What Is Dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a condition that causes discomfort and difficulty when swallowing liquids and food. It is generally a side effect of issues such as esophageal damage or severe acid reflux. It’s an uncomfortable condition to develop as it makes enjoying your favorite meals very difficult. From heartburn to choking, dysphagia symptoms vary from person to person. But thankfully, they can be treated and managed effectively.
Medication from your doctor can treat both the cause of your dysphagia, and it’s symptoms. But there are also changes you can make to your lifestyle which can lessen your symptoms too. So if you’ve just been diagnosed with dysphagia, these suggestions could
lop as it makes enjoying your favorite meals very difficult. From heartburn to choking, dysphagia symptoms vary from person to person. But thankfully, they can be treated and managed effectively. Medication from your doctor can treat both the cause of your dysphagia, and it’s symptoms. But there are also changes you can make to your lifestyle which can lessen your symptoms too. So if you’ve just been diagnosed with dysphagia, these suggestions could transform your life.
The smoke you inhale when smoking a cigarette causes irritation to your esophagus. As your esophagus is already in a vulnerable state, this can increase your dysphagia symptoms tenfold. So if you want to regain ease of swallowing, it might be time to give up your habit. Not only will this help to lessen your dysphagia symptoms, but quitting will also improve your overall health. In addition to giving up nicotine, you should also stop drinking alcoholic beverages.
These too can cause further damage to your esophagus and increase your chances of getting heartburn. Find a support group in your local area or talk to your doctor about effectively giving smoking and drinking up for good.
Eat Smaller Meals
Instead of having three meals a day, Dysphagia sufferers should have smaller and more frequent meals throughout the day. As well as having smaller meals, you should also make your food as easy to swallow as possible. You can do this by adding a thickening agent to foods such as soup or sauces.
This makes them more comfortable to swallow without affecting their taste. Cutting up your food into manageable pieces can also be effective. Doing this will cause less damage to your esophagus while it heals and makes your food easier to swallow too. When it’s painful or uncomfortable to swallow, it can be difficult to maintain a healthy weight. So talk to your doctor about nutrition and how you can give your body what it needs.
Rethink What You Eat
Some foods can act as a trigger for your Dysphagia which can make your symptoms more intense. These can include chocolate, fried food and citrus-based fruit juices. While these are common triggers, they won’t affect every Dysphagia sufferer in the same way.
It can be beneficial to keep a food diary which documents what you eat and drink each day. If you begin to experience difficulty swallowing, it will then be easier to know what the trigger was. This can then help you avoid it again in future. Removing these triggers from your diet or reducing how much you consume could make a significant difference to your condition.
If you are still having difficulty swallowing after making these changes, surgery might be necessary. This is common with people experiencing severe forms of Dysphagia. Talk to your doctor about your lack of improvement, so you can work towards finding a more suitable solution.