Dysphagia is a medical term used to describe difficulty swallowing food or liquid. People who have this condition may swallow more slowly when compared to others, or it may be painful for them to swallow. In some severe cases, swallowing might even be impossible. Dysphagia is a condition that can lead to various symptoms along with swallowing difficulties. Some of the main symptoms of this condition include:
Food Feeling Stuck in the Throat
Dysphagia is a condition that sometimes may cause sensations of something being stuck in the throat while eating. In some cases, it may simply be a sensation due to throat tightening. In other cases, food may be getting stuck in the throat, causing it to be regurgitated back up into the mouth or even through the nose afterwards.
Struggling with Swallowing Liquids
Problems with swallowing liquids such as water, juice, coffee, tea, or soups is another common symptom of dysphagia. Aspiration may occur, which is when a liquid that you swallow ‘goes down the wrong way’, entering your lungs or airways. If you have this condition and are having problems with swallowing liquids, there are products that you can use to help such as Simply Thick. This can be added to liquid products to make them thicker and therefore easier to swallow without aspiration.
Many people who have difficulty swallowing are not only having trouble swallowing their food and drinks, but also their own saliva. Since this condition can cause a person to swallow less often throughout the day, it can cause drooling from excess saliva.
Coughing While Eating
Coughing during eating or after eating can also be more likely when somebody has dysphagia. This tends to be a result of the fact that the food has not been fully cleared from the throat after eating. As a result of this symptom, there may be an increased risk of choking.
When somebody with dysphagia struggles with swallowing liquid, this can cause problems with properly drinking. Because of this, it can lead to an insufficient intake of fluid, causing dehydration to occur. Symptoms of dehydration can include fatigue, tiredness, dry hair, skin and nails, headaches, and dark colored urine.
People with dysphagia may struggle to eat as much food as they need or get the right amount of nutrients in their diet, which can lead to sudden and rapid weight loss. Weight loss can occur very quickly when somebody is not getting the right amount of calories in their diet. If you or somebody that you care for has dysphagia, it’s worth considering a diet that is rich in healthy fats from foods that tend to be easy to swallow like Greek yogurt or avocado.
Dysphagia is a condition that makes swallowing food and liquid difficult. While it can be a condition on its own, it’s often a result of a more serious underlying health issue. If you have noticed any of these symptoms in yourself or somebody else, it’s important to visit your doctor.