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Lump or mucus in throat, worse at night, heartburn. GERD symptoms ?

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Internal Medicine Specialist
Practicing since : 1998
Answered : 1579 Questions
i'm 51 12st 4, pretty fit
have had feeling of lump (of mucus?) in throat, mainly on the right on-and-off for about 6 weeks. Worse at night - feeling of mucus trickling down bak of throat. Sometimes goes away (when not thinking too much). Have had heartburn quite a lot too.
Posted Sun, 15 Apr 2012 in GERD
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 8 minutes later

Thanks for posting your query.

The sensation of lump in the throat is called globus hystericus. Globus hystericus is a subjective sensation where people feel a lump in the throat. The most common cause is gastro esophageal reflux disease – GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). It’s diagnosis is by fibroptic laryngoscopy or upper GI endoscopy.

In your case, since you have heart burns and worsening of symptoms at night, hence acid reflux is responsible for these symptoms. It should go away with the right treatment and the following lifestyle measures:

1) Try raising the head of your bed about four inches with blocks.

2) It also might help to avoid eating or drinking for two hours before you lie down. Also avoid taking two or three heavy meals. Instead, take regular frequent small meals. Avoid taking tea or coffee prior to bedtime and concentrate more on a healthy diet.

3) To help control the stomach acid, one should not drink alcohol or drinks with caffeine in them, or eat chocolate or spicy or greasy foods. Further, avoid eating any junk food or oily, spicy food. Take a healthy, balanced and nutritious diet consisting more of fruits, salads, soups and raw vegetables (after proper washing). Also increase the protein content in your diet instead of carbohydrates and fats. An advice from a dietitian will be helpful.

4) Also take some antacid but if the symptoms are severe, then you may need drugs like proton pump inhibitors like omeprazole after consulting your doctor.

Hope this answers your query. If you have additional questions or follow up queries then please do not hesitate in writing to us. I will be happy to answer your queries.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Lump or mucus in throat, worse at night, heartburn. GERD symptoms ? 23 minutes later
thanks for that. Does GERD also explain mucus sensation (and I can see the clear mucus) at the back of throat so have to clear throat frequently (which only makes lump feeling worse)?
Answered by Dr. Jasvinder Singh 36 minutes later

Thanks for writing back.

The mucus sensation at the back of throat and the feeling of having to clear the throat frequently can be due to post nasal drip. Post-nasal drip occurs when excessive mucus is produced by the sinuses. The excess mucus accumulates in the throat or back of the nose. It can be caused by rhinitis, sinusitis, or gastroesophageal acid reflux. It can be enhanced or sometimes even caused by allergies.

Check out with an ENT specialist if you are having chronic rhinitis or sinusitis. Transillumination test and X-Ray or CT sinuses can help in diagnosing it. If allergic rhinitis is the cause then it can be diagnosed by skin prick tests or blood tests like RAST. However in your case it looks more like acid reflux which can be diagnosed by upper GI endoscopy.

Hope this answers your query.

Wishing you good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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