Dysphagia is when people experience difficulties swallowing liquids and certain foods. People suffering from dysphagia may choke after eating. This doesn’t mean that difficulties with swallowing are always due to a chronic disorder, but in some cases, they can be permanent. Dysphagia usually indicates that there’s a problem with your esophagus and your throat. This condition can happen to anyone, but it is most common in older adults and kids.
Let’s take a look at any of the causes of dysphagia. Well, also look at some of the things that can be done to deal with the condition.
Nervous System Issues and Strokes
In some cases, dysphagia can be triggered by a traumatic event, like a stroke, for instance. This then causes the person to lose control of their throat and esophagus. There is also a wide variety of nervous system issues that can affect swallowing. Some of these include Parkinson’s disease, post-polio syndrome, multiple sclerosis, and muscular dystrophy.
Issues with Your Digestive System
Dysphagia can also be a sign of issues with your digestive system. For instance, some people who suffer from acid reflux or GERD will sometimes report having difficulties swallowing as well. This is when stomach contents start accumulating in the stomach and then travel up the esophagus.
Epiglottitis is a little-known disorder, but it is one that could have serious consequences. This is when the epiglottis, which works as a lid that prevents foods and liquids from entering your windpipe, gets inflamed. If you believe that you are suffering from this, you should contact a doctor immediately as it is a potentially life-threatening condition.
Esophagitis and Esophageal Cancer
Any issues with your esophagus can lead to swallowing issues. One of them is esophagitis. This is an inflammation of the esophagus, which can be caused by acid reflux, or even certain types of medication. Dysphagia could also be a sign of something more serious, like esophageal cancer, for instance. Tumors can form along the esophagus’s lining, which can lead to difficulties with swallowing. This is why any type of inflammation in this area should be examined and treated immediately.
What Can be Done to Treat Dysphagia?
There are many ways that dysphagia can be treated, and it will largely depend on what is causing it. A speech-language pathologist will evaluate your situation but, in most cases of chronic dysphagia, you will need to invent meaningful modifications to your diet. One of them is that you may have to start using thickeners for your food, even water. The big news is that there are lots of supplements like Simply Thick that will make everything from coffee to soda and even beer taste and feel great.
Dysphagia is not always chronic, but when it is, you will have to be ready for your life to change in a serious way. It is important to know the causes so that they can be tackled immediately, which will enable you to prevent the situation from aggravating.