Everyone in their lifetime would have experienced this strange sensation where they feel as if something is stuck in their throat and would not disappear no matter how hard you try to swallow it. One would be left wondering if it was the food that has been stuck in the throat or a lump has grown in there overnight. The patients could have this sensation with or without having difficulty in swallowing.
If you belong to the first category of patients, where there is just a sensation of something being stuck in the throat with no difficulty in swallowing, then you could be suffering from a condition called Globus. It is just a functional condition and no mass would be seen on checking the pharynx and the food pipe.
The other set of people who have the sensation of a lump in the throat with a difficulty in swallowing would need immediate medical attention to diagnose the cause of the condition and get it corrected in time.
What Causes a Person to Have Globus?
Hippocrates had initially associated this with women only because women were more prone to psychological disorders. In ancient times, it was called Globus hystericus. However, later, it was found that men and women both are equally affected and the name was later changed to Globus pharyngeus.
When we swallow saliva, food, or water, the muscles of the throat and food pipe contract and relax in coordination with each other to push the food down the food pipe. In Globus, there is a problem with the co-ordination of the muscles. One muscle might not relax when the other contracts, and, hence, the peculiar sensation of something being stuck in the throat may develop.
Globus is observed with certain health conditions. They are listed below.
- Anxiety and Stress: When the person is under stress or tension, the muscles also get tensed. This is the reason that Globus is commonly observed in people with anxiety or undergoing mental stress.
- Throat Infections like pharyngitis, tonsillitis.
- Chronic sinusitis where there is a constant post nasal drip could irritate the throat muscle and cause Globus sensation.
- GERD or Acid Reflux: The reflux of stomach contents into the food pipe due to a loose ring muscle (this muscle, present at the stomach opening prevents reflux of stomach contents into the food pipe). The acid mixed with stomach content irritates the muscles of the food pipe and causes it to contract and hence the feeling of something stuck in the throat may occur.
- Hiatus Hernia: It is a condition where the upper part of the stomach slides into the chest cavity through an opening in the diaphragm. It also produces symptoms of reflux leading to Globus.
How Do I Know I Have Globus?
Here are some signs and symptoms which indicate you may have Globus.
- The patients experience a sensation of something being stuck in the throat.
- This sensation is not relieved despite swallowing.
- However, the person will not experience any problem with swallowing.
- The intensity of Globus would vary. On some days, it would be severe, whereas, on other days, the symptoms could be mild or absent.
- The symptoms do not get worse with time.
How Does the Doctor Diagnose the Condition?
The doctor will listen to your history carefully and examine you. If necessary, the doctor will prescribe you certain tests, such as gastroscopy and barium meal swallow.
How to Manage the Symptoms of Globus?
- You must consult your doctor to know the underlying cause for your Globus.
- If there is an infection in the throat, take medicines to treat the infection. Besides this, you could do saltwater gargles.
- If the Globus is because of acid reflux, get it treated. Besides this, avoid oily food, overeating, and lying down immediately after the meals. Keep a gap of 3 hours between food and sleep, elevate the head end of the bed to prevent reflux, and avoid wearing tight belts. Also, avoid smoking, alcohol, and chocolates.
- If the cause of Globus is stress and anxiety, practice meditation to relieve stress and anxiety. Meditation helps to relax the mind and, in turn, eases the muscle tension and the symptoms of Globus.
Homeopathic Medicines for Globus:
Below are routinely prescribed homeopathic remedies for Globus. However, it is always advised that you consult a doctor rather than trying to self-medicate.
- Ignatia: This remedy is indicated for the Globus in nervous females who get excited easily. The sensation of a lump in the throat that cannot be swallowed easily and tend to choke easily as the food passes wrong way indicates Ignatia. The patients who experience a stitching pain in the throat when not swallowing, better feeling by swallowing, all gone feeling in the stomach with gas, and an aversion to ordinary food, Ignatia may help. Also, this medicine is indicated for Globus due to follicular tonsillitis.
- Asafoetida: Asafoetida is indicated for Globus symptoms associated with gastric disturbance. The sensation of a ball rising in the throat and sensation as if the stomach movements were reversed indicate this remedy. Great accumulation of gas in the stomach and inability to bring it up, forcible eructations, sounds of gurgling, and rolling of gas in the stomach which is later released as loud eructation indicate Asafoetida.
- Moschus: The patients who experience a sudden constriction of larynx and windpipe may find Moschus helpful. This homeopathic remedy is indicated for nervous females with frequent fainting. The patients suffering from a great sensitivity to the cold, anxiety, discomfort in the chest with stomach problems, the sensation of tightness of the chest, and the need to take a deep breath are recommended Moschus.
- Valeriana: Valeriana is indicated for hysterical females. The sensation as if the thread was hanging down the throat, hysterical spasms, bloated abdomen and heartburn with eructations of rancid fluid indicate Valeriana.
If you experience Globus with a difficulty in swallowing, it is called dysphagia and is associated with medical issues that require urgent attention. Here are some issues that may call for medical attention.
- Difficulty in swallowing due to weakness of the tongue and inability to push the food bolus into the throat
- Conditions causing reduced saliva production leading to a dry mouth and hence inability to swallow
- Issues with the pharynx, such as swollen tonsils.
- Mass at the base of the tongue or pharynx
- Tumors- (cancerous or non-cancerous) of the pharynx
- Enlarged thyroid nodules compressing structures in the throat.
- Thickening of the muscles of the food pipe
- Stricture formation in the food pipe
- Tumors (cancerous or non-cancerous) of the esophagus
- Motility issues of the esophagus
The symptoms associated with these conditions would be present all the time and increase in the intensity.
If you are experiencing symptoms of Globus and want to know more about it, get in touch with us at Life Force and receive effective homeopathic treatment to obtain relief without any side-effects.