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Dr. Arun Phophalia
Dr. Arun Phophalia, MD
Category: Dental
Satisfied Customers: 35741
Experience:  MBBS, MS Experienced in all kind of oral surgery.
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I have a swollen tongue close to my throat and uvula. Help!

Resolved Question:

My tongue feels swollen in the back close to my throat and the Uvula. I can feel the uvula on my tongue and it makes me feel nauseous and scares me and leads to panic attacks because I think I am going to choke on my tongue. My throat gets dry and it feels like it closes when I panic. Also the sides look white and with ridges and like I am aware of my tongue and my swallowing. What can I do?Please help.

Submitted: 5 years ago.
Category: Dental
Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

Since when are your symptoms?
Are you on any medications?

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Well, it started first with stomach issues like belching and some upper gastric pain. I didn't have heart burn, but I was belching a lot. This all began on august 15. So since then until September 18 I have been dealing with those symptoms and then I started getting panic attacks because I would eat and then feel pain and bloated and like my tongue gets really dry and it feels swollen but I am not hoarse. I can still talk and breath.its Its a weird feeling. The sides of my tongue are white and ripply and the back of my tongue is white and the papillae looks like furry but not too much. Just minimal in the middle mainly in the morning. The only medicine I am on is Omeprazole 20mg. also Flonase once daily. Please help me. Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

Your symptoms are likely due to following;

1) Hiatal hernia
2) Gastroesophageal reflux disease
3) Peptic ulcer
4) Gall bladder stone of dysfunction

All of these can cause tongue and throat issue. Any of the above can be concomitant. Other associated problem can be Globus, a psychological phenomenon of something causing difficulty in swallowing, dryness or throat lump or other throat symptoms. Please read this resource;

Globus is quite a common phenomenon and many times can be associated with anxiety and can present with digestive problems etc.

Following investigations are necessary for the work up;

1) Fiberoptic endoscopic evaluation of swallowing and upper gastrointestinal endoscopy

2) Esophageal manometry (pressure study of the food pipe).

3) CT scan

4) Barium swallow

This will give you the exact cause of your symptoms. But none of your symptoms are worrying or concerning.

Dr. Arun Phophalia and other Dental Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Well I have had a CT scan of my stomach and an ultrasound. They said everything was normal. But I know I am not ok. I mean I do think I had/have some type of gerd because the omeprazole has helped a bit but believe me I would rather have stomach pain rather than these tongue issues. I know anxiety may be the cause because when I become anxious I am more aware of it. But sometimes I am fine and then I eat and then I feel a little bloated and I feel like my mouth gets dry and like my tongue is bumpy and that starts my anxiety which leads to panic attacks. I feel like my throat will close up or my tongue will swell and block my airway. Is that possible? I am sorry if the questions may seem dumb. I am just tired of this and need help. Thannk you so much for your help.

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

The tongue swelling blocking the throat is not possible. GERD as you mentioned is likely possible and following may help (apart from relaxation techniques);

1) Antacids; Maalox

2) Acid blocker; continue omeprazole

3) Loosing weight, if overweight.

4) Avoiding alcohol, citrus fruits and juices, chocolate, and tomato based products

5) Avoiding large meals. Eat 5 small meals in a day.

6) Wait three hours after the meal before you sleep.

7) Elevate head end of the bed by 8 inches.

It is privilege assisting you.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you Dr,

Wow you are so knowldgable and on point. Can you help me with anxiety? Is it curable. I feel like this ordeal is really affecting my daily life. Sometimes I don't go to work because I feel I am going to get the panic attacks there when I feel my tongue swelling.

Also is this curable? I mean will it go away my tongue issues like the dryness, the swelling? Why does it feel swollen like thick specially in the mornings?

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

In the night time GERD is maximum so tongue symptoms are predominant. With adequate treatment, this would go away. Anxiety can be treated by;
1) Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)
2) Relaxation techniques
3) Hypnosis
4) Acupuncture
5) Participation in sporting activities
6) Yoga
7) Meditation.

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

You have certainly addressed all my questions. Thank you for being so honest & thorough. Through you, I found the help I've been looking for so long. You have helped me tremendously!

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

You are very welcome. Thanks for your kind words.

Best regards,

Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Sorry, I have another question. Why does my mouth get so dry during anxiety and it makes my throat dry and difficult to swallow. I am afraid to eat or drink anything yet my mouth is so dry I want to drink but I am afraid I am going to aspirate. Is there anything I can do? I don't know how to take my mind off these insane thoughts. Thank you.

Expert:  Dr. Arun Phophalia replied 5 years ago.

Anxiety causes autonomic nervous system to overwork and that dries out the normal salivary secretions and this is responsible for your symptoms. Lozenges in the mouth may help during the anxiety.