Swollen tonsils. No pain. Bump by Uvula

This post is a response by a doctor to a question one of our community members asked.

Austin Asks:

I have been diagnosed with GERD and Gasteritis. The back of my throat is red and veiny. It also has a few red bumps. And I also have a bump next to my uvula. There is no pain any where. Every once in a while I feel like it’s hard to swallow my spit, but when I drink or eat I have no issues. I have been referred to an ENT but the apt is months out. I have pictures of the bump and my tonsils if needed.

Dr Alejandro’s reply:

Hello Austin,

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a medical condition where the muscle at the end of the esophagus (the tube connecting your mouth to your stomach) is too loose or doesn’t close properly, allowing acid (and food particles) from the stomach to rise back up into the esophagus, causing acid reflux (also known as heartburn).
Frequent heartburn caused by GERD may also damage the upper throat. This can occur if the stomach acid comes all the way up into the back of the throat or nasal airway (a condition often referred to as laryngopharyngeal reflux), Symptoms of laryngopharyngeal reflux include feeling of a “lump” in the throat, hoarseness, , choking episodes, chronic throat clearing, chronic cough or cough that wakes you from your sleep, “rawness” in the throat. voice problems, an erythematous pharynx (reddish back throat).

Other possible complications of acid reflux on the throat include esophagitis, which is the irritation of the tissues lining the throat due to the potent nature of stomach and esophageal acids; and dysphagia, which is difficulty swallowing when scar tissue forms in the esophageal lining from GERD.

As you can see, all of the symptoms you have been having can be explained by GERD. An ENT consult is ideal, however, you should also see your Gastroenterologist since control of your GERD is crucial to improve your current symptoms (which are caused by uncontrolled GERD). In the meantime, besides taking your GERD medications, there are several lifestyle modifications that you can try, including: eating smaller meals more frequently and taking your time chewing; avoiding overeating; increasing physical activity to maintain a healthy weight; increase fiber in your diet; increasing fruits and vegetables in your diet; staying upright for at least one hour after meal; avoiding eating 2 to 3 hours before bedtime; avoiding trigger foods like high-fat and high-sugar items, alcohol, caffeine, and chocolate; stopping smoking; elevating the head of the bed by six inches. Doing the above may help you control your symptoms and avoid further complications.

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