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Anxiety and Stress Disorders

Flutter in throat only

04/16/2009

Question:

The last two weeks I have been having flutters in my throat at random times. Such as when I am getting ready for work or cooking dinner. They do not hurt, they almost feel like an extra heartbeat. However, when I take my pulse during these flutters, it seems normal. At first I could ignore them and they would soon disappear. Now, with my anxiety about they continue until I take an Ativan to relax. They will continue for hours if I don`t take a pill - it is strange. No other anxiety symptoms accompany these flutters. The only prescription I take is Vitamin D once a week, 50,000 units. But my first flutter began before I started this medicine. Does this sound anxiety related? Even though I am calm when they occur. Or could it be a spasm in the throat/esophogus? Possibly muscle related? I want to rule out heart issues and know I should go to my primary care doctor soon. I just want to ease my worries before I get my appt with her. Thank you for your input.

Answer:

I cannot diagnose this, or any specific problem, over the internet.  Since you have been prescribed Ativan, a benzodiazepine anti-anxiety medication, I am assuming that you have been diagnosed with an anxiety disorder.  Anxiety can produce many different types of physical symptoms.  And excess worry about symptoms is a common symptom of anxiety disorder!

Do follow up with your primary care physician.  If you do not also have a mental health counselor or therapist, you may want to consider having one.  There are many excellent non-drug techniques that can be used to help decrease anxiety and anxiety related symptoms which might prove beneficial for you in the long run.

Good luck.

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Response by:

Nancy   Elder, MD Nancy Elder, MD
Associate Professor
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati