Discussions By Condition: I cannot get a diagnosis.

annoying throat clearing

Posted In: I cannot get a diagnosis. 26 Replies
  • Posted By: Mily15
  • November 21, 2006
  • 04:15 AM

I have been clearing my throat for about 7 years now. I know that it is not simply a habit because it sometimes gets better (and sometimes worse). Also, if I force myself not to clear my throat when the need arises, the mucus simply accumulates and dries up, making it harder to breath.

I feel like I have mucus running from the back of my nose and accumulating at the back of my throat, but my nose is almost always dry. After I exercise, the mucus feels thicker and is harder to clear, making it difficult to breath at times. X-rays of my lungs show there is nothing wrong there. The mucus also becomes more abundant when the air is humid, or after I eat. Antacids do not work, nor does drinking milk and water (almost neutral pH) and avoiding foods like coffee and chocolate. I have tried allgery medicine, but that also failed to help. Nasal sprays give no results other than drying up my nose even more and causing nose bleeds.

Any ideas?

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26 Replies:

  • could it be acid reflux? does it get worse after you eat or when you lie down at night?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 21, 2006
    • 09:06 PM
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  • What you may want to start doing is keeping track of what you eat because I suspect that you may be eating an abundance of foods that cause mucous: primarily wheat, eggs, dairy. Sugar can also exacerbate these symptoms by lowering immunity (it actually drops the T-cell count in the mouth, making it easier for viruses to take hold) and causing colds, which would make symptoms worse. Refined foods that contain two or more of these ingredients (eggs, milk, dairy and sugar) would be especially bad (for instance baked goodies or ice cream).Mucous in itself is not a bad thing. We need it to help clean our bodies of dead cold cells during a cold, but if we are overwhelmed with it we get symptoms such as what you are suffering from.You may not have an actual allergy. Usually with an allergy symptoms show up right away. But with a sensitivity they may not show up until a day later, making it hard to diagnose the cause. So by keeping track you can see patterns. If you eat several pieces of toast on Monday with some eggs with a glass of milk for breakfast and then a sub sandwhich for lunch followed by a casserole for dinner with cake and ice cream and on Tuesday you notice a lot of mucous then maybe you are overburdening your body.The thing is you might not be eating a lot of these foods either, but you may be particularly sensitive to any one or all of them.When you have identified what you think are some causes try giving up these foods for a week or two and see if your symptoms improve. If you suspect wheat, try eating rice as a substitute. There are other good grains and non-grain substitutes for wheat, however, rice is one of the safest of the cereals as far as allergies go and is a good substitute to start with. It's the first recommended food for babies being weaned off milk because it is rarely an allergen and it doesn't produce mucous. If milk is the suspected culprit, try rice milk. (I don't recommend soy milk because many people are sensitive to this and I think it won't be long before it is added to the list of most common allergens). If you do have sensitivities to these foods and need to change your diet, there are plenty of recipe books out there now offering substitutes for ingredients that cause mucous. Years ago when I was switching over it was very hard to find wheat-free, dairy-free egg-free foods on the grocery store shelves and there were very few cookbooks in the offering. Now because of the prevalence of these kinds of allergies (eggs, wheat, dairy are the most allergenic foods) there are plenty of alternatives.I too had your problem for a number of years in college. I was otherwise healthy, but I had to keep clearing my throat of thick, sticky, stringy mucous. It was kind of like having post-nasal drip, but without the cold. It was disgusting and it almost broke up my relationship because every morning in the shower I had to hack up this gunk. Then at work or at school I would have to go to the bathroom periodically during the day and try to hack up more gunk and hope no one came in while I was doing it. Here I was an attractive young woman in my 20s sounding like some old man with bronchitis. And during hay fever season or a cold the symptoms were worse.Fortunately, I discovered that wheat was behind some of the symptoms. It improved somewhat when I gave that up, but never completely went away. Then I realized that dairy was also contributing. Boy did things get better after I gave that up altogether. Now the only dairy product I eat is butter. And I get my probiotics from pills instead of yogurt. More recently I discovered eggs congest my sinuses. And I suspect bananas may too. These are all mucous producing foods. So now I eat these foods very sparingly and am largely symptom free--unless I go overboard with one of them. If you tend to eat a lot of wheat, dairy, eggs, and any dishes that contain these, you will want to increase foods that don't cause mucous such as vegetables and fruits. Also, when you do get a cold avoid congestive foods. This will help your cold to go away faster.You might want to do a search for "congestive foods" or "mucus producing foods" on the internet. Here are some sites you may want to look at. You may not agree with all the ideas within, but consider them.http://www.consciouschoice.com/1999/cc1207/allergies1207.htmlhttp://www.yogajournal.com/health/566.cfmhttp://www.newstarget.com/z010443.htmlhttp://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_12_67/ai_n15879694Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 27, 2006
    • 02:34 AM
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  • Help! lolI, too, have annoying throat clearing. It's not constant, it's came and gone over the past year. At first I had a constant cough. I hate going to the doctor ( no insurance), but finally after 2 months I went. He suggested it was either Acid Reflux or allergies. He gave me some Prevacid and Zyrtec and told me to take them for a couple weeks and see if it helped. Well, I didn't want to take them at the same time because I wanted to find out what the problem was. I tried the Prevacid first, but didn't notice much of a change. I wasn't experiencing any heartburn or indigestion, so I didn't really think it was acid reflux. So I tried the Zyrtec and it seemed to help a little. Like I said before though, I can go days without having to clear my throat at all, but tonight I'm going crazy!! The bad thing is, when I clear my throat....there seems to be nothing there! lol I can't cough up anything except for saliva! I might feel more productive if I were actually coughing something up, but I just feel like I'm doing all of this for nothing, because there's nothing there.Any suggestions?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 7, 2006
    • 09:11 AM
    • 0
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  • Perhaps allergic rhinitis causing postnasal drip...? That's only if it's going down the back of your throat like a "tickle" first. (If it;s starting in the esophagus, than if could be acid-reflux disease, but basd on your description, that doesn't seem too likely.)Basically, something you're allergic to and come into contact with causes your sinuses to produce extra mucus (snot...whatever you want to call it) and it trickles down the back of your throat causing a tickling feeling.Perhaps a change in weather or pressure could be causing the problem as well. I've found that if you keep a journal pertaining to when you experience symptoms, and what you've done that day and what the weather is, you can narrow down what the problem may be and it will help your doc out as well...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 7, 2006
    • 03:05 PM
    • 0
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  • Thanks! I'll start paying more attention to when it happens!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 11, 2006
    • 07:44 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the constant throat clearing too. I've been to 3 different ENT's, and my regular doctor. I've been on acid reflux medicines, which didn't help at all. I've tried the Mucinex stuff, didn't help much either. My regular doctor diagnosed "chronic rhinitis" and I take a Flonase generic, which helps sometimes but not all. I started taking antihistimines, which help sometimes too. I also try a saline solution spray. It doesn't seem to matter what I eat or drink. Whatever I eat, my nose runs, which I told one of the ent's about and he gave me a different nasal spray for it, but that didn't help my throat clearing. Help!It's annoying to me and I know it's annoying to other people.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hi have a constant grunt noise when I try to breath sinuses constantly blocked. Feel like niagra falls coming down the back of my throat.Been on steriods and anti allergy pills really need some help with this to get life back.At this time of the year it is a lot worse.when i try to clear my throat it just gets alittle mucus up.this is my email if you know anyway to help me.much app ta m8gordonmcallen@hotmail.com
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • August 10, 2007
    • 09:23 PM
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  • My husband has this same problem for over a year now. He went to his PCP and he gave him some meds for acid reflux, an allergy pill, he already uses a nasal spray. Nothing works!IT IS DRIVING ME NUTS!!!On the other hand, I worry if it can turn into esophogeal cancer. I guess the best place to start is to do the food diary and go from there.Any info would be most appreciated!!Kathy in VA :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 4, 2009
    • 01:19 AM
    • 0
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  • I have the same problem for a few years, it gets better and worse sometime, I hate to tell you though I think its a mild for of OCD, it only feels as though there is mucus in youre throat because youre so used to clearing it, and are thinking about it..although I have never gone to the doctor so cannot be sure, but I believe my problem is psychological, and not physical. Try forcing yourself to stop for a while, and see if you begin to feel anxiety.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 19, 2009
    • 03:20 PM
    • 0
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  • Post number three above contains a lot of good advice. Modern medical doctors are trained to prescribe pharmaceuticals which is very often not the best approach to a problem. A healthy diet and exercise can do wonders for almost anything.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 8, 2010
    • 03:29 PM
    • 0
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  • I have the EXACT same problem you have. Nothing works! I think I will have to try to limit my diet and start eating healthy and exercising again + I'm start using the Neti pot more often now. I'm starting a new regiment tomorrow. I'll let you guys know if it works. My life is not going to be ruined by some stupid coughs.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
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  • I struggled with this for years. I stumbled upon Aerius Dual Action a couple of months ago. It's amazing. I take 1 in the morning and it lasts all day. Throat clearing is gone. It must have been allergies after all. Hope it works for you.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • maybe you have throat cancer...
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • You may have LPR.....laryngeal reflux. Reference: http://www.nycornell.org/ent/Laryngopharyngeal.reflux.htmlSymptoms:hoarse, thick/increased mucous, chronic throat irritation, chronic throat clearing, heartburn, chronic cough, cough that awakes one from sleep.HOWEVER....not everyone with LPR has heartburn!!! And, a major symptom of LPR is "post nasal drip." Get a recommendation for a good ENT/otolaryngolist.....they can do a scan of your sinuses or use a Flexible Fiberoptic Laryngoscope to determine if there is inflammation/redness. Why take unnecessary antihistamines/decongestants if something else is causing the problem? In other words, TREAT THE CAUSE, NOT THE SYMPTOMS. If LPR, they will either prescribe meds to reduce stomach acid or surgery to prevent reflux (my insurance covers this). LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO DECREASE MUCOUS/POSTNASAL DRIP:Lose weight, elevate HOB 6-8 degrees, don't eat 3-4 hours before sleeping, decrease dairy, alcohol, caffeine, and spicy foods (cumin is a trigger for mucous production). Consider allergy testing---if consuming a food one is allergic to (dairy and wheat are huge), your body will produce more mucous. HOMEOPATHIC REMEDIES:Gargle salt water, rinse nasal passage with a small amt. of salt water (can even add baking soda).Remember....treat the cause....not the symptoms.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I have been clearing my throat for about 7 years now. I know that it is not simply a habit because it sometimes gets better (and sometimes worse).etc... Nasal sprays give no results other than drying up my nose even more and causing nose bleeds. Any ideas?Yes, I do have some- 1. you seem to be having an allergic reaction to something- it could be food induced or it could be environment.2. it may be mold- look for the mildew and kill with an AFNOR quality herbal oil solution found on line- that will kill all fungi- you can also DIFFUSE AFNOR quality oils to eliminate the fungi- remember fungi is airborne- so if you have fungi then you have airborne bacteria and virus because they piggy back on the fungi- otherwise the latter to are NOT airborne. 3. if it is food related then you have to stop eating that food! if you want to control the phlegm while you are locating the source of this annoying clearing of the throat- then get sulfurzyme- it will pull it out of you via a small round marble that will literally ROLL out of your mouth! ( it is true! I promise! ) just take the dose on the container and wait for your marble. Another oil that eliminates phlegm is Thyme but it is STRONG and will bite- a MOLECULE ( not a drop!) under the tongue on the BACK of the tongue ( UNDER IT) will sting but eliminate the production for a few hours. but I would def. find the source of this fungi- if you have to go and find a on line source for an air purifier- I used the Flair by Ecoquest- it is electromagnet in that is uses that to change the polarity in the airborne particles and then brings them to the floor and it also KILLS fungi- try it and see what happens- See if you can find a friend who has one so you can try it first because they are expensive- but they last for ever- it is worth it if that helps- I gave mine away to a teacher who had a rotting basement! I had had it for about a decade! Don't be cheap but get things that are customer tested! to be sure you are not getting ripped off- and only use AFNOR quality or therapeutic-grade ( same thing) oils and supplements because if you go cheap here you get NO results- and then that money you did dish out to your local "naturals" store is thrown away! LESS BUT BEST is my motto!
    founddog 188 Replies Flag this Response
  • A few things to add here. I too have this throat clearing problem after meals. My mother and brother have it too, so i'm fairly certain it's biology, not psychology, but maybe I'm wrong. Also, I've lived all over the world and it hasn't made a difference. I'm sort of annoyed that I have read countless threads about people with identical symptoms and not a single definitive diagnosis. Is this the state of modern medicine?
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 3, 2010
    • 00:13 AM
    • 0
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  • A few things to add here. I too have this throat clearing problem after meals. My mother and brother have it too, so i'm fairly certain it's biology, not psychology, but maybe I'm wrong. Also, I've lived all over the world and it hasn't made a difference. I'm sort of annoyed that I have read countless threads about people with identical symptoms and not a single definitive diagnosis. Is this the state of modern medicine?If you and your family members all experience this after meals, your family may be gluten-sensitive or dairy-sensitive. The throat-clearing problem seems less likely to be directly biological (although food sensitivities may be passed from one generation to the next) and more likely to be meal-related--since the problem does occur right after meals, more than at any other time. Try eliminating dairy and gluten products from your diet for a month and see what happens. There are now many dairy-free and gluten-free products available in the organic section of your grocery store and in health food stores. Good luck!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • October 20, 2010
    • 04:24 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I have been clearing my throat for about 7 years now. I know that it is not simply a habit because it sometimes gets better (and sometimes worse). Also, if I force myself not to clear my throat when the need arises, the mucus simply accumulates and dries up, making it harder to breath. I feel like I have mucus running from the back of my nose and accumulating at the back of my throat, but my nose is almost always dry. After I exercise, the mucus feels thicker and is harder to clear, making it difficult to breath at times. X-rays of my lungs show there is nothing wrong there. The mucus also becomes more abundant when the air is humid, or after I eat. Antacids do not work, nor does drinking milk and water (almost neutral pH) and avoiding foods like coffee and chocolate. I have tried allgery medicine, but that also failed to help. Nasal sprays give no results other than drying up my nose even more and causing nose bleeds. Any ideas?I have the perfect Idea. I also suffered. You have no choice but to clear your throat because you are literally dying from the build up in your throat. It's cause by what you are eating. I change to a healthy low carbohydrate life style and I no longer suffer this. Within 5 minutes of eating something high in carbohydrates it starts. I've been really good for weeks but tonight for instance I had potato chips and lots of baked sweets and it started again. It will last a few hours but eventually I'll return to eating healthy again. The bonus is that most people don't get this absolute incentive to change to a healthy way of eating. I feel we are blessed. So start low carbohydrate was of eating. Start with the induction phase of the attkins diet and within a week i can guarantee you will no longer suffer..have a great day
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 17, 2010
    • 03:59 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Perhaps allergic rhinitis causing postnasal drip...? That's only if it's going down the back of your throat like a "tickle" first. (If it;s starting in the esophagus, than if could be acid-reflux disease, but basd on your description, that doesn't seem too likely.)Basically, something you're allergic to and come into contact with causes your sinuses to produce extra mucus (snot...whatever you want to call it) and it trickles down the back of your throat causing a tickling feeling.Perhaps a change in weather or pressure could be causing the problem as well. I've found that if you keep a journal pertaining to when you experience symptoms, and what you've done that day and what the weather is, you can narrow down what the problem may be and it will help your doc out as well...i have similar problem. i tried everything. only relief is when i take guaifensin it is for coughs. Dont know why it works, but it does work for me. it is found in cough and sinus over the counter meds.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 29, 2010
    • 04:34 AM
    • 0
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  • I agree that diet may help. I have been suffering from this for years and it makes sense that diet is the cause. It only happens after I eat. I am now going to try the recommendations from those who are correcting it with changing their diet. I have learned that not all doctors but most just turn to giving you a drug. I take great precaution to take anything perscribed. It can be way more damaging then helpful. Do your homework before taking meds. It's your body, it's your life, only you care for it most. Good luck to everyone.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 10, 2011
    • 00:46 PM
    • 0
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