Unexplained nausea/gagging and throat tightness truly related to GERD?

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Hello to everyone, i am a 19 year old guy and for about 3 months now (soon to be 4) i have had a very strange problem with constant nausea and gagging. Could this truly be related to GERD or LPR? 

This might become lengthy as i will try to explain everything in detail, but i would very much appreciate any thoughts. This interferes with my daily life and i am so frustrated with it. 

Before all of this started i was very active, not overweight at all.

I refer to my feeling as "nausea" because it sometimes feels likely that i am close to vomiting but more than often i actually really only feel like i need to gag and i usually do. 

I will list as many of my symptoms as i can before i get to the part about GERD. 

When this all started i did not experience any other real symptoms during the first month. But my "nausea" and gagging was very intense. i would gag during the day almost every 5-10 minutes and it would last for a few hours until it eventually died down, only to return without explanation during random hours of the day. It would happen regardless of what i would be doing and it would interfere with my daily activities. At first i thought it was related to eating, but later i realized i would feel it regardless of whether i was eating or drinking anything. 

I tried to ignore it for one month but then i couldnt anymore and decided to check it out at the doctors. I had an echo scan done on my entire abdominal area and i was told nothing appeared to be wrong in terms of swelling or lumps etc. 

Around this time i suddenly started experiencing a tight feeling in my lower throat, on both sides of my neck. 

Also a feeling as if something was stuck in the middle. I mostly felt it when i swallowed. 

I explained these things to a few doctors including my nausea and gagging but most of them said it was due to anxiety or stress. I was given antibiotics (amoxicilin) for my throat because i was told it appeared a bit red or irritated. It seemed to help a bit but the tightness remained. 

Eventually i kept checking and i was finally given multiple blood tests, urine tests, and even an upper endoscopy. 

All of these tests i was told returned with good results and nothing appears abnormal. I even had a biopsy done with tissue samples from the endoscopy and those returned with good results as well. I am constantly being told that this problem has nothing to do with my stomach, as all appears to be fine. 

About 3 weeks ago i started feeling better and worse at the same time. My gagging and nausea reduced dramatically. i would only feel it maybe about 2-3 times a day randomly with no explanation, but at the same time my throat started feeling a lot worse. The tightness increased and it would feel randomly itchy/scratchy. I then would experience a burning sensation in my throat and chest. The burning was terrible and after the very first night of experiencing it, i visited a throat specialist and she diagnosed me with GERD. I was prescribed a proton pump inhibitor. 40mg of Omeprazole. After that i didnt experience a burning sensation in my chest again. So yes, basically i experienced what my doctor thought was heartburn, but for literally one night only. I had never in my life, ever experienced anything similar or any form of heartburn and could basically eat any and everything i wanted. 

The itchy/scratchy throat lingered for a while longer though. 

So currently i am still suffering from random nausea and gagging. But it is very minimal and random. Sometimes if i relax the entire day, i can go 24 hours without a single gag or nausea feeling. But i notice that my nausea and gagging reflexes come on a lot stronger and intensely while i am active. (long walks, basic house chores, moving around for a while etc) after my gagging has subsided, and i begin to rest, i notice my body feels a bit shaky. only a tiny bit. as if it has been weakened from the gagging experience. But during my rest my nausea and gagging subsides almost completely for the day or until i begin doing more "strenuous" activities. 

Over the past 3 weeks the tight feeling in my throat has become a lot less. i definitely still feel it a bit, but it is not extremely uncomfortable as it was 2 months ago. I am currently on a second round of antibiotics as well, prescribed by my throat specialist. there is no more burning sensation in my throat either. 

The one other troublesome symptom i have (this one is the most uncomfortable and "painful") is that i cannot speak with a normal tone of voice for more than 20 minutes without feeling discomfort. If i continue speaking my throat feels suddenly very tight and contracted. My neck itself feels stiff and numb around all sides and there is pain in my throat area until i stop talking and rest my voice for a long time. 

So that is basically it. I am still taking the proton pump inhibitor medication, along with antibiotics. I havent experienced any other symptoms apart from everything i described here. I have no coughing, and i have never once actually vomited through all of this. My throat specialist says apart from some redness and simple irritation which is was prescribed antibiotics for, nothing else looks abnormal, no scarring, swelling etc. in my throat. 

These feelings are rather uncomfortable though, and makes me nervous at times since it has yet to be 100% confirmed what my problem might be. I was planning to take up my gyming activities again this coming month but i am nervous how i might feel since my gagging and nausea increase so much from simple activities and chores. 

If there is anything anyone can suggest so that i can look into it, i would very much be thankful. I cannot even speak to people at a meeting or get together without having to stop due to the discomfort in my neck from it. 

Could all of this really be GERD or LPR even though i have never experienced it any other time throughout my life? I have so many doubts about that and i worry at times if there is an underlying disease that i should know about. Doctors have told me the fact that i have never vomited throughout all this or experienced any form of bleeding is a sign that nothing is too serious at the moment, but i would like to figure this out before it might get to that point. 

Thank you to anyone in advance.

4 likes, 112 replies

112 Replies

  • Posted

    From the symptoms, you described it sounds the same as mine. My symptoms are/were a lump in throat, hard to swallow, nauseous to the point of gagging but not throwing up, lots of mucus or phlegm in throat, burning in the back of the throat, dizzy and breathing issues. and clearing throat all of the time.  For me, exercise brings it on or too much movement. GP said I have some form of GERD and after reading a lot online I would guess LPR do to the silent reflux. I will have my first endoscopy with GI on June 9 and I am waiting to see what the outcome will be.  There are a number of things you can do to help yourself while waiting for answers. Not eating or drinking certain foods, if you google it you will get the list, raising the head of your bed 4-8 inches so if you have reflux at night it will not get into your upper respiratory and sinuses.  Try not to eat or drink anything 3 hours before going to bed.  I hope you get things sorted out, I feel for you especially since you are so young. This is a good forum to get lots of information on. You are not alone... There are many of us with the same condition. Keep posting your information. Good luck. 
    • Posted

      Thank you for your reply Cheryl. I will do some research online to see what i can do for myself to make myself more comfortable. I wish you the best of luck as well. The endoscopic procedure is a lot more uncomfortable than the doctors let on. Well, it was for me at least. Take care until then.
    • Posted

      Were you awake for this procedure? I already have my sister lined up to drive me as I know I will be out. 

      I have had this for over twenty years and had no idea what it was, Drs were focusing on autoimmune diseases, For twenty years I thought I was the only person with symptoms like this and just couldn't find an answer, it has only been a couple of months that I have known what I have, so I am a bit overdue for an endoscopy.  Whatever they find or don't find I know exactly what I have, and that is LPR. I have every symptom of this illness.  I'm glad to see it didn't take you as long to get her.

    • Posted

      20 years? wow that is unsettling thinking i might have to live with these symptoms for so long or possibly life. It already interferes with so many of my daily activities. I have another question for you, and that is, along with your symptoms, have you ever experienced any type of painful "cramping" or minimal feeling of swelling in the sides of your neck? 

      But yes i was fully awake for my procedure. I was given an anesthetic to drink and that was supposed to numb my throat. Must have been a joke or something because i pretty much felt everything. And if that was the anesthetic i would be amazed at how terrible it feels without any form of anesthesia.

      The doctor performing my procedure told me that i was probably supposed to be given some form of Vicodin or sleeping medication to help me relax, but my main doctor for whatever reason decided it "was not necessary". So i was nervous and shaky during the whole thing, and experienced constant gagging, vomiting, and could basically feel whatever they were doing in my stomach. I don't want to alarm you but honestly it was probably one of the worst experiences of my short existence and i never want to do it again.

      So i am very glad that you will have the chance to be asleep for your procedure. It is not a comfortable thing to go through while awake. 

    • Posted

      Twenty years, but I had no idea what was wrong and was steered toward autoimmune diseases so the focus stayed there. It was a long time ago but I don't remember having phlegm, mucus, or a lump in my throat at that time. After the initial illness, through the years, I remember at times it was hard to swallow and could follow the food going down my chest, but it always went away and I just attributed it to an autoimmune disease. My main complaints were, breathing problems along with feeling dizzy.

      This past couple of months what I have felt in my neck was a lump and pain on the left side at times and it seemed very hard to swallow, it felt swollen but not sure it was. It was tight and hard to swallow. There was so much going on at that time I can't say for sure if it was actually swollen or just the lump. I was more concerned with nausea and trying to eat and keep food down.

      I am pretty happy to be out for the endoscopy, sorry you had to go through that the way you did. Next time you now know you will want to be out.

    • Posted

      I also have the same symptoms in my life, so you are all far from alone, please Cheryl let us know how you're doing, a glimpse of hope would be great

    • Posted

      Hi, I am doing okay thanks for your interest. I have gotten passed the nausea, globus, and excessive mucus. I still feel the burning in the back of my throat quite often, I do not over eat, I just started to eat foods other than chicken, tuna, and cereal within the past two weeks. Doing pretty good with most of this reflux stuff. My GI and I decided the breathing problems are probably not from acid reflux as the meds have not helped this problem, so it is an ongoing issue with my breathing. I am happy not to feel sick and nauseous all the time. I hope you all are doing good and will try and check in more often. Summer is coming to a close and then I will have more time. Do you take meds to help?
    • Posted

      Did the nausea stop on its own? I'm glad it feels better for you! 20 years sounds like a terribly long time to wait, but for now on my side it's just been different diets trying to find any new allergic reactions, and it wasn't acid reflux either, but nausea is still a big problem. It interrupts plans and friends and makes everything very difficult. I'm wondering if there's anything I can do to stop the nausea but so far no dice

    • Posted

      Hey Salman,

      Please let me know if you come up with a nausea fixer. I know exactly what you mean by it kind of taking over your life. I have reflux and the worst symptom in spite of the PPI that I take daily, is the nausea. the second worse is the lump in the throat sensation. I think the lump is mainly triggered by stress but the nausea I can't figure out. It seems that I suffer from it almost constantly now. Doesn't matter what I eat or if I even eat nothing. I'm so sick (excuse the pun) of it. It definitely has diminished my quality of life. Sometimes I take Gravol to try and relieve it , but it doesn't always work. The drs . more less say it might be something I'll just have to live with and that thought makes it all worse.

    • Posted

      I even have the lump in throat situation, it's like a constant swollen lymph node, but everything you just explained is the exact same. And I definitely don't want to have to "live with it" that just isn't an option, so if I find out how to stop the nausea, you all will be the first to hear about it

    • Posted

      Thanks. I'm looking forward to it lol. I agree that potentially having to put up with this for years and years is definitely not an option.

    • Posted

      Hi Carol, I am so sorry you are also still dealing with this crap. I am not sure either if you tried medication, I do remember you wrote to me on at least one of these sites and it felt so good to be validated when I was so sick. I am not sure if you are one that the meds didn't work for either which is just the worst as you have no reprieve from this hell. I will have to go back and find your story to jog my memory. I hope you can find some help soon. 

    • Posted

      When I first had reflux 20 years ago I didn't know what I had and so there was no medication prescribed and the nausea was there for 4 years and then another 3 off and on. Then it went away and stayed away until this past winter/spring when I over exercised on a treadmill and then got back the nausea again. I had started with a new Dr that knew what the problem was - acid reflux. the silent type. She put me on Omeprazole and the nausea went away within less than an hour, it took many weeks for the rest of the symptoms to subside but they have.

       I also have been on an extremely strict diet eating only chicken, tuna, Total cereal, raisins, skim milk, bananas, watermelon, minimal bread, absolutely no condiments or seasonings other than salt until this past month and now I am trying new foods.

      I am still not clear if you are taking medications to help or just diet or do the meds not work for you?

      After the years of nausea I am willing to take medications to help with this, I know they are not good for us but I couldn't live like that again. It is so awful to feel like you have the flu for years, people just don't understand unless they have lived this one. Nausea and weakness and breathless all at once just leave a person lifeless. I hope you can find an answer or at least some temporary relief from this horrible affliction. No one should have to live like this.   

    • Posted

      Thanks so much Cheryl, and yes I was and still am taking 40 mg daily of Pantrapazole but to no avail.

      I was told by an ER doctor that it may be something I will have to put up with for life. I sure hope not.

    • Posted

      Do you feel the medication is helping at all? At times I would like to get off from this but I don't want to feel crappy again and until I am ready to try it I will just keep taking it. I don't feel things are good enough at this point to try and get off. I was just told by my Dr that I may just have to live with my breathing issue, which I will take over the nausea issue.

       I am taking Pantoprazole also my GI changed it from Omeprazole to Pantoprazole I guess it dosen't have as many side effects?? 

      Do you change your diet? Mine was so strict I wasn't sure I got better from the diet or the meds. It might have been both but I do believe it was the medication at first as the nausea stopped right away. Thank goodness or I would have died from starvation by now. I went from 170 to 135, I have gained back 5 pounds and kind of like being 140. I can now wear skinny jeans stretch of course.

      I do hope you don't have to live like this forever, the feeling of being nauseous all the time is quite draining. 

    • Posted

      I don't think the medication is helping much. As a matter of fact I asked the doc to switch me to the Omeprazole instead and he said the Pantoprazole was the best (maybe less side effects). I did try eliminating the meds a few times in case it was they themselves making me sick ,but there was no difference. I must admit I haven't been following a strict diet of any kind because it seemed no matter what I ate it didn't matter. So i pretty much gave up eating over suffering the nausea in which case like yourself, I lost quite a bit of weight.

    • Posted

      I'm so happy to hear you are doing better and I know exactly what you mean by preferring almost anything to the nausea.I think stress may play a huge part in my case because the few times I'm not feeling nauseous..I sit and stress that it's going to come back in a few hours or whatever the case. So i get sick worrying about getting sick . It's a nightmare that's for sure.

    • Posted

      Have you ever tried medications to prevent or help with nausea? I looked up these meds and found that Benadryl is one of them. I actually take 50mg to sleep. Hmm? I don't like taking this either but if I don't I only sleep <4 hours at a time and so light I can tell you everything that went on during the night. Just a couple of thoughts.

    • Posted

      I just posted a message to Carol and maybe you will read it but if not I asked her and now you if you have ever thought about trying meds to prevent nausea so you are feeling sick all the time. It is just awful for me to feel nauseous all the time. I couldn't eat even water would make me feel sick.

    • Posted

      I've only taken Gravol for the nausea and that's been only the past little while since it's always had a long-lasting tiring effect on me. By long- lasting I mean the whole next day I'm in zombie mode. I imagine Benadryl would do about the same but I will keep it in mind for sure . Just for the record normally I sleep about the same amount as you and I sleep so lightly a pin dropping could wake me up.

    • Posted

      By the way , I've been to Emergency at the hospital on a few occassions when the nausea was so bad plus the vomiting , and they take blood etc etc but for the nausea and vomiting they've always given me a Gravol injection.

    • Posted

      You poor thing, I have never tried anything for nausea but I sure would now if these acid meds didn't work for me. I am past my young years and won't have to worry about medications for future children or anything like that so I would take them if nothing else worked for me. But let me repeat I hate medications and don't want to take anything and I am very reluctant when it comes to meds but nausea leaves me almost bed ridden and I can't eat anything so yes to something that helps this. I only vomited once with reflux issues and that is not on my bucket list anymore. Ha ha! My goodness, you must really get sick from this crap I feel for you. I was so sick but only ran for the biff feeling like I was going to vomit and then just gagged and spit up slobbery mucus. Sorry for the graphic details but seems like we have all been there.


    • Posted

      I've only actually vomited a few times with the reflux as opposed to just gagging, which I've done a lot of . But ya the nausea is just no fun.

      The acid meds don't work so on with the Gravol pills. I just don't want to be taking them 7 days a week is all.

    • Posted

      Hello cheryl06050! I thought it curious that your symtpoms got back the after you over exercised on a treadmill. That was the way I start feeling my LRP symptoms last August, after I over exercised on a treadmill. First I lost some of my appetite, then i felt gagging with a strange felling in my throat. Took antibiotic, prescribed by doctor, but didn't got better. Went to the ENT and he finally diagnosed LRP. Been onNexium 40 for two weeks and restricted diet. Throat is much better and gagging too. Got more appetite, but still not what it was before. Hope to get 100% well.

      Never experienced any breathing problems like you do.

      All this makes us more anxious, and that doesn't help at all.

      Do you have gallbladder or fatty liver issues?

      Do find any relation with your condition and any Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (Iburprofen or naproxen)

      Thank you!

    • Posted

      I'm sitting here googling all these symptoms and came across this link on google, I feel like I've just read practically about myself!! Firstly, thank you for writing that so I know I'm not the only one (makes me feel a tiny better ha) but my symptoms are a little different by I don't have the burning feeling but I don't know what's wrong sad have you been properly diagnosed yet? Are you still experiencing this awful feeling? My symptoms were crazy gagging, I would just be sitting/standing doing nothing and I would keep gagging so intensely I thought I would throw up but never did, driving and yep gagging which is so bad to get when I'm driving, I would be talking & gagging which makes me so embarrassed. I ain't hungry and haven't ate, if I go to have a bite of something as soon as it's in my mouth I spit it back out as I can't stand it on my mouth / can't bring myself to swallow it, the gagging has been ok the last day, touch wood, have probably gagged twice three times defiantly so much better with that side but now I've got really bad tight chest in middle like I wanna perhaps burp but can't even if I full push myself to I can't and if I eventually do it's little and does no justice. I'm so sorry this is long sad hoping you could perhaps help xx

    • Posted

      Hi, Did your problem was treated ? My dad is suffering from the same symptoms. None could diagnose it. Pls help me. Wat kind of treatment you took..
    • Posted

      Hi I know I replying to a comment you made two years ago but I have this sensation that there is a lump in my throat for the past two years or so. And considering I am just a teenager every doctor I’ve seen has said you will grow out of it or it is a dietary issue I am open minded with what might help me.

      I have been on acid reflux medication before because of another issue and it did not help one bit. Whenever I sleep I feel like I will throw up unless I wait at least a hour until my food goes down.

      Can any suggest anything that can help?

    • Posted

      Hi Isabelle, I too have this feeling and got acid reflux pills on Monday from doc, they actualy seem to be helping. Or maybe it’s just in my head and I’m thinking it’s the pills helping. Stress can cause this to happen as I suffer from stress and health anxiety! This has only just started happening and happens more when I’m feeling anxious, afew Times iv felt I’m going to throw up too, or even when I touch my throat I am boking at the thought. Horrible, but I’m hoping it’s going away now..x

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