If you have great difficulty swallowing food or drink, you very well might have a condition known as dysphagia. This is a condition that can develop whenever one or more of the muscles involved in the act of swallowing is damaged or injured in some way that prevents them from working properly.
The resulting feeling of being physically unable to swallow food, even that which has been chewed and broken down properly, can be incredibly upsetting. For some people, dysphagia is so severe that even drinking certain consistencies of liquid can be challenging. While this can be a difficult condition to live with, there are a number of things that can be done in order to help you to manage your dysphagia. Depending on the manner in which your condition developed, you might even be able to strengthen the muscles that have been damaged enough to regain the ability to swallow properly.
If you are suffering from dysphagia, here are three ways in which you can better manage your condition.
1. Use Thickening Agents
For many who suffer from dysphagia, the key issue is being able to consume an adequate amount of nutrition on a day-to-day basis. If it is difficult for you to swallow more solid foods, you could be depriving your body of the protein, carbohydrates, and vitamins that it needs to function properly.
It is important that you find a consistency of food that you can comfortably swallow. Thickening agents like Simply Thick can help with this as they allow you to adjust the consistency of blended foods and drinks. Once you are able to find a consistency that works for you, you will be better able to ensure that you are getting the nutrition that you need on a day-to-day basis.
2. Perform Strengthening Exercises
There are a number of reasons why someone might have developed dysphagia. Perhaps you underwent a surgical procedure that required you to be intubated for some time. In some cases, intubation can cause damage to the muscles in your throat that are used for swallowing. Dysphagia can also develop as one ages and begins to lose control over some of the muscles in their body.
Regardless of how your condition developed, there are actually specific strengthening exercises that you can do in order to help you regain the use of your swallowing muscles. For the best results, such exercises should be done every day at least, if not multiple times a day if you are capable.
For some people, medication can go a long way to helping alleviate the symptoms of dysphagia. Such a course of treatment is generally helpful to those who have dysphagia that is the result of indigestion or acid reflux.
Severe acid reflux or issues with digestion can result in stomach acid reaching and damaging the muscles used for swallowing. By taking medication to manage your acid reflux, you can allow those muscles to heal so that you can once again swallow properly.
Whether you have recently started suffering from dysphagia or have done for years, learning to manage it is the key. With these three methods, you might just be able to do that and find yourself enjoying a better quality of life because of it. Speak to your doctor and try each method to see which one works best for you.