That lump feeling in your throat sometimes isn’t just a feeling; it could be cancer, acid reflux, anxiety and not so surprisingly, low or underactive thyroid.
“When the thyroid gland is not producing enough thyroid hormone, it is called hypothyroidism,” says Gene Liu, MD, MMM, President, Chair, Department of Surgery; Chief, Division of Otolaryngology, Cedars-Sinai Medical Group.
“Patients who are hypothyroid can have a feeling of a lump on the throat, or globus sensation about a third of the time, and is highly dependent on the reason for the hypothyroidism,” continues Dr. Liu.
“Many hypothyroid patients have underlying inflammation from autoimmune thyroid disease, post-viral episodes or other types of thyroiditis. And this inflammation in the neck can cause the globus sensation.”
How well your thyroid is functioning can be determined by a blood test. If you have an underactive thyroid gland, this does not always mean weight gain.
In fact, low thyroid can cause a menagerie of symptoms that most people would never associate with poor function of this so-called master gland.
Yes, it can cause some weight gain, but often, there is none. Instead, an affected individual might have a completely different batch of symptoms other than the ones that get the most media attention, which are weight gain, hair loss or thinning hair, feeling cold when nobody else does and fatigue.
Other Symptoms of Low Thyroid
• Depression (which may lead to appetite loss)
• Dry skin
• Hoarse voice
• Joint swelling
• Memory impairment
• Stiff aching muscles
Where does cancer (laryngeal and pharyngeal) rank as a possible cause for a lumpy sensation in the throat?
It’s way down there. Cancer that affects the throat is rare, even among those with the leading risk factor: smoking.
Anxiety so often causes a feeling of a lump that “lump in my throat” is part of the English vernacular when referring to anxiety or nervousness.
If low thyroid is making you feel that there is a lump in your throat, chances are very high that you have a few of the above symptoms.
Do not delay seeing a doctor. If untreated, this autoimmune disease can become life threatening.
Dr. Liu’s clinical areas of focus cover a broad range including surgery of the head and neck, sinuses and thyroid, and disorders of the ears, salivary glands and vocal cords.
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.