choking from acid reflux

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New Member

Date Joined Oct 2005
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/11/2005 5:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone ever choked from having a spasm due to acid reflux?

vanessa 418
Regular Member

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 84
   Posted 10/12/2005 1:56 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Lora, I used to wake up regularly coughing and choking from the acid creeping into my lungs while lay down. Also in the past I have had terrible pain in my sinuses from the acid and bad sore throats. As I have said in other posts I am trying the low carb approach and it seems to be working for me. Please tell us more about yourself. Take care, Vanessa

Tracy Oz
New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 11/8/2005 8:39 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Lora,

I regularly have a coughing fit that causes me to choke.  It's very embarassing when it happens and is quite frightening too when I can't get my breath. Feels a bit like when your swimming and you swallow some water.  I have just moved countries and am about to go back to the doctor and hope I can resolve the problem which I have had for 3 and half years.


Do you have other symptoms?

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 489
   Posted 11/15/2005 6:04 PM (GMT -7)   

  Hi Lora---I'm new here (From "Bipolar")----but---a few weeks ago, woke up in middle of nite choking, coughing, felt like my throat was closing up!!!   Ran into my wife's room & tried to gesture to call 911.     Finally, it cleared up.   Thought i was gonna DIE!!!    Next day--went to see my ENT Dr.  He said, I probably had a spasm of larnyx due to acid reflux .   I take Protonix.    So GLAD i found this "forum" (GERD)----Gosh---i didn't know what the heck it was!!!

   Tell me---right before my "attack"---I took a swig of lemon/water, i keep by my bed.   But, I did NOT drink---sitting up.   I think the water came up during reflux---& i woke up FELT LIKE I WAS DROWNING!!! sad     

  Anyone else EVER have anytging like this???   My ENT Dr. said to take an extra protonix pill.   I CANNOT sleep with elevated pillow.

   Anyway---again---so GLAD i found this!!!  PLEASE---get back with anything similar----ANY suggestions??? Thanks---Robert

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 5
   Posted 1/12/2006 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   

I’m not sure that what you describe is the same as mine but here goes:

The very frightening choking was my first symptom after several months of coughing. I had it intermittently for about two weeks until I learned the trick of exhaling. I had spasms that came on suddenly so that I could not catch my breath. My instinct was to stay very very calm and inhale. Wrong! The solution is to concentrate on exhaling. I forget the exact mechanism (I’m sure its on the links) but the vocal cords get going the wrong way blocking the air passage. Exhaling gets them back into the correct position. But don’t worry about dying of this, you would pass out first and breathing would automatically restart.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/21/2006 9:51 AM (GMT -7)   


 I'm new to this, but as I look through I feel a little better knowing my father isn't the only one suffering from this. My father has had reflux issues for many years. He had a fundoplication (not sure on the spelling) 4 years back and has been taking Nexium for a few years.

All of a sudden, last week, he woke up at 5am with a choking sensation.  Its ridiculously scary, and has happend 3 times since.  My mom freaks out, so I'm the only one really there to help. Anyone have an idea of whats going on? We have been to the doctor, but the extra nexium and low carb diet only work so much.


It only happens early in the morning, and only describes it as if he's choking. Please help.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 629
   Posted 9/21/2006 11:44 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi and welcome to hw... I use to do that alot before I was diagnosed and now I just do it ever once in awhile depending on what I eat..
29 y/o Female Diagnosed with Crohn's October 2005 (symptoms for as long as I can remember) & Gerd 1996 Currently taking - 6mp 50mg per day, Pentasa 1000mg 2x per day, Remicade every 8 weeks (but need it sooner), Tramadol prn, Phenergan prn, Nexium, Prozac, Nordette, Multi-Vit, and Digestive Advantage for IBD.

"What doesn't kill us - sometimes drop kicks us into a new and better place - a place we mightn't have gotten to any other way." - Unknown

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/4/2006 8:05 AM (GMT -7)   
I don't know if acid reflux just happens or if you have it all along and it gets progressively worse until you notice it, but I never really noticed mine until later November... the day before Thanksgiving to be exact. I'm a singer - I used to enjoy having a few drinks when I went out and singing a few songs, but then one day last November my throat was very scratchy by the end of the night. The next day I had completely lost my voice!

I went to a throat specialist who found nodules on my vocal chords and determined that it was caused by acid reflux. He prescribed Prilosec - but I'm already on medication for IBS, birth control, rosacia (yeah, I'm 29 and I'm falling apart) and I can barely afford THOSE prescriptions. So I bought OTC Ranitidine (generic form of Prilosec). I use it inconsistently because I don't want to run out and have to buy more so of course I'm sure it's not working as well as it should. Anyway, I went through MONTHS of vocal therapy, stopped drinking alcoholic beverages before and while I sing (generally diminished my intake all around), and stopped eating the spicy foods that I love... then a few days ago it seemed like I was catching a bit of a cold. Last night when I got into bed this burst of reflux literally shot up into my throat and I couldn't stop coughing! That was new and frightening!

Lately it just seems like the reflux is getting out of control - I have friends who take Nexium and they swear by it but there's no way in hell I can afford that. I know that if I just take a good medication and radically change my diet I'll do much better, but it's overwhelming! I LOVE food - this is a nightmare for an Irish/Italian girl like me! Anyway, I just wanted to whine for a minute - now I have to go back to work!

New Member

Date Joined Oct 2006
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 10/24/2006 4:55 PM (GMT -7)   

You may want to know  that Ranitidine is not a generic Prilosec.  I believe it's Tagamet and they are not the same drugs, nor do they work alike.


Best wishes,

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 151
   Posted 10/25/2006 2:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Ranitidine is generic for Zantac.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 62
   Posted 11/6/2006 11:20 AM (GMT -7)   
I'm glad I'm not the only one who has this happen. I was beginning to wonder about it. It's worse in the morning when I wake up. Sometimes it happens randomly throughout the day for no reason, and some days nothing happens. I've noticed it can happen while I'm exercising, too, so I have to be careful of what I'm doing. No more sit-ups for a while! I also notice if I get really upset about something I'll start coughing/choking right away. This is nutz.

New Member

Date Joined Feb 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 2/2/2007 4:14 PM (GMT -7)   
How does one get his voice back from GERDs my voice has been hoarse for sometime now. I have gone to the Doctor and he said I should get better but, I'ts been several months. I do take Nexium and my acid reflux isn't that bad. However, it will get bad at night if I eat too much. I'm suppose to get scoped again on March 8th, but I would like to find out if I have damaged my vocal cords for good. I also heard that this can cause cancer if I do not get it under control. Any advice would be helpfull. 50 and not getting any younger.

New Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 7/26/2007 1:45 AM (GMT -7)   
This is so irritating on my early stage of acid reflux bout a year ago I just notice that theres a sensation of choking like a finger being pushed toward my lower throat and so I went to a EENT doctor and said it was acid reflux gave me medications took it and its gone but after months it came n went until I got hospitalize for 3 days bec. one night i had difficulty breathing and then they checked my blood and found out that my uric acid is above normal. my question is uric acid an effect of acid reflux or the other way around?

2. the choking sensation is what irritates me the most and taking nexium, antacids, proton inhibitors only cures me temporarily.

3. is there any alternative medicines available for complete cure of acid reflux w/less side effects and natural healing processs.

4.Im into body building and from my experience the choking sensation wrosen so i excercise less but i read an article that acid reflux is also caused by lack of exercise like folks who are coach potatoes.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Dec 2006
Total Posts : 722
   Posted 7/27/2007 10:23 AM (GMT -7)   
I always feel like I am choking.  And I am sad that doctors don't help, at all!! :(

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/5/2008 2:57 PM (GMT -7)   
I also use to have choking in the night or just choke on siliva which was embarrassing to say the least. After all tests including an EGG it was found that in addition to Gerds I had Gastroperesis and that was really causing all the trouble. I do not eat after 5 PM if possible and small frequent meals during the day. After three years on Aciphex and Erthromycin (baby dosage) I can sleep with no reflux which I thought would burn my whole throat out! Everything is healing as long as I watch my food. One learns very quickly what you can eat without reflux. But it took a long long time to get to this point. My doctor also has this and she's looks like a different person after 4 years. Many times she had her husband take her to the hospital thinking that she too was having a heart attack even though she's young. She finally had to go to specialists at a well known hospital to finally get the right diagnoses. I'm fortunate that she does have this and I can follow her guide. Many doctors just think that it's reflux and only treat that which never gets better. Gastoperesis is simply put, you can't digest your food at regular speed. That last sphincter won't open at the right time. Undigested food causes gas and reflux and later can cause cancer. Since two of my relatives died from stomach cancer I think I'm happy to be born now. I hope that this can be some help to some of you that are suffering. The aciphex that I take is gosh awful high in price but it is the only thing that has worked for me. ps Don't believe the snakeoil treatment of drinking vinegar or lemon'll be really sorry.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2007
Total Posts : 1345
   Posted 1/5/2008 5:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi there putoutthefire, and welcome to HEALINGWELL. Thank you for giving your input. Feel free to look around at old posts, and get information, along with asking any questions you may have. Also, if you feel you can help someone out, please, feel free to answer other peoples questions as well.

I am happy you have found us...this is a GREAT place for information and support! Stick with us!
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New Member

Date Joined Aug 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 8/10/2008 9:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I am glad to find these posts, it helps me to know what has caused my incident. Clearly, judging from everyone's posts, GERD is a cause of this phenomenon. I have had this problem at times but this morning was the worst thus far. I woke up unable to breathe and I jumped up and bit my finger very hard for some reason. I then tried to gasp for air but could not figure out how to breathe until I started to gag and almost vomit. Then I was able to catch my breath but it was a horrible feeling! I suppose if it is from Acid Reflux, I should pay attention to how and when I take my medication. I take Prilosec but do not take it daily as suggested. I take it only when I feel symptoms because I don't want to blow out my kidneys or something from excessive drug usage. This might have just been from being thirsty or maybe it was from the acid creeping up to my throat in my sleep. Whatever it was, I got real scared and don't want to feel that again! Good luck to all.

New Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 9/26/2008 1:30 PM (GMT -7)   
nono  WOW, am I glad I found you!!! I have just had my second Paramedics ride to the hospital for this choking last night!!!!
I have asthma, and heartburn.  I guess the asthma makes the incident worse. 
Tell me, do you have this loud sound when you inhale?? during the choking episode? 
the first trip to the ER the Dr just called it asthma, but the paramedics said there was no sound of wheezing, not even any air moving in or out.  this second visit, the paramedics said even though i was felt like i wasn't able to breath at alllllll, except this loud inhalation,my skin was pink and even red, not blue.  the oxygen monitor even said i was getting plenty of oxygen.  finally at the end of the er visit the doctor said it was a laryngeal spasm. he said because i was lying down and i had had some hearth burn symptoms, it was probably acid reflux. 
 I looked up Laryngeospasm and read a lot from the scuba divers, and white water rafters, who say even one drop of cold water on your larynx can cause it to spasm. it's a protective mechanism to keep you from taking water into your lungs.  they say once you get the face out of the water, and maybe blow into the victims face, the body knows that water is not a threat, and it will relax the larynx.  another couple of swimmers wrote that you've got to be real calm- even says that's so hard to do, and breath in thru the nose and out thru the mouth.  I guess if you black out from it, while in the water, you drown if not helped.  Or some one mentioned poor heart rhythms from the shock, and death. 
Can any one confirm that breathing thru the nose etc, can help??? or blowing into the face, ?? or that once you black out, the spasm subsides, and you can breath alright again???  first thing this morning believe me I started on the pills for GERD. nono

Elite Member

Date Joined Jan 2005
Total Posts : 24909
   Posted 9/26/2008 3:59 PM (GMT -7)   
I have also had severe choking spells and with it vomit hit my throat and it is the scariest thing to happen
'Does feel like you may choke to death in sleep for me anyways especially with the vomit
I am so sorry all have to have this horris DD

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 11/23/2008 9:59 AM (GMT -7)   
wow i actually thought i was the only one having this problem, ive had these attacks since i was a little boy but it went away for awhile until it came back not as severely though until one night about two weeks ago i was sleeping and i awoke to one of the most scariest things, i was choking on the acid that came back through my mouth it also went in through my nose i was almost crying because i could not breathe it was the most horrible taste that has ever been in my throat and nasal.i couldn't get the taste out i was spitting orange fluid out.that last time i could remember something like that was when i was a kid when i woke up and turned over and this burning orange fluid (i dont know if it was mixed with blood) came running down my nose it was so painful and bad i dont ever want to go back through those episodes again.

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 8
   Posted 11/23/2008 5:55 PM (GMT -7)   
i have had several of these episodes over the years, the ent says they are laryngospasms and the only way to stop them is to calm down and the airway will release. worse case scenario you will pass out and the airway will open :( ive had them while i was drinking water so now i am very careful when i drink water and i only drink luke warm water and i take 2 prevacid day which are beginning not to help. i also take tums if i need them. since ive been on two pills i dont get these episodes but sometimes i feel like i might and i was told by a speech pathologist that if it starts to feel like my throat may close to breathe in thru the nose and exhale thru the mouth hissing like a snake while breathing out thru the this at least 5 times in a row as it keeps positive airway pressure in the vocal cords so they dont close. it has helped me avert a few attacks.

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Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 11/23/2008 6:53 PM (GMT -7)   


Welcome to HealingWell.  I am glad you found us and you will find the members warm and caring and very knowledgeable.

I have woke up with the coughing spells but once the coughing spells stopped I was ok.

I do wake up with regurge and that is nasty.  It is like you vomit in your sleep and you cough on it...............I always turn on my side so I do not aspirate the contents into my lungs.

I do sleep on a bed with the head raised and I take prilosec.

I think you may need to revisit your physician if you have this happen frequently.

Again a warm welcome



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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 230
   Posted 11/23/2008 8:58 PM (GMT -7)   
I have those problems also. I have woken up in the middle of the night with my throat on fire. I felt like I could not get my breath. I knew to head straight to the bathroom because I would soon be throwing up stomah acid. I would have to fight to get my breath. The first time it happened it scared the heck out of me. The only thing that would help was Gaviscon. It used to work very fast for me at first, but now it does very little. When I have an attack I have to sleep in a half sitting/ half laying position (about a 45 degree angle) Then I just have to wait it out sometimes it passes in 15-20 minutes other times it lasts several hours.

If you keep having these symptom frequently talk to a doctor. Keep track of your symtoms when you have them and what you eat. I understand what you are going through and is no fun.

Take care of yourself

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2008
Total Posts : 1037
   Posted 12/3/2008 8:50 AM (GMT -7)   
idea  Hi, I guess I'm a forum jumper....ha ha.  No, I usually can be found at the Chronic Pain site....But since I have GERD also I thought I'd check it out....
Several years ago I had one of those 24 hr. PH tests done...That was as much fun as having a stick poked through my eye..Somehow the tube that was in my nose came out with a big knot in the wonder it hurt every time I swallowed...  Anyway, after having the colonoscopy and endoscopy done the Dr. said that my lower esophageal sphincter didn't work and I had a Hiadel hernia (sp).  They said something about a stomach wrap surgery??? And they removed 3 polyps while they were in there.
I wake up at least 4 times a week choking, gasping for air, and swallowing over and over again until it subsides....I have never been so scared.  I thought I was dying.
Has anyone heard of this stomach wrap stuff?  Any info would be great..
Edit:  Hey there, I started you a thread  of your own .  Just look for a topic with your name in it.

Post Edited By Moderator (stkitt) : 7/20/2009 7:33:34 AM (GMT-6)

Southern Star
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2008
Total Posts : 38
   Posted 12/3/2008 4:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi uniquelyme. That is called a laproscopic nissen fundoplication. I had this surgery in Aug. together with a hiatal hernia repair. What the dr. did actually was pull my stomach out of my esophagus, sew my esophagus tighter at the bottom, then wrap my stomach around my esophagus and sew it to keep it there. My surgery went very well. My surgeon actually said mine went the best of any nissen he'd ever done and he's done well over 300 already. Now I'm having some pain in my upper left abdomon that they can't figure out. I am waiting on ct results right now. I had that yesterday. But I definitely would do the nissen over again if I ever need it. I'm 27 so I guess we'll see how long it lasts for me. They say it lasts 10 to 15 yrs. So I guess only time will tell how long mine lasts. Good luck to you.
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