What is Globus Hystericus or Sensation of Lump in Throat?
At times, some people due to certain situations feel as if they have a lump in their throat even though there is nothing like it. This is generally seen during stressful situations like waiting for the results of an examination or a diagnostic test. It is usually seen as a sign of being frightened or scared. This sensation in medical terms is called as Globus Hystericus. It is also know by other names such as Globus Pharyngis, Globus Sensation or Globus.
What Can Cause Globus Hystericus or Sensation of Lump in Throat?
Physicians are not sure as to the exact cause of Globus Hystericus or Sensation of a lump in throat. It is said that this may be due to increased tension in the throat muscles. Sometimes, it may also be caused due to GERD but more often than not this sensation of lump in throat is caused due to anxiety or panic attacks or under stressful situations but may also occur without any emotional stressors. Globus Hystericus or sensation of lump in throat is a benign condition and does not pose any threat to any individual, although there are certain potentially serious conditions which can mimic a globus hystericus or a sensation of lump in throat and can be misinterpreted. Some of the conditions are esophageal spasms, GERD, myotonic dystrophy, or tumors of the neck or chest, although with such conditions the patient will almost always have swallowing difficulty.
What are the Symptoms of Globus Hystericus or Sensation of Lump in Throat?
Globus Hystericus or a sensation of lump in throat is a benign condition and does not have any symptoms unless it is caused due to some potentially serious underlying medical condition. In such circumstances, it is important to know the warning signs which may necessitate a visit to the doctor. Mentioned below are some of the warning signs which if present with sensation of lump in the throat need emergent treatment.
- Neck pain
- Throat pain
- Unintentional weight loss
- Regurgitation of food
- Muscle weakness
- Gradual worsening of symptoms.
How is Globus Hystericus or Sensation of Lump in Throat Diagnosed?
In order to diagnose Globus Hystericus or a sensation of lump in throat, to begin with the treating physician will take a detailed history as to when the patient started to feel the sensation of a lump in the throat. The physician will also inquire about any other associated symptoms along with the sensation of lump in throat like throat pain or dysphagia. After that the physician will perform a detailed physical examination looking for areas of tenderness in the throat or neck region. The physician may also test the strength of the upper extremities to look for areas of weakness suggesting a potential serious underlying medical condition. The physician may also inspect the throat using a scope to look for any signs of any tumors. A swallowing test may also be performed to check whether the patient has any problems with dysphagia. If there are any abnormalities found during physical examination then it would suggest an underlying condition causing symptoms. If the examination is completely normal and the sensation is more out of emotion then no further test is suggested and the diagnosis of Globus Hystericus is confirmed.
What is the Treatment for Globus Hystericus or Sensation of Lump in Throat?
Globus Hystericus or a sensation of lump in throat arising out of anxiety or panic attacks or due to any emotional strife need not be treated, other than emotional support. It resolves as and when the individual becomes calm. Reassurance is all people suffering from Globus Hystericus or a sensation of lump in throat need in such cases and no medication as such is available unless there is underlying depression and anxiety for which an SSRI and an antidepressant may be helpful in relaxing the patient. A referral to a psychiatrist, psychologist or going for grief counseling may also be extremely helpful to get rid of Globus Hystericus or a sensation of lump in throat.