Updated: Dec 28, 2021
What is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a disease where you are experiencing difficulties while swallowing foods or liquids. This is the most common disease found in older adults and infants or can happen to anyone. Dysphagia is a Swallowing disorder involving the oral cavity, pharynx, oesophagus, or gastroesophageal junction. This disease mostly affects the area of the oesophagus or throat. If you are dealing with dysphagia, there is a chance that you may experience any of the following symptoms:
Bringing Food back up (regurgitation)
Sudden Weight Reduction
Choking of food when Eating
Causes of Dysphagia:
Possible Causes of Dysphagia Include:
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis - an incurable process of increased neurodegeneration. Over time, the spinal nerves and the brain gradually lose function.
Achalasia - the lower extremity muscles do not get enough rest to allow food to enter the stomach.
Spreading spasm - muscles in the oesophagus contract in an inconsistent way.
Stroke - brain cells die due to lack of oxygen because blood flow is reduced. If brain cells that control swallowing are affected, they can cause dysphagia.
Oesophageal ring - a small part of the canal shrinks, preventing solid food from passing through at other times.
Eosinophilia esophagitis - very high levels of eosinophils (a white cell type) in the blood. These eosinophils grow uncontrollably and attack the digestive system, leading to vomiting and difficulty swallowing food.
Multiple sclerosis - the central nervous system is attacked by the immune system, which destroys myelin, which normally protects the nerves.
Myasthenia gravis (Gold flam disease) - muscles under voluntary control get tired easily and weak because there is a problem with how the nerves promote muscle contraction. This is an autoimmune disease.
Parkinson’s disease and Parkinsonism syndromes - Parkinson's disease is a progressive neurological disorder that impairs a patient's motor skills.
Radiation - some patients receiving radiotherapy for the neck and the head area may have difficulty swallowing.
Cleft lip and palate - a type of abnormal facial growth due to incomplete contact of the bones of the head, leading to gaps (cracks) in the palate and the lip to the nose.
Scleroderma - a group of rare body diseases in which the skin and connective tissue become stiff and stiff.
Oesophageal cancer - a type of cancer in the area, usually related to alcohol and smoking, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. (GERD)
Oesophageal stricture - Throat often associated with GERD.
Xerostomia (dry mouth) - not enough saliva to keep the mouth moist.
Neurological Condition - People with certain disorders of the nervous system make dysphagia much easier.
Aging - Older adults are at greater risk of swallowing food due to common degeneration and sore throat. Also, certain aging disorders can cause dysphagia, such as Parkinson's disease.
Dysphagia leads to:
Malnutrition - This is in the case where people are not aware of the dysphagia and are not being able to treat it. Simply at this moment, they lack enough nutrients for good health.
Dehydration - If a person is not able to drink properly, his drinking of the fluid may not be enough, which in turn leads to dehydration.
Respiratory pneumonia - Food or fluid that gets into your air when you try to swallow can cause aspiration pneumonia because food can bring germs to your lungs.
Weight loss - Due to the difficulty of swallowing food or drink, a person may not get enough nutrients leading to weight loss.
Choking - When food is caught while swallowing; means strangulation. If food completely blocks the airway, and no one intervenes with an effective Heimlich manoeuvre, death is possible.
Diagnosing and Treating Dysphagia:
If you experience difficulty while swallowing you should see a gastroenterologist to find out what is happening. Your doctor will go through your medical history and ask you some questions about the problems you are having. From there, some tests will be done to diagnose dysphagia. These tests include:
Arrium Barium or traditional X-ray
Monitoring Monitoring pH (measuring the amount of acid in the stomach)
In conjunction with providing a diagnosis, your GI doctor may be able to pinpoint the cause of your dysphagia. The reason will determine the type of treatment you receive. Common treatment options include:
Changing your diet and avoiding certain foods
End Endoscopy to remove anything inserted into the throat
Exercise to strengthen and improve the throat and throat muscles
Medication to control heartburn, esophagitis, or GERD
Surgery to remove the blockage Surgery to remove blockages
The cause of your dysphagia will also determine the prognosis. For example, those with dysphagia caused by acid reflux, GERD, or dementia can be completely cured of their condition with medication. Of course, chronic dysphagia can also be effectively managed with regular monitoring and care from a gut specialist.
If you or a loved one has difficulty swallowing a gastroenterologist can find the cause of your symptoms immediately. Ignore swallowing problems. Turn to a doctor as soon as possible to find out what happened.
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We hope you had a wonderful reading experience!