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Thick mucus causing gagging

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Diagnosis? This is an effort to be as concise as possible so nothing gets left out as any of these symptoms may indicate what this might be. First of all I have been trying to seek a diagnosis for this chronic condition for many years. I feel that I have been misdiagnosed in the past because nothing has yielded any results. I feel it is time to search the less common possibilities of what it might be (autoimmune) etc. I eventually stopped seeking treatment for this because I would reach road blocks everywhere I went. Doctors would be stumped and pass me on to the next doctor or specialist and each one came up with nothing. Following through just kept coming around full circle with nothing to show for it. All of this has killed my hope for ever having a normal life. I need someone to follow up and work with me to help me figure out what this is.
Ever since I can remember I have had very thick and slippery saliva with an elastic consistency. I have never been able to eat breakfast because it is so bad in the morning that if I eat anything I will vomit. As a child I wouldn’t even be able to eat until I got home from school. I would often have to go to the nurse’s office because I felt like I was going to throw up. They thought this was stomach related because that is the reason most people have the urge to throw up. But my problem has always been the gagging sensation caused by the consistency of my saliva that coats the back of my throat, esophagus, and uvula making me have a constant gagging sensation that I am unable to stop. Because of this involuntary reflex during these episodes it becomes very difficult to breathe and I find myself gasping for breathes any chance I get between gags (this feels very similar to choking on food). I have had to call 4 ambulances and been to the emergency room numerous times and have also passed out from not being able to breathe. Around December of 2005 (age 21 at the time) it has become a lot worse and as a result to all of the trauma associated with this I now have constant anxiety/panic attacks throughout the day that exacerbate this condition and I am unable to work or leave the house. I was forced to quit my job in Minneapolis and moved back to home so my family could take care of me. I had lost around 50 pounds in 1 months time (went from 200lbs to 150lbs) because I was unable to swallow food without causing an episode so I was unable to eat more than a few crackers a day (if that). On top of that I can only breathe out of one nostril barely and only a small amount of air can pass through like a tiny straw due to a deviated septum. It takes me 10 to 15 seconds to get one full breathe from it so when my air passages become obstructed from this I have no back up. I have had a Septoplasty surgery to try to relieve this and it didn’t help.

Medications: Ativan, Singulair, Rhinocort, Zertec, Astelin, Albuterol, Numerous different courses of Antibiotics, Sinus irrigation with Neti Pot.
Symptoms: Excessive thick saliva/mucus (clear in color) throughout sinus/throat/mouth, Choking/Gagging sensation, Thick post nasal drip (constantly clearing my throat), Panic/Anxiety attacks, Painful cysts/pimples all over body (seems to be worse on scalp, chest, back, and upper arms).
Tests done: Barium Swallow Test (2006), Allergy Skin Test (2006), Breathing Test (2006), X-ray of chest (2006), CT Scan of chest and throat (2006), Septoplasty Surgery (in 2003),
Test Results: (Barium Swallow Test) came back fine. It showed that I have a lot of trouble swallowing but no obstructions or irregularities. (Allergy Skin Test) came back with strong allergies to tree and grass pollen. (Breathing Test) came back Normal. (X-ray and CT scan) both came back normal.
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First Helper XylemSci
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replied August 22nd, 2010
Could this be a problem with your salivary glands maybe? Is there something on the market that can thin that out?

I feel like I'm not being very helpful. I'm so sorry for what you're going through. I've been combing these forums because I have a thickness feeling in the back of my throat that is causing me to gag or want to gag every single day. I've already suffered from anxiety problems my whole life and that seems to be exacerbating it.

I hope you can find a solution!
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replied November 20th, 2011
Hi Chrisgrahams, Im sorry to read that you have had such issues with your condition. I too have become a long term sufferer of a simular condition. Specifically five years ago I started getting excesive mucus build up at the back of my nose and throat. I am unable to blow the mucus through my nose (i also have a deviated septum) and I am unable to swollow it. The presence of the mucus constantly gives me the gagging reflex and when I do gag it still does not shift it. I find that I mainly have issues when I wake up in the morning (cant eat breakfast) and after about 2-4 hours it tends to pass. I have also been to the doctors and speicalists but have had no luck. I have tried many different nose sprays and have not found one to help the problem.

This problem also causes me issues with leading a normal work/social life. I hate gagging so much that as a result I also get very anxious where my breathing increases and causes the condition to get worse.

From reading your post I obviously do not have it as bad as you but I understand some of the things you have been through. I note that you post is from last year and I wondered whether you have had any luck with finding a solution ?

Kyle
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replied November 20th, 2011
Hi Chrisgrahams, Im sorry to read that you have had such issues with your condition. I too have become a long term sufferer of a simular condition. Specifically five years ago I started getting excesive mucus build up at the back of my nose and throat. I am unable to blow the mucus through my nose (i also have a deviated septum) and I am unable to swollow it. The presence of the mucus constantly gives me the gagging reflex and when I do gag it still does not shift it. I find that I mainly have issues when I wake up in the morning (cant eat breakfast) and after about 2-4 hours it tends to pass. I have also been to the doctors and speicalists but have had no luck. I have tried many different nose sprays and have not found one to help the problem.

This problem also causes me issues with leading a normal work/social life. I hate gagging so much that as a result I also get very anxious where my breathing increases and causes the condition to get worse.

From reading your post I obviously do not have it as bad as you but I understand some of the things you have been through. I note that you post is from last year and I wondered whether you have had any luck with finding a solution ?

Kyle
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replied December 16th, 2011
Hi, I just read your post, and your very trying and difficult circumstances. I am so sorry. I wanted to ask if you have ever tried going on a fruit and vegtable diet for a while, juicing fruits and veggies is the best way to get maximum nutrients. When you say that you are now considering the possibility of auto-immune condition, I think you are spot on. Don't despair! Many doctors will not go the route of dietary healing, but many many people have found great relief from auto-immune conditions by simply cutting out , all dairy, gluten, (wheat, barley, rye, oats) and animal sourced foods. I know it may not seem like it could help much, but what will it hurt you to try right? It is free! I pray that you will heal, and that God will bring you peace! Especially during this wonderful time of year when the Prince of Peace was born to bring salvation for all who would hope in him! Bless you dear one! I will pray for you! Anna
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replied September 11th, 2012
Hey all Very Happy
I am a 29 year old male from the UK.
I have exactly the same problem as the original poster.
I feel like I have too much saliva and that I am going to gag and be sick 24/7. I am physically sick anything up to around twenty times a day. I have had this problem ever since I was about 14 years old, it may have started earlier but I can not really remember.
The only thing I have found that helps to stop me being physically sick (for a minute or two lol) is eating something dry like certain crisps ("chips" to my American friends on the board lol) or dry toast or crackers. I have a packet of crisps with me 24/7, even in the shower and in bed.
Over the years it has got worse and worse. I am a fully qualified personal fitness trainer and martial arts instructor but can not work because of this, one because I don't want to be sick in front of other people who do not know the full back story and two because it is now at the point where a few times a day I simply can not move...at all because any movement/motion causes me to feel more sick.
I have tried a few different medications but they have had absolutely no effect. My step-mother is a nurse, she suggested asking the doctor to set me up with a gostroscopy (camera down the throat) but my doctor informed me that I can not have that done as I would need to not eat for 24 hours before hand and as I need to munch on the crisps they wouldn't do it. I would also need the crisps with me right up until the moment they put me to sleep and have them with me ready for when I wake up....this is also a big NO!
It is so bad now that I very rarely leave the house and haven't done for many years. I sit in one room most of the time.
I have no life, I have tried to take my life four times in the past because I just can not go on like this any more. No one seems to know what it is and no one seems to want to help. I feel stuck.
PLEASE, if anyone has any information that would help, feel free to reply to me on here or email me
Thanks for your time Very Happy
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replied November 19th, 2012
Although not a serious as chrisgrahams, I am more like Kyle4985.

I have not been able to diagnose either, but I have been carefully monitoring triggers. Please note I have no allergies (tested three time) and no acid reflux.

1) Snoring at night may dehydrate me so mucus becomes very thick in the morning then thins as I hydrate (2 to 3 hours later)
2) Over eating (eat till really full) crates excessive mucus (even when hydrated)same problem
3) fatty / oily foods tend to make symptoms worse (e.g. cheeses, fried foods)
4) Caffeine in the morning definitely makes it much worse (try plain hot water with no sweeteners). Once hydrated caffeine alone does not do it.
5) When I am nervous or anxious mucus membranes also
become hyper active
6) Drinking alot of water reduces symptoms
7) Soda is very bad (naturally sweetened or artificially sweetened...same crap)...drinking seltzer is like water
Cool I have a light case of ADHD....drugs can make it worse (similar to Caffeine)
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replied March 8th, 2013
There's a frustrating lack of medical awareness of this particular condition, but I feel that I should help out here. You may have 'Gwincke's Disease' - It's a chronic swelling of the Uvula, (dangling flap at back of throat) usually brought on by snoring or allowing too much cold air to pass through the mouth as you sleep. Breathing through the nose before bed can help this problem. I've had it all my life, and when swollen, the uvula feels like a large body of mucus that is impossible to swallow. Drinking a hot drink in the morning helps, as you are warming it up. Mine returns to normal size around two hours after waking up. Your nose hairs should warm the air up before it passes down your windpipe, breathing through the mouth doesn't have the same effect, and throughout the course of the night the uvula can become irritated. I hope this helps someone.
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replied May 11th, 2013
That does help as I snore and the uvula softens and presents a problem (I like red wine); but my main problem is mucus in throat: about 4yrs ago while weed whacking without a mask (nettles, pasture grass) (spring in pacific northwest) this throat mucus started even affecting my voice (I teach); I have had it since and it does get worse with cheese products. so is it the plants, something on the plants? fungus? mold? solutions? thanks
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replied May 11th, 2013
mucus
That does help as I snore and the uvula softens and presents a problem (I like red wine); but my main problem is mucus in throat: about 4yrs ago while weed whacking without a mask (nettles, pasture grass) (spring in pacific northwest) this throat mucus started even affecting my voice (I teach); I have had it since and it does get worse with cheese products. so is it the plants, something on the plants? fungus? mold? solutions? thanks
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replied May 11th, 2013
Hey Chowy, (I'm only speaking from experience here) but I find the best thing for excess mucus (as an immediate solution) is a few cups of black tea with half a lemon squeezed in and some sugar. Cuts it all away, but it is only a temporary fix.

Also, perhaps you have hayfever? I used to have athsma and one day the doc said it was 100% gone, but I developed hayfever instead. Could have a late onset variation of hayfever which may explain why the weed whacking had a sizable effect on the problem?

I hope that helps, all the best Smile
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replied May 12th, 2013
thanks and i find that taking grapeseed extract, 15 drops, does also help condition. i dont think this will ever go away completely but as a healthy about to be 70 yr old, we learn to deal with it. i also have larynx spasms and learned to take magnesium and that has worked exceedingly well. they are related i think.
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replied January 10th, 2014
Hello and I feel your pain, although the sounds of it you might have it slightly worse...I can''t even wake up in the morning without hacking or gagging! Its really frustrating. Doctors told me everything..could be postal nasal dripping, allergies or all of the above...goes to show doctors aren''t perfect...I probably took every medication on the market....I noticed hot tea with honey helps...NO sugar though...fruit and vegetables help, orange juice helps too....but that''s the annucennc, it helps but doesn''t get rid of it it for good....if you drink alcohol or smoke then STOP cause I''m telling you it will help if you don''t do that! I know every time I drink beer it acts my sinuses up....but I''ll pray for you, me and anyone with this annoying problem..I hope we find a cure!
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replied September 6th, 2016
Good afternoon ladies and gents, I'm not a doctor, just a minor sufferer of gastrointestinal issues. Since your first posts in this forum significant discoveries have been made about the human microbiome, the collection of the trillion trillion microbes that (mostly) work with us symbiotically to make us the incredible species we've become.

I seem to be having the symptoms you're describing today and have a couple times in the past. It's nothing like what many of the above authors have described. I'm pretty sure that I have 'mucus causing gagging' because I'm fighting off a cold.

From what I understand, you can think of mucus as our body's blob soldiers. Their job is to protect our tissues and ultimately bloodstream from opportunistic fungi, bacteria or protozoans that we ingest or respire. If you have a lot of mucus, you likely have an infection or are on the brink of one.

There's a term nowadays, 'gut dysbiosis', that means: gut microflora out of balance. It could describe many different situations but it usually means that opportunistic (read: not good) microbes are flourishing in your gut microbiome.

Lots of things can cause this. Maybe you didn't get your initial dose of microbiota inoculation when you were born. The mess of a regular vaginal birth is an important process. "Welcome to the world, here's a few trillion microbes from my vagina and intestine to start your very own biome with."

Travelling can be tough on our gut microbiomes. I don't remember having any heart burn at all until a trip to the Dominican Republic (complete with diarhhea) in my early 30's.

Regardless of your source of dysbiosis (my amateur diagnosis for this chronic mucus issue), there are a few ways to get you back on the path of proper intestinal balance. I highly recommend books by Dr. Natasha Campbell-McBride and if you want to learn more about the topic in general, there's a book called 'The Good Gut' by Justin and Erica Sonnenburg.
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replied October 14th, 2016
I have similar symptoms to the original poster, the last few months I wake up in the middle of the night gagging. Drinking water makes things worse. I usually have to eat something to make it stop. The gagging sometimes causes some mucous to come out my nose which also helps. I have no appetite much of the time but I must eat breakfast to settle my stomach or I feel that I will jump out of my skin. I recently changed my diet and cut out all grains, dairy and sugar. Although my IBS cleared up doing this I lost a total of 40 lbs. in the process. I am housebound and have little contact with the outside world. Excerise used to help but I have been unable to workout the last few months. I don't sleep much during the night and I even ate nothing but meat for five days after eliminating all the foods that caused me problems. That did help a little but I can't eat just meat, its expensive and somewhat disgusting. I too think this issue is connected to Leaky Gut Syndrome and I plan on reading the books suggested by the previous poster. I realize some of the posts are years old but I hope you all have found some relief for your health issues. Knowing there are others suffering similar problems gives me some solace and hope. Thank you all for uour input and advice.
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