What causes you to get a lump in your throat and how can you prevent it?

If the lump is stress related and does not involve serious difficulty in swallowing, it is probably just an exaggerated awareness of the epiglottis or spasms of muscles surrounding the throat.

After ruling out physical ailments that can cause the feeling of a lump in the throat, like throat cancer or esophageal reflux, in which some stomach contents are released upward, doctors call the condition globus hystericus.

Globus hystericus can be a small component of a larger set of symptoms that psychiatrists call generalized anxiety disorder, which may require psychiatric treatment or anti-anxiety drugs.

But for such a diagnosis, the sufferer would have multiple, long-lasting symptoms from several of these groups: motor tension ( jumpiness, shakiness); hyperactivity of the autonomic nervous system (sweating, pounding heart, clammy hands, dry mouth, the lump in the throat); apprehensive expectation (fear, rumination, anticipation of misfortune) and vigilance and scanning, with results like distractibility or insomnia.

If you can identify the stress that leads to the lump, and it is something as simple as a sad movie or a glimpse of an old boyfriend or girlfriend, you can probably avoid the sensation by avoiding the source of the stress or finding a better way to deal with stress, like meditation, breathing exercises, or yoga.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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