Earlier this year, I published a blog post on the sensation of having a lump in the throat when you feel anxious. It’s called globus pharyngeus which is defined as “the painless sensation of a lump in the throat and may be described as a foreign body sensation, a tightening or choking feeling.”
Globus means globe/sphere and it can actually feel like you have a golf-ball sized object in your throat. It’s very uncomfortable and quite terrifying outside of the anxiety that is often the trigger. I share my lump-in-the-throat story and my success with GABA in this blog: Anxiety and globus pharyngeus (lump in the throat): GABA to the rescue?
Pam recently shared her wonderful success with GABA on the above blog, after having dealt with what she calls “her throat thing” for 40 years!
I have dealt with this throat thing since I was a teenager. I’m now 57. It was only when I saw what you wrote about how yours came back after a scary airplane incident that I made the connection that GABA could help me. I saw that in the summer of 2019, so I spent about 40 years dealing with this until I found the GABA answer!
Mine comes up when speaking in front of others, such as work meetings, or even just one-on-one work discussions, and it was getting consistently worse. I would be swallowing constantly and trying to talk. Absolutely awful. Of course everyone could see it happening.
GABA solved this for me, and I can’t even describe how grateful I am!
How wonderful are these results! I am so happy for her and thanked her for coming back and sharing in the comments. I also asked some follow-up questions so I can continue to learn and so I can share so you get to learn too:
- How much GABA helps and how do you take it (when you know you’ll be in this situation or a few times a day to get your levels up)?
- Did you ever use a prescribed medication or were recommended something?
- Have you seen any other benefits from using GABA – improved sleep, reduced anxiety in other situations, reduced cravings?
- Have you made other changes too – like dietary changes such as gluten/sugar/caffeine/alcohol removal?
She shared this about timing and how GABA helps with anxiety-related physical/muscle tension and nervousness:
I take GABA Calm … one upon waking, 1 mid-morning, and 1 mid- afternoon. I take an extra one right at the time of a meeting.
That is the only change I made. I’ve never been on any prescription medication.
Other than the specific throat issue, I notice I’m generally less physically tense, with muscles not getting so knotted up in my face, scalp, neck, shoulders, and back, which is wonderful.
I work at a computer job, which causes lots of muscle tension, but I feel that anxiety-related muscle tension has reduced.
I notice that my muscles have less of that “immediate tightness” upon seeing someone whom I’m nervous to interact with.
This timing and dosage of GABA Calm is typically what I use with clients and what works so it was great to hear that it’s working for her. I was also so pleased to hear the anxiety-related muscle tension and nervousness has reduced too. This is also to be expected.
I did remind her to keep in mind that the amino acids are intended for short-term use. This could be a few weeks up to 6-12 months depending on each person. While using the GABA, I have my clients start to address all the dietary changes, gut health, nutritional deficiencies (zinc and B6 are needed to make neurotransmitters and key with pyroluria), toxin exposure (like BPA, phthalates, pesticides, fluoride etc), infections (like Lyme and co-infections, parasites, PANDAS/PANS) etc. and everything else that may be causing low GABA levels (as we covered in The Anxiety Summit 6).
Vagus nerve support is also key. I cover what I did for my vagus nerve in this blog that Pam referred to: Vagus nerve rehab with GABA, breathing, humming, gargling and key nutrients
Globus pharyngeus or this sensation of the-lump-in-the throat is way more common than most people realize and mainstream medicine seldom has a solution. Medications that are commonly prescribed for globus pharyngeus are benzodiazepines, antidepressants/SSRIs and sometimes PPIs/proton pump inhibitors. Cognitive behavior therapy has some success in some instances but it’s always best to get to the root cause of low GABA and address that with the amino acid GABA. And then figure out why GABA is low and address that too.
If you’re new to the amino acids here is a quick summary about GABA: low levels of GABA, a calming neurotransmitter can lead to anxiety, fears and panic attacks. With low GABA, the anxiety is a physical kind of anxiety with muscle tension or muscle spasms. I propose that low GABA may be one possible root cause of globus pharyngeus.
I appreciate Pam for sharing her story and I’m sharing it here in order to give you practical solutions and hope. If she can find a solution to her 40-year the-lump-in-the throat and physical tension issues then anything is possible.
Please also share your lump-in-the-throat story and what has helped you. Or if you’re a practitioner, do share how you have helped your clients/patients who experienced this sensation.
Feel free to post your questions here too.