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Science File

I Didn't Know That

June 03, 2002

Question: What cases a "lump" in my throat when I get emotional?

Answer: Emotions can increase tension in the muscles in the lower part of your throat, called the pharynx. As the muscle tightens in response, it sends a message to the brain indicating that something is in your throat. But it is simply a case of mistaken identity. Nothing is actually there. The medical name for this condition is globus syndrome. When the emotions pass, the lump fades as well.

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