditions can cause lumpiness in throat also.

I had specific sharp pain in throat when it wasn't infection and pain when singing. That's how I got my referal to ENT. The first Specialist I saw found acid damage to the Arytenoids caused by the Laryngopharyngeal Reflux which was treated with PPI (Zoton Fastab lansoprazole ). The other diagnosis came later after I saw the Consultant as I didn't feel fully recovered.



Sorry to hear you've had so many problems with your throat.

I have a review with my doctor at the end of the month so I'll definitely ask for a scan etc and see what they say.

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