Anxiety Symptom: Difficulty Swallowing

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Sometimes emotional distress, such as anxiety, can lead to difficulty swallowing or the fear of choking. Most people might take swallowing for granted, but for some who suffer with anxiety, difficulty swallowing makes every meal a challenge. It may leave you feeling like you are choking, or feeling like there's a lump, or something stuck in the throat. Difficulty swallowing may take more time and effort to move food or liquid from your mouth to your stomach. In some cases, you may not be able to swallow at all.

The causes of swallowing difficulties vary, and treatments depend upon the cause. In some cases, the condition can be partially or completely corrected. Swallowing difficulties are definitely something that needs to be discussed with your health care professional. Often difficulty swallowing isn't cause for concern, and may occur only when you don't chew your food good enough, or you eat to fast.

There are many muscles and nerves that affect the functions of these parts. Much of the act of swallowing is under your control. However, most of swallowing is involuntary. Often, symptoms such as chest pain, food stuck in the throat, or heaviness are the result of difficulty swallowing.

There are several causes of swallowing difficulty:

Usually problems related to the upper areas of the mouth and throat include:

  • Emotional or Anxiety Disorders
  • Tumors
  • Esophageal Webs
  • Cervical Spine Disease

Nerve and muscle problems such as:

  • Stroke
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Infections, Such as Polio and Syphilis Polymyositis

It can be caused by an anatomical, nervous, or a muscle problem. The cause may or may not be serious. Further examination is usually needed to determine the exact cause. Choking, or feeling like there's a lump or something stuck in the throat is definitely something that needs to be discussed with your health care professional.

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