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Strangled feeling caused by gas?

I am 30 years old, female, and plagued by a frequent feeling of being strangled, episodes I not-so-affectionately call "the stranglies." When these episodes occur, I find it difficult to get a deep breath or to swallow. My mouth sometimes fills with saliva because I cannot swallow without feeling like I will choke, so I spit into a tissue. For the really bad ones, it's even hard to speak and my voice sounds strained. These symptoms then lead to feelings of panic and I begin to feel dizzy and hot.

These episodes usually last around 30-60 minutes and nothing truly helps. I have the urge to walk or jog or to suck on a piece of candy which brings on belching. After a belch or even a bowel movement, the pressure subsides for a moment and slowly rebuilds. Taking a cold shower or breath of cold air (if it's winter) can also be soothing. But mostly it's just a waiting game until the pressure slowly subsides.

These episodes can happen at any time, which makes me nervous to make any plans or commitments. It's impacting my life in other drastic ways; I'm afraid to start a family because the idea of being pregnant and having MORE pressure in my body during one of these episodes would be unbearable.

They strike anytime, but it seems more likely that they will occur in the following scenarios:

* when I'm riding in a car, plane, boat, etc
* in a hot or loud environment
* just after eating
* going too long without eating
* being congested, as with a cold
* rigorous exercise

Over the years, I have had examinations of my heart, lungs, brain, stomach/esophagus, hormones, and more. I'm a healthy gal! The only things that have turned up are:
* iron-deficiency anemia
* signs of minor acid reflux

Treating either of these has not prevented these attacks from occurring.

Is anyone out there who might have an explanation for this or any idea how I can prevent or end an episode once it begins? Any ideas what else to explore? Years of doctors are scratching their heads saying it must be anxiety, and it's certainly CAUSING anxiety... but, in my experience, panic attack symptoms don't alleviate after belching!
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replied April 8th, 2018
Non ulcer dyspepsia or Functional dyspepsia is the likely cause based on your history and description. This is the diagnosis given to an individual for whom the cause of these episodes cant be determined/ explained based upon the extensive investigations which you mentioned above. Treatment is supportive and symptomatic with PPIs (lansoprazole) and addition of gastrokinetic agents like domeperidone.


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replied April 9th, 2018
Thank you very much for your response! Can you explain why dyspepsia causes this sensation, and why it seems to get worse in certain scenarios, such as having a cold? And in addition to maintaining acid levels with PPIs and Domeperidone, is there anything I can do to find immediate relief if an episode occurs? An answer to these questions would be life-changing for me.
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