Are you suffering from the frequent food lumps problem that makes you feel uncomfortable and leaves you feeling stressed? If yes, you have nothing to worry about, as this problem may be uncomfortable, but not at all fatal. Many times, people suffer from a sudden choking sensation and it appears as if there is a mass or lump in the throat even when there is nothing. This problem is also referred to as Globus hystericus or Globus sensation, though this sensation has nothing to do with swallowing problems. When a person feels such a sensation and experiences difficulty in swallowing, it may be due to several reasons.
Why do you feel as if something lodges in your throat?
Though, a lot of studies have been conducted in this field, many doctors are still not very clear about what causes this sensation. When a patient suffers from Globus sensation, it may be due to enhanced muscle tension in the throat muscles. Sometimes, it may be because of gastroesophageal reflux. Even when experiencing emotions like stress, pride or grief, some people complain about this problem, but as per studies, this sensation has nothing to do with these feelings directly. This is a stress related, knee jerk kind of reaction.
It is significant to note that this problem is not harmful to the health and no complications can occur. Many times, certain disorders related to the oesophagus may be mistaken with Globus sensation that may make treatment of the problem difficult for the doctor. Some of these disorders are esophageal spasm, esophageal webs, myotonic dystrophy, myasthenia Gravis and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). All these disorders are associated with difficulty in swallowing and can be taken as Globus sensation making diagnosis of actual problem difficult.
How is the problem evaluated?
People suffering from Globus sensation do not require immediate medical attention which is a saving grace, still one should not ignore the warning bells. On the basis of the evaluation carried out by the doctor, a suitable treatment is outlined.
Some of the factors that are evaluated are:
- Pain in the throat and neck
- Loss of weight
- The problem appears after reaching 50
- Choking sensation
- Pain and difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia)
- Regurgitation of spitting of food
- Weakness in the muscles
- A visible mass, or mass that can be felt
All these warning signs clearly indicate that a doctor needs to be consulted immediately. Based on the severity of the sensation and discomfort, the doctor prescribes a suitable treatment.
As soon as the patient visits a doctor, he or she will ask a lot of questions about the medical history and symptoms. This helps the doctor to decide about the treatment. When discussing the patient’s history, the doctor also focuses on making a difference between difficulty in swallowing and Globus sensation. This differentiation indicates motility or structural disorder of the oesophagus or throat. When visiting a doctor, it is imperative that the patient discusses all symptoms clearly and in detail.
The doctor may also carry out a physical examination that is focused on the neck and mouth region. To feel the masses, the floor of the neck and mouth is also examined. Using a viewing scope, the doctors’ peer inside the throat, that helps the doctors to diagnose the problem. Once diagnosed, this food lumps problem does not require any treatment. The patient just needs sympathetic concern and reassurance. Many times, due to certain moods, this problem may be experienced by some people. Visiting a psychiatrist or taking anti-depressants can help the patients to a considerable extent.
In a Nutshell
It is important to know that Globus sensation has nothing to do with any problem related to swallowing. No tests are required unless the symptoms are associated with swallowing, something abnormal turns up when undergoing physical examination or other warning sensations are experienced. There is no need to get stressed if you suffer from this problem as it will go away after some time, when you are stress-free and your emotions return to normal.