“Difficulty in the channel of food via mouth, pharynx or esophagus”
Dysphagia can be caused in two main aspects: an absolute tightness (extrinsic or parietal) or on the lumen, causes so-called balloon as mechanical Dysphagia, whereas due to in coordination or weakness of peristaltic contractions or impaired relaxation of the EEI are called motor Dysphagia.
There are many different signs and symptoms related with Dysphagia. You may, experiencing difficulty swallowing, costing accept that they are a problem. Therefore, if any of the following signs corresponds with what happens to you, discuss it with anyone, and seek advice from your doctor.
- You swallow often.
- Drooling and coughing frequently.
- Her voice is unusually husky and need clear his throat often.
- Lose hard when trying to eat. Food and saliva escape him in the mouth, or even sometimes through the nose.
- It is easier to eat slowly.
- Quite often, keep food in the mouth, especially when you have not had a chance to get rid of them without being seen.
- You feel tired and lose weight.
The severity of symptoms depends in part on food and drinks are “stuck” in his short esophagus, or even permanently. If food gets stuck, they could cause discomfort or pain in the chest to move to the stomach. If you have experienced this feeling of blockage, it can go on for hours, and you may have had to induce vomiting to get rid of food stuck.
It is not surprising that if eating and drinking causes you that sort of discomfort, be times when you avoid eating and drinking.
The problem is that if you do not eat and drink regularly, could develop other problems that could cause you serious problems. First, you become dehydrated and begin to lose weight. This can lead to the development of a situation of malnutrition: quite simply protein and calories you eat are insufficient to preserve their health
Moreover, with such a low intake of vitamins and minerals, your immune system will also be threatened. If this is the case, injuries such as cuts, etc., will take longer to heal; It will be affected by most infections and, eventually, their physical and mental abilities may begin to deteriorate.
The problem is more serious when foods and liquids are introduced into the airways (the medical term is aspiration). This can cause serious lung infections or pneumonia.
If you think you belong to any of these risk groups, it is important to acknowledge, and seek help immediately. Likewise, if you know someone who seems to be in this situation, with the corresponding signs and symptoms, you should advise him to ask for help.
Up to 70% of people who have difficulty swallowing are not fully aware of the seriousness of their problem.
Dysphagia can be treated, so if you have trouble swallowing, it is really significant that you ask your physician. Usually, the problem cannot be cured, but there are so many methods that can be used to facilitate the intake of food and beverages, which should not hesitate to seek professional assistance.
People with swallowing difficulties need help for two important reasons:
First, to not suffer from dehydration or malnutrition
Second, to reduce the chances of food and drinks, go through the “wrong way” and entering the airways and lungs, which could cause pneumonia.
Before you can start the treatment, it is important to get an accurate diagnosis of their difficulties, because the treatment will depend on which of the four stages of the normal process of swallowing is affected.
Treatment may belong to four different categories:
- Surgery or modification of drug therapy
- Physical modification
- Changing swallowing
- Changing food
The success of treatment depends to some extent on you. The better you understand what is happening, and is more active participation in their treatment, more lively feel, will acquire more confidence and get more satisfaction.
Surgery / change of prescription
Occasionally, the problem can be alleviated by surgery, but in most cases this is not possible.
Sometimes Dysphagia is triggered by a drug prescribed for another condition: some drugs to control epilepsy and insomnia may, for example, difficulty swallowing; should, therefore, check with your doctor if this is the cause of your problem.
Always sit as upright as possible, with shoulders straight.
If food is stuck even if only briefly, please stand, pull the top of her body and a few steps; this could cause the food to slide his stomach. Do not lie.
If the muscles in his jaw and tongue are weak, you can learn exercises to strengthen and make more effective their chewing.
Learn to make long inspirations (a speech therapist can teach you to breathe more effectively, and help you strengthen the muscles of your tongue and larynx).
If you wear dentures, make sure it is tight.
Allow at least three hours after dinner before bedtime. If food remains stuck in your esophagus overnight it can be very uncomfortable and even painful at times.
Cut your food into small, or have someone do it for you pieces.
If you have lost your sense of smell and touch, not always produce enough saliva to soften your food. Make sure your food have as appetizing as possible and attractive colors.
Take plenty of fluids on hand to facilitate the transit of food.
Make sure to have plenty of time to eat, and that nobody is pressing.
Aim for calm and quiet, without stress and with no other people watching.
If your problem is in the lower part of your esophagus, you may find it quite impossible to eat solid foods. In that case, you must modify your food and change its texture, to swallow without it causes problems.
Liquids should thicken. You may think that water and liquids are simpler to gulp down; however, when you cannot direct the flow well, it’s easy to end up being introduced in the airways and lungs. Your doctor or a dietitian can prescribe thickening agents.
Slightly acid foods (served with lemon, for example) can automatically trigger the swallowing reflex.
To stimulate appetite, food should look good. Shred meat and vegetables separately to prevent their appearance is unappealing. Use dark colored vegetables, such as broccoli and spinach, for example.
Solid foods should be crushed or softened, so that less chewing and require less force to propel them through the pharynx.