Waking up choking and throat spasms PLEASE HELP

Do you suffer from night choking
Yes mainly on acid - 0.0%
Yes exactly as you describe with throat spasms - 0.0%
Yes on burps - 0.0%
Not at all - 0.0%

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New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 16
   Posted 1/9/2014 3:02 PM (GMT -6)   
about a week ago my partner made a sunday lunch and we only ended up eating it at 9pm. The plate was piled high and I really wolfed it down. Later that night when I was asleep I woke suddenly choking on something and instantly thought I had swallowed something in my sleep. I noticed a funny quivering spasm in the front of my throat near my thyroid. I ran to the bathroom and drank some water and felt this hard lump going down slowly. Eventually it was gone and I managed to get some sleep.

I saw my GP the next day and he diagnosed GERD and gave me lansoprozole. It made things slightly better as the nightly waking up choking was me choking on a massive violent burp and this went on for the next 5 nights.

Last night I couldn't find my lansoprozole so I went to bed without any.

Last night was the worst. I woke up choking and ran to the bathroom to get a drink to clear this lump blocking my throat. But it felt like my throat went into spasm with the water and it would throw it back out of my mouth. I wondered if I had rabies (I live in the UK by the way) because my throat just rejected the water.

I then put my fingers down my throat to dislodge the lump and felt a smooth hard flap of skin at the base of my tongue what I know now is my epiglottis. I really thought I had swallowed something in my sleep.

I rushed to a and e where they had me wait for 3 hours, asked me to take liquid painkillers which number one I told them I wasn't in pain and number two my throat wouldn't allow me to drink from my bottled water so how could I take the sticky liquid?

They were talking to me like a child, asking do I regularly stick my fingers down my throat I said no I did tonight because I was choking! They said it is probably just anxiety and to wait to be seen. Obviously by the time I saw the doctor she asked me to take a drink and it went down.

She looked down my throat fully by asking me to put my head back and really pushing one of the lolly sticks down but she said she couldn't see anything and to just see my GP.

I asked what was the thing I could feel (and pincer with my fingers) and she said I had probably swallowed a bug in my sleep rolleyes

As a doctor she should know that the thing I was feeling was my epiglottis. Good old dr google helped more than a qualified doctor and thats saying something.

I keep finding that this is all down to GERD. I had no idea GERD could make you feel so ill. My GP today has referred me for an endoscopy but I have to wait two weeks. Today my throat feels sore and swollen and I have difficulty swallowing and can't swallow food. I am so exhausted by the lack of sleep that I keep nodding off and instantly waking with this choking blocked throat.

Does anyone else have any experience of night choking?

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7188
   Posted 1/9/2014 4:40 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi Kay,
Welcome to Healing Well! You're definitely in the right place. There are quite a few members here who've experienced choking on reflux at night.

Actually nighttime is the most likely time to reflux, as lying flat doesn't allow gravity to aid in keeping acid in the stomach where it belongs.

There are several lifestyle actions you can take to help reduce symptoms. If you just Google "GERD lifestyle changes", you will get lots of great information. Here's one link:

Elevating the head of your bed 7-8" by putting blocks or bed risers under the legs is a great first step. If your bed set-up doesn't allow that, you can buy a large wedge that extends from your head through your hip. This will help keep acid in your stomach. Also, wait at least 3 hours after eating before lying down.

Sorry your suffering with this. It's not fun, I know.
I'm glad you've made an appointment to follow up!
Again, glad you've joined us!
Best wishes,

GERD/Heartburn Moderator
Nissen Fundoplication 2/09

"Whatever you fight, you strengthen, and what you resist, persists.”

“Worry pretends to be necessary but serves no useful purpose”

“Accept - then act. Whatever the present moment contains, accept it as if you had chosen it. Always work with it, not against it.”
Eckhart Tolle

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2013
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 1/9/2014 11:37 PM (GMT -6)   
I wake up really dry mouth a lot. jus get up and drink some water
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