Is the anxiety from the reflux, or the reflux from the anxiety (tight breathing sensation)?

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New Member

Date Joined Sep 2013
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 9/3/2013 12:05 AM (GMT -6)   
Hey everyone, I'm new here, it was tough for me to decide whether to put this in Anxiety or Reflux forum, but I think this is the right choice. I have been doing some research and felt that maybe some people here would have some insight or similiar experiences to mine.

I have an issue where my throat seems to have a pretty constant supply of mucus and I'm persistently burping air throughout the day trying to release tension in my lower neck/chest. I have a tight feeling in my esophagus, and this gives the sensation that I am not breathing fully and feels tight exhaling. Sometimes, I can feel the food come back up briefly in my mouth. The truth is, I definitely am breathing fine despite what it feels like (I can inhale and exhale deeply with clean lungs according to X-ray and no wheezing at any point during the sensation), but it creates an anxiety when it is bad because it's so noticeable.

I have no pain or other uncomfortable symptoms besides the tightness and burping. No bloating, no chest pain or classic heartburn stuff, etc. I exercise, eat healthy, sleep lots, etc.

My ENT thinks it is anxiety, and my GP wants to treat it with SSRI pills/anti-depressants. I realize this is common for people. In my case though, the physical symptoms came before the anxiety. Even when I have absolutely no anxiety, I still have the issue with burping/mucus/breathing sensations, and that seems weird to me. I will be perfectly calm and working or running errands and experience this issue daily, so I am quite hesitant on taking a pill such as Zoloft that affects the brain for something that isn't an issue at times I am not experiencing any anxiety or panic. If anything, anxiety comes strictly from the breathing sensation, not the other way around. However, due to being more anxious, I now deal with anxiety in other situations.

That being said, I was given Xanax to try and take as needed, and although yes, the pill can calm the mind, it did nothing for the reflux/breathing problems, which seems to indicate to me that they are not coming from anxiety...?

I have tried Prilosec and Prevacid which didn't seem to do much of anything, as well as Zantac 150. I never really stuck them out for over 2 weeks though, I was thinking they should work within that timeline. I also tried Gas-X for the air trapped with no luck and Mucinex didn't change much either.... They did give me a barium swallow that came out okay, but I didn't do an endoscopy.

I guess my question is, has anyone experienced GERD or acid reflux symptoms due to anxiety, and did those symptoms continue throughout every day constantly, and not just when anxious? Have you found that the GERD/reflux was the foundation for the anxiety, and that treating the GERD helped everything, or vice versa? Perhaps treating the anxiety cured the reflux symptoms instead?

It is clear that food is actually coming up in the esophagus since I can feel/taste it (meaning it isn't all in my head), and also clear that I am burping constantly, yet I seem to have no other signs of reflux and the reflux medications I tried don't seem to be helping.

Hope this wasn't too long!

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 9/3/2013 7:47 PM (GMT -6)   
I have fought this battle with my doctors... The battle is still ongoing. My main reason to think it's not anxiety is when it happens... After a sharp blast of grass, a change in temperature, eating something very acidic and waking up in the middle of night not being able to breathe because Freddy krueger is strangling me... I say that because I usually become aware that I'm choking in my dreams...then I wake up and it's my choking problem is real.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2012
Total Posts : 541
   Posted 9/3/2013 7:48 PM (GMT -6)   
I'd say find your triggers and know for yourself. Doctors don't like stubborn patients... they like compliant patients they can treat. Right? Nobody likes a hard day at work... same goes for doctors.
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