Dysphagia is a condition that people may develop for a range of different reasons. The main symptom of this condition is difficulty swallowing foods and liquids, which can quickly become a serious problem since it may prevent you from getting the nutrients that you need from your food. If you are struggling with the symptoms of dysphagia, then it is recommended to see your doctor as soon as possible and find ways to manage your condition so that it does not impact your health in a lasting way.
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Problems swallowing is the main symptom of dysphagia. Many people with this condition also suffer with other symptoms such as pain when swallowing, regular heartburn, and over-salivating in the mouth. Frequent and unexpected regurgitation of fluid and food is another common symptom. All of these can make dysphagia an unpleasant and challenging condition to live with. The various options for managing this condition include:
When you have dysphagia, swallowing liquids can be particularly difficult. You can use SimplyThick thickener gel, a specialist product to add to liquid beverages, to thicken up the fluids and make them easier to swallow. You can add thickening gel to tea and coffee, milk, soup, protein shakes and other liquids to help you get the right nutrients from your diet and stay hydrated.
You may find it easier to swallow foods that have been blended to a thick consistency rather than eating and chewing them whole. You can use a standard blender to blend your favorite meals to make them easier to eat with this condition. Almost any meal can easily be made into a thick soup-like consistency in a blender, and this is a good way to make sure that you are getting all the nutrients that you need from your diet.
If you are really struggling to swallow with dysphagia, feeding through a tube might be a necessary step to stop you from getting dehydrated and prevent malnutrition over time. Food can be directed through the nose instead of the mouth by a nasogastric tube, which sends the food down the back of the throat and into the stomach. You can also use a percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy tube, which is inserted through a small incision through the skin of the abdomen to send nutrients directly into the stomach. Your doctor or another relevant health specialist will be able to arrange this treatment for you if you are struggling to eat anything due to dysphagia.
Various swallowing therapies can be used by people with dysphagia to help reduce their symptoms. You can be referred to a speech and language therapist by your doctor to get this treatment. They will teach you a variety of techniques and exercises that you can use to improve your swallowing ability and make it easier to manage your symptoms.
Living with dysphagia can be difficult, but there are ways to help you manage the symptoms.