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I feel as if I am being strangled. Not choking, but strangled.

By Anonymous October 21, 2011 - 6:04pm
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Beginning December, 2010, I have been to my primary care physician, a gastronologist, endocrinologist, ears, nose and throat doctor and a neurologist.

It was discovered I had polyps on the right side of my thyroid. I had an ultrasound and biopsy and they were not cancerous. However, the endocrinologist said the polyps should not be causing my strangling sensation. He referred me to a gastronologist. I had an endoscopic procedure performed and all was well. No acid reflex, GERD, tumor, etc. He referred me to an otolaryngologist. Through an additional ultrasound, it was discovered the nodules were growing. It was determined my thyroid should be removed and it was thought it would eliviate the strangling sensation. On June 22, 2011, I had half of my thyroid removed. During a follow up visit, I infomred the doctor I was still feeling like I am being strangled. He said there was some swelling and give it about a month (which I did). I then went back to him and he put me on Prilosec and sent me for a barium ?? procedure. All was normal. My new PCP examined me and took an x-ray of my nectk. He noticed something in the back of my neck that might possibly be causing the sensation in the front of my neck. He sent me for a neck MRI. He put me on Celebrex (to reduce inflammation - if any). I had the neck MRI and after review the PCP - sent me to a neurologist. I went to the neurologist earlier in the week. He said neurologically speaking, I was fine and he didn't feel the vertebras were causing my discomfort. I am at a lost as to where to go or what to do next. Some of my smyptoms are as follows: It originally felt like I as wearing a high turtle nectk sweater that was too tight or I had a scarf on and it was pulled too tight. I have difficulty swallowing saliva (golf ball in throat feeling), but have a lesser problem swallowing water or eating. At all times, it now feels like someone is strangling me - somethimes mild to extreme. I do not feel like I am choking. It has never felt like it is on the interior of my throat. It has always felt like it is on the exterior of my throat and the interior of my neck (if that makes any sense.) Some of my other symptoms are like Cricophanyngea Spasm, however two doctors say I do not have that. I had cosmetic surgery three and a half years ago (with no compliations) and went back to the plastic surgeon to inquire if he had ever seen this side effect before and could make a recommendation. No suggestion was made. Before this issue, I have been extremely healthy - with the exception of glaucoma. I have glaucoma in both eyes and have used drops for about ten years and have had surgery on my right eye. I am 59 years old, good health - no high blood pressure, heart disease, sugar diabetes, etc. I'm 5'7" / 150 lbs, non-smoker and an occasional cocktail. No medication except eye drops and minor vitamins (calcium, etc.) Should you have questions or require additional information, please contact me at [Personal Information removed for privacy]
Thank you for your possible assistance. I look forward to hearing from someone.

Add a Comment15 Comments

I have the exact same symptoms and I also had plastic surgery on my face - I definitely think this is related - I can feel all the muscles the doctor worked on in the cosmetic surgery contract and this causes the feeling of strangulation - whether this is caused by reflux that creates a spasm in the muscles leading to the strangling / choking feeling I don't know - ppi's were not helpful for me (though I stopped them after 2 weeks because they weren't doing anything) Nexium gave me severe muscle pain I plan to go see an Otolaryngologist as I don't think this is a gastro problem - I had this problem back in 2009 but it went away - this time it's back with a vengeance! Not sure what to do...

October 18, 2016 - 5:20pm
EmpowHER Guest

I am having the same thing happen to me. My Doctor had my Thyroid checked, but they found nothing. I guess I will just have to live with this since the Doctors do not know what is causing this feeling of strangulation.

September 12, 2016 - 6:55am
EmpowHER Guest

has anyone been able to solve this medical mystery or found something to at least help with the pain

July 28, 2016 - 5:41pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have the same issue. My PCP will not give up, bless him. I have noticed that it is when I have been sitting for some time and about 10 seconds after I stand it happens. It lasts about 30-45 seconds. The feeling that I get is like I am being strangled, I hear my heartbeat loud in my ears and my eyes feel as though they are going to pop out. I feel like my head is going to pop off. This has been happening since I was 16 or so. I am not 34. About 10 years ago my pcp checked my carotids and they were fine. I had an MRI and no MS. I had 1 blinding migraine when I was pregnant 13 years ago. None since then until last night when I had 3 in a row. It has gotten much worse in the last year. I have several episodes per day. I have seen the best cardiologist in town, who is also a friend, stress echo- negative, tilt table-negative, CT angiogram-negative. This is all good to know. I don't have an AV malformation, aneurysm or other vascular problem in pumping blood to my brain. At the beginning of the month I lost my eyesight in my right eye. My retina was pulling inwards, I had Vitreo-macular Traction Syndrome. Rare in young people. NO reason for this. My vision is slowly returning until the blinding headaches last night. My normal retinal specialist and I talk to a new guy. I explained to him that this blinding migraine happened after I had been sitting and I went to lay down on my stomach. I had the strongest strangled sensation I have ever had and thought I was going to pass out, immediately after it subsided I could not see. I asked him to listen to my story, which he did patiently. I told him that I am not stressed, paranoid, seeking or a hypochondriac. I am a nurse of 14 years in a Level 1 trauma unit. I am aware of things that I should be worried about. He stated that he is going to do more testing on my at the beginning of this week and send me to a vascular neurologist because he states that the CT angiogram is good but it will not show the venous return of the saggital sinus. This is the venous side of circulation which makes sense if I have a blockage and when I stand, the blood flow increases to meet the oxygen demand of my brain but can't get back out of my brain due to blockage or insufficiency. So I will have a MRV which is a MRI with venogram to check the flow out of my brain. This would explain the pressure behind my eyes and why I can literally see the world bounce with my heart beat in my vision when this happens. I have read more about this including people that suffer from this issue and the majority of them have been looking for help for a long time hearing it was stress, hormones, muscles, thyroid, etc. Just a thought for some of you still searching for answers. IT is not a great diagnosis but it can be treated. I don't know if I have it but my medical brain feels that this is the most plausible explanation. Warmest wishes.

April 30, 2016 - 12:11pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have the same thing. I actually turned around swinging...to see that no one was there. Have you ever taken Levaquin Cipro Avelox or any other Fluoroquinolone? It is muscular ....these so called antibiotics destroy every living thing Come join us on Facebook... Fluoroquinolone Toxicity 24/7 Live Chat Group
Best~ Terry Aston

April 10, 2016 - 9:09pm
EmpowHER Guest

We could be twins....because of all the identical symptoms and Doctors we have seen. I am 55yrs old and finally got an answer to my symptoms after years of seeing doctors and tons of tests. I was diagnosed with Parkinson's last year. One of the med's that really helps with the muscle spasms is Baclofen.

October 29, 2015 - 4:47pm
EmpowHER Guest


I have the same thing - and yes, NOT choking, NOT in the throat but as if someone has their thumb on my throat or hands around the front of it.

At first, I thought allergy, then a kind of inflammation, then iodine issues. But medicines and supplements don't help.

Avoiding the endocrinologist and other docs at this point because 2 others I know went that route & had thyroid removed.

I had this 3 years ago & then it stopped. After 2 months.
It just came back Thursday.

I had at initial issue quit eating goitropics. Thought that was it. But if so, iodine should help. Not eating goitropics should help. It doesn't.

But another possibility could be a bromide hot tub at gym. Except my thyroid levels are normal.

That leaves muscular. Which would make sense, it
feels so tight, been so stressed.
I'm going to try to lay off the tablet/phone typing.
And do alexander technique - starting now.

June 15, 2015 - 4:59pm
EmpowHER Guest

I have much the same symptoms re strangulation and they came on after a severe lung infection. I am not sure yet but I think it could relate to the first rib being out of place slightly...from all the coughing. Feel inside your collar bone from above and locate a sore spot...deep down, 2 or so inches from your throat and see if it refers pain under your arm and around the back. See if pressing on it relieves the symptoms. My symptoms worsen with sitting and computer use and improve with anti-inflammatories and pressing the sore spot

March 7, 2015 - 5:24pm
EmpowHER Guest


I'm in Canada. Never had health issues before (except minor colds). I have this horrible sensation too. I have a vague feeling that it occured before once or twice when I had brief oral sex and that it went away. But now it's been sticking for a month. So it could be a bacteria or fungus or even PAP virus. The girl's vagina did not have a good smell... I went through STD tests and strep tests and they all came out as negative. So I'll be asking for metronidazole just in case. Not sure I'll think of posting results back here but I hope someone can relate and confirm they had a similar experience. Oh, one more thing maybe... my son had a bronchitis or cold back in August... His voice became hoarse, then I cought that. Did not have antibiotics, it went away but the cough stayed for 3 months. First month it was a tough cough, but slowly decrease in strength but became very deep. Like if something at the bottom of my lungs was always itching me. I have no fever, just something deep down my lungs. So after 3 months, maybe it infected my throat but I have a good feeling these are two different things and that my strangling sensation is more related to the oral sex I had with the girl. Anyone can relate?

November 27, 2014 - 8:17pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

H.p.v. Virus can cause throat cancer in partners of females, and other viral infections can be present there, too. Chlamydia and other bacterial can live there, too. Candida presents as thrush (yeasty smell), and other fungi too.

Best bet is this: antibiotics first. Azithromycin and suprax. Then anti-fungals/parasitics. If that doesn't clear it up, go to a specialist. My friends partner was recently diagnosed with h.p.v of the throat, because it caused cancer.

August 12, 2015 - 9:44pm
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