Facebook Pixel
EmpowHER Guest

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

By Anonymous October 21, 2011 - 6:04pm
Rate This

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 Comment22 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

I get this feeling after I eat certain things. Milk is a big one. Can breath but it's really odd strangulating feeling. Nothing seems swollen. I've had tummy issues too and seems that FODMAP foods bring on this problem.

March 6, 2017 - 3:11am
EmpowHER Guest

I have exactly the same symptomps you.I dont know when did you write down this thread and do you still have all of these but I'd like to be informed about your illness.Hope you'd see this and reply me.

January 2, 2017 - 12:25am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, I have this same constant strangle (not choking) sensation.
It started with a severe headache lasting 4 days then seemed to settle in the front of my neck. I also have upper back pain and chest fullness.
I can't tell where the problem originates. Neck, chest, gastro?
I've seen a MD who says GERD, but also ordered a neck CT scan. I've seen a cardio who ordered a stress test in a couple weeks. I see a gastroenterologist tomorrow.
This has been going on 6 weeks now with no change and it started overnight with nothing to initiate it that I can think of.
Not good.

February 27, 2017 - 9:16am
EmpowHER Guest

I have the same problem. I haven't any any facial surgery. I'm having a cardio eccogram on Tuesday to see if it is related to a possible cardiac problem. An ultrasound showed the thyroid is ok. It's terrible when it hits at 2 am. I've been put on Valium to try and relax the muscles. It's getting progressively worse since a holiday in Europe earlier this year. My blood pressure has been playing up as well. One day it's so high I could fly the next it is so low I don't know how I'm still upright and breathing

December 17, 2016 - 12:09am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to Anonymous)

Hi, can you say what your echo showed. I'm having one in a week for the same symptoms.

March 2, 2017 - 7:02am

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
(reply to aejhart)

My story is very similiar. I started getting tightening of my neck sensations following neck surgery. This has been going on for the last 3 1/2 years. I feel like I'm going crazy and when I get the sensation I can't concentrate on anything else. I've been to every doctor and they find nothing wrong. I was put on celexa to calm my extreme anxiety from this overpowering sensation. It almost feels like someone is taking there blood pressure around my neck. I am my wits end . Have you found anything to help relieve the sensation?

November 2, 2016 - 6:07pm
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
Enter the characters shown in the image.
By submitting this form, you agree to EmpowHER's terms of service and privacy policy
Add a Comment

All user-generated information on this site is the opinion of its author only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment for any medical conditions. Members and guests are responsible for their own posts and the potential consequences of those posts detailed in our Terms of Service.