I found out that I have a small hiatal hernia a little over a month ago. I've done a lot of research on this subject and found that quite a few people are estimated to have a hiatal hernia. However, most people never know they have one because they do not experience symptoms. Lucky us, right? Like you, I have the lump in throat feeling, but I also have pressure in my abdomen and burping, regardless of what I eat or drink. I've also noticed some difficulty swallowing liquids. My GP put me on Prilosec (20mg- the OTC doseage) for a month and a half. It did absolutley nothing; in fact, I think it made things worse. This is my 4th day on Nexium, and I seem to be doing better with it. The symptoms aren't gone, but I hear this takes a while, especially if you have damage to the throat; it is more delicate than the esophagus, so it takes longer to heal.
I've done the same things as you- elevated the bed 6" and changed my diet. Didn't work on its own, or with the Prilosec OTC.
My doctor told me the best thing I can do is lose weight. Right now I'm about 8 lbs overweight, so I'm hoping that getting in a healthy BMI range will ease or maybe eliminate these symptoms. I've read that this has worked for others.
I'm only 25, and I don't want to deal with this for the rest of my life. I would love to have the Linx surgery that just got approved by the FDA, so I plan to see a GI doc to discuss this option.
Did all of this come seemingly out of nowhere for you?