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Difficulty Swallowing Tips

Dysphagia Or Difficulty In Swallowing!

Dr. Akanksha Tayal 91% (3502 ratings)
BHMS
Homeopath, Delhi
DYSPHAGIA [DYSPHAGIA]

Difficulty in swallowing solids or liquids is called dysphagia.
 
CAUSES:
• Enlarged tonsils.
• Cancer of the oral cavity.
• Fungal infection of the mouth.
• Cerebro-vascular accidents.
• Motor neuron disease [a nerve disorder].
• Myasthenia gravis [fatigue and exhaustion of the muscular system with progressive muscular paralysis].
• Parkinsonism [a group of neurological disorder marked by diminished motor activity, tremor and muscular rigidity].
• Pharyngo-esophageal diverticulum [pouch/sac].
• Pharyngeal pouch.
• Post-cricoid web.
• Achalasia [failure of the sphincter at the junction of the esophagus and the stomach, to relax].
• Diffuse esophageal spasm.
• Abnormal course of subclavian artery.
• Oesophagitis.
• Peptic stricture.
• External compression from mediastinal masses.
• Dilated left atrium [chamber of heart] in mitral stenosis.
 
SIGN AND SYMPTOMS:
• Difficulty in swallowing solids or liquids or both.
• Nasal regurgitation or cough, while swallowing.
• Difficulty in swallowing when watched by others [in Parkinsonism].
• Sensation of fullness in the middle of the chest with a feeling as if the food had stopped somewhere along the esophagus.
• Regurgitation relieves pain and fullness in the centre of the chest.
• Cough.
• Need to drink water while eating.
• Can lead to malnutrition.
 
DIETARY MANAGEMENT:
• Treat the cause.
• Eat soft, semisolid or mashed food, which is easy to swallow.
• Consume soups – vegetable, tomatoes, and green leafy vegetables etc.
• Have fruits juices, sugarcane juice, buttermilk, and milk.
• Make different porridge- wheat porridge, rice porridge or lentil porridge etc.
• Boil food properly and then mash it so it's easy to swallow.
• Try to make different varieties so all nutrients are consumed to prevent malnutrition.
• Eat small quantities of food at regular intervals.
• In severe cases where food is supplied to the body through food pipe,feed different varieties of soups, porridge and juices.
 
NOTE:
• Do not speak while eating.
• Eat your food very slowly.
• Chew the food well.

Achalasia - What Can Cause It?

Dr. Rajneesh Gulati 85% (10 ratings)
MBBS Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, MD - Medicine, DM (Gastroenterology)
Gastroenterologist, Delhi
Achalasia - What Can Cause It?

Achalasia is a very rare disease. Normally, your esophagus squeezes food down by making the muscular valve in between the stomach and esophagus relax. Achalasia occurs when this muscular valve is unable to relax and thus the esophagus is unable to squeeze the food down. The most common reason why this happens is because the nerves in your esophagus are damaged. The nerves most commonly get damaged because of abnormalities in the way your immune system responds. Till now, there is no cure to achalasia; however surgery or minimally invasive therapy can make the symptoms of achalasia more manageable. Here are all the causes and symptoms of achalasia:

Symptoms

1.  Difficulty swallowing
The difficulty you face when swallowing food is the most common symptom of achalasia. Both liquid as well as solid food will be hard to swallow.

2.  Regurgitation
If the food is regurgitating in the night, then the lungs may have been inhaling some food. This is very serious and you should see the doctor immediately if this occurs.

3.  Chest pain
You may suddenly experience chest pain from a completely unknown cause. 

4.  Weight loss
You may also suffer from sudden weight loss if you have achalasia. This is due to the reduced amount of food you will be consuming.

5.  Heartburn
Heartburn is when you have a very intense burning pain in your chest just behind your breastbone which is most commonly caused by regurgitation in your esophagus. 

Causes
The exact cause of achalasia is not yet known. However, there are some theories on what causes achalasia. Here they are.

1.  Genes
The most common cause of achalasia is genes. 

2.  Autoimmune disease
An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your body's own cells. Achalasia is a type of autoimmune disease.

3.  Infection
There have also been a lot of claims that infections are the cause of achalasia.

2491 people found this helpful

All About Tonsillits!

Dr. Swarup Kumar Ghosh 88% (82 ratings)
MD - Bio-Chemistry, MF Homeo (London), DHMS (Diploma in Homeopathic Medicine and Surgery), BHMS
Homeopath, Kolkata
All About Tonsillits!

Tonsillitis:- infectious and inflammatory condition of tonsils is termed as tonsillitis.
Causative organisms:- staphylococcus, streptococcus, pneumococcus and e-coli.

Types of Tonsillitis:- 
1. Acute tonsillitis- inflammation of tonsils by the infection caused by causative organism.
2. Chronic tonsillitis- recurrent attacks of acute tonsillitis can cause chronic tonsillitis. 

Aetiology:-
▪often affects children, adults are less affected.
▪chronic infection in sinusitis or teeth may be the predisposing factors of chronic tonsillitis.

Signs and Symptoms:-
▪sore throat.
▪difficulty in swallowing.
▪fever-38 to 40°c, with chills and rigor. 
▪headache.
▪body ache.
▪malaise.
▪constipation.
▪tonsils may show varying degree of enlargement.
▪often the breadth is foetid, and tongue is coasted.
▪tonsils are red and swollen with yellowish spots of purulent material presenting at the opening of crypts. 
▪the jugulodigastric lymph nodes are enlarged and tender.
▪flushing of anterior pillars compared to the rest of phrangeal mucosa is an important sign.

Treatment:-
General treatment:-

  • bed rest and encouraged the patient to take plenty of fluids.
  • attention to general health, diet.
  • treatment of co-exist infection of teeth, nose and sinusitis.
  • tonsillectomy if needed. 


Homoeopathic treatment:-

  • Baryta carb- every cold settles in throat, smarting in throat when swallowing. Throat is sore to touch. Tonsils enlarge and prone to suppurates, especially on right side. Bell- tonsillitis, worse on right side. Great dryness in throat with redness and burning. Feels constricted during swallowing. 
  • Calc. Fluor- follicular sore throat, plugs of mucous are continually forming in the crypts of the tonsils. Pain and burning in the throat better by warm drinks and worse by cold drinks.
  • Hepar sulph- passive and constricted sensation in the throat. Stiches in the throat which extend to ear. Smarting soreness in throat, worse on swallowing. Sensation as if fish bone or splincter were sticking in the throat. 
  • Lechesis- soreness, dryness and constriction in throat. Dark purple appearance of membrane. Throat seems large lump has settled over there. Liquid is more painful than solid. Thrpat is sensitive to touch. 
  • Psorinum- in chronic tonsillitis. Cutting and tearing pain especially when swallowing. Aggravate from cold air cold food and drink. Ameliorate by warm application and covering. Offensive saliva and taugh mucus in throat.
  • Phytolacca- sensation of lump, dark, red, ash-coloured appearance of throat, great pain in root of tongue, pain shoots from throat into ears on swallowing. Pain is shifting in nature. Tonsils are ulcerated and swollen. Sore throat.
  • Few other homoeopathic remedies are- puls, bry, syphilinum, nat sulph. Etc.
2 people found this helpful

Difficulty In Swallowing - Are You At Risk Of Dysphagia?

Dr. Ajay Singhal 88% (10 ratings)
MBBS, Diploma In Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), DNB (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Difficulty In Swallowing - Are You At Risk Of Dysphagia?

Swallowing food comes naturally to human beings. But when there is a problem, it is usually called Dysphagia. Esophagus, a muscular tube-like organ located at the back of our throat, usually helps in swallowing food and transferring them to our stomach. When esophagus does not function properly, dysphagia happens. Patients suffering from brain or nerve disorder, seniors and babies might have this problem.

People with dysphagia might witness the following issues:

  • Difficulty in swallowing solids and liquids.
  • Gaging, choking or coughing usually occurs when trying to swallow.
  • Experience pain when trying to swallow and also heartburn.
  • Swallowed food might come back up either through mouth or nose.
  • A chronic problem might result in weight loss.

Causes:
There are 2 main reasons, why the Esophagus might become dysfunctional.

  1. Due to some medical condition the muscles and nerves that help the esophagus work have stopped working.
  2. The esophagus is blocked by something.

There can be a number of reasons for both the condition. Here are the reasons why the muscles and nerves might not work.
Certain diseases can create problems with your nervous system, which in turn can affect the esophagus. These diseases are polio, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease.

  1. A brain stroke, spinal cord injury or brain injury can also affect swallowing.
  2. Polymyositis or Dermatomyositis are immune system problems that can cause swelling or weakness.
  3. The muscles of esophagus suddenly squeeze, which is called esophagus spasm.
  4. Scleroderma causes the esophagus to become thin and weak.

The esophagus might be blocked because of these reasons:

  1. Esophagus might have malignant or non-malignant tumours.
  2. Esophagitis is a medical condition when the esophagus is infected, got some allergy or even if a pill got stuck on it.
  3. People suffering from reflux diseases often experience the acid that backs up into the esophagus. This can cause an ulcer on it resulting in scars. Scars make Esophagus narrower, making it difficult to swallow.
  4. There are small sacs called Diverticula on the esophagus or the throat, often making it difficult to swallow.
  5. Lymph nodes, tumours, bone spurs can also obstruct esophagus and create difficulty in swallowing.
4007 people found this helpful

Dysphagia - Know More About It In Detail!

Dr. Anurag Tandon 86% (68 ratings)
MS - ENT, Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MBBS
ENT Specialist, Delhi
Dysphagia - Know More About It In Detail!

Swallowing food comes naturally to human beings. But when there is a problem, it is usually called Dysphagia. Esophagus, a muscular tube-like organ located at the back of our throat, usually helps in swallowing food and transferring them to our stomach. When esophagus does not function properly, dysphagia happens. Patients suffering from brain or nerve disorder, seniors and babies might have this problem.

People with dysphagia might witness the following issues:

  • Difficulty in swallowing solids and liquids.
  • Gaging, choking or coughing usually occurs when trying to swallow.
  • Experience pain when trying to swallow and also heartburn.
  • Swallowed food might come back up either through mouth or nose.
  • A chronic problem might result in weight loss.

Causes:
There are 2 main reasons, why the Esophagus might become dysfunctional.

  1. Due to some medical condition the muscles and nerves that help the esophagus work have stopped working.
  2. The esophagus is blocked by something.

There can be a number of reasons for both the condition. Here are the reasons why the muscles and nerves might not work.

Certain diseases can create problems with your nervous system, which in turn can affect the esophagus. These diseases are polio, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease.

 

  1. A brain stroke, spinal cord injury or brain injury can also affect swallowing.
  2. Polymyositis or Dermatomyositis are immune system problems that can cause swelling or weakness.
  3. The muscles of esophagus suddenly squeeze, which is called esophagus spasm.
  4. Scleroderma causes the esophagus to become thin and weak.

The esophagus might be blocked because of these reasons:

  1. Esophagus might have malignant or non-malignant tumours.
  2. Esophagitis is a medical condition when the esophagus is infected, got some allergy or even if a pill got stuck on it.
  3. People suffering from reflux diseases often experience the acid that backs up into the esophagus. This can cause an ulcer on it resulting in scars. Scars make Esophagus narrower, making it difficult to swallow.
  4. There are small sacs called Diverticula on the esophagus or the throat, often making it difficult to swallow.
  5. Lymph nodes, tumours, bone spurs can also obstruct esophagus and create difficulty in swallowing.
2570 people found this helpful

5 Symptoms Of Achalasia!

Dr. Yuvaraja 85% (10 ratings)
MS - General Surgery, Membership of The Royal College of Surgeons (MRCS), Diploma In Laparoscopy, FICS, FACRSI
Gastroenterologist, Salem
5 Symptoms Of Achalasia!

Achalasia is a very rare disease. Normally, your esophagus squeezes food down by making the muscular valve in between the stomach and esophagus relax. Achalasia occurs when this muscular valve is unable to relax and thus the esophagus is unable to squeeze the food down. The most common reason why this happens is because the nerves in your esophagus are damaged. The nerves most commonly get damaged because of abnormalities in the way your immune system responds. Till now, there is no cure to achalasia; however, surgery or minimally invasive therapy can make the symptoms of achalasia more manageable. Here are all the causes and symptoms of achalasia:

Symptoms:

  1. Difficulty swallowing: The difficulty you face when swallowing food is the most common symptom of achalasia. Both liquid as well as solid food will be hard to swallow.
  2. Regurgitation: If the food is regurgitating in the night, then the lungs may have been inhaling some food. This is very serious and you should see the doctor immediately if this occurs.
  3. Chest pain: You may suddenly experience chest pain from a completely unknown cause. 
  4. Weight loss: You may also suffer from sudden weight loss if you have achalasia. This is due to the reduced amount of food you will be consuming.
  5. Heartburn: Heartburn is when you have a very intense burning pain in your chest just behind your breastbone which is most commonly caused by regurgitation in your esophagus. 

Causes:
The exact cause of achalasia is not yet known. However, there are some theories on what causes achalasia. Here they are.

  1. Genes: The most common cause of achalasia is genes. 
  2. Autoimmune disease: An autoimmune disease is when your immune system attacks your body's own cells. Achalasia is a type of autoimmune disease.
  3. Infection: There have also been a lot of claims that infections are the cause of achalasia.

5 Treatment Methods For Dysphagia

Dr. Kunal Das 92% (13 ratings)
DM - Gastroenterology, MD - Internal Medicine, MBBS Bachelor of Medicine & Bachelor of Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Noida
5 Treatment Methods For Dysphagia

Dysphagia is the difficulty in swallowing food or liquid. Most people suffering from dysphagia are unaware of their medical condition and only realize it in later stages. When not diagnosed and treated in time, it may lead to aspiration pneumonia (lung infection occurring due to food particles or saliva entering the lung), weight loss, dehydration and malnutrition. Some of the symptoms include:

  1. Heartburn
  2. Choking
  3. Drooling
  4. Having the feeling of food getting stuck in the chest or throat.
  5. Food or stomach acid coming back up into the throat
  6. Regurgitation
  7. Hoarseness of the throat
  8. Gagging and coughing while swallowing
  9. Experiencing pain while swallowing

There are two types of dysphagia:

Esophageal Dysphagia:
This is also known as low dysphagia and is the condition in which one can sense food getting stuck in the throat or chest area. The problem lies in the esophagus. Generally, the surgical procedure is required to solve the problem. Some of the causes of low dysphagia include-

  1. Achalasia- lower muscles in the esophagus do not allow food to enter the stomach.
  2. Diffuse spasm- Uncontrolled contractions of the lower esophagus after swallowing food.
  3. Esophageal stricture- Narrowing of the passage of esophagus making it difficult for food to pass. It often leads to GERD (Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease).
  4. Esophageal Ring- A narrowing of the lower portion of the esophagus
  5. Scleroderma- Autoimmune disease where it leads to hardening and stiffening of body tissues.

Oropharyngeal Dysphagia:
This is also known as high dysphagia and is the condition where the throat muscles become weak making it difficult to swallow food. Some of the causes for high dysphagia include- stroke, Parkinson’s disease, Zenker’s Diverticulum (a condition in which food particles get accumulated inside a small pouch in your throat) and cancer.


Treatments:
Depending on the type of dysphagia, you will be advised any one of the treatment courses available. It can range from swallowing therapy, dietary changes, feeding tubes and medications to even surgery. The treatment is carried out by a multidisciplinary team. A multidisciplinary team includes- a speech-language pathologist, primary physician, gastroenterologist, dietitian, therapist, radiologist and pharmacist. The treatments for dysphagia include:

 

  1. Swallowing Therapy- If you are suffering from high dysphagia, you will be referred to speech and language therapists. You will be taught a number of exercises to make the process of swallowing easier and simple.
  2. Dietary Changes- In this method, you will be referred to a dietician or nutritionist. You will be advised a well-balanced and healthy diet that may include more liquid and semi-liquid food.
  3. Feeding Tube- When swallowing becomes extremely difficult and the patient is at risk of suffering from malnutrition and dehydration, the patient is usually fed through a nasogastric tube which passes through the nose and into the stomach. PEG (percutaneous endoscopic gastronomy) tube which is directly implanted in your stomach.
  4. Dilation- People suffering from low dysphagia have to undergo surgery. One of the methods is dilation. Through endoscopy, images of inside the throat is taken and a small balloon is inserted.
  5. Botulinum Toxin (Botox) - One of the causes for low dysphagia is achalasia. In such cases, botulinum toxin is used to relax and weaken the stiff and hardened muscles of the esophagus.

These were some of the treatment options for dysphagia that prove it is treatable and can be cured easily. Generally, dysphagia occurs in older people and babies. Whatever may be the cause, the main purpose of the treatment of dysphagia is to make the patient go back to oral feeding.

2913 people found this helpful

What Is Dysphagia?

Dr. Preeti Mishra 88% (32 ratings)
BASLP (Bachelor of Audiology Speech Language Pathology)
Speech Therapist, Kolkata

Difficulty in swallowing your food or your own saliva is called dysphagia. It takes more time and effort to move food from mouth to stomach.

Symptoms:-

  • Pain while swallowing
  • Unable to swallow
  • Drooling
  • Loss of weight
  • Cough or gagging while swallowing

Difficulty In Swallowing Your Food - Can You Be Suffering From Achalasia?

Dr. Himanshu Yadav 88% (40 ratings)
MBBS, M.S. (Gold Medalist), MCh - Surgical Gastroenterology/G.I. Surgery
Gastroenterologist, Agra
Difficulty In Swallowing Your Food - Can You Be Suffering From Achalasia?

The tube that carries food to your stomach from your throat is called the oesophagus. When the muscular valve (lower oesophagus sphincter) in the oesophagus fails to relax and carry the food to the stomach, the condition is termed as achalasia.

Achalasia has a variety of causes, and can be difficult for your doctor to diagnose the exact cause. Some common causes of achalasia include:
1. Hereditary predispositions
2. Autoimmune disorders (The immune system erroneously destroys healthy cells in the body)
3. Nerve degeneration in the oesophagus
There other medical conditions that often lead to symptoms identical to achalasia, such as oesophageal cancer and Chagas’ disease (an infectious disease caused by a parasite).

Other symptoms of achalasia include:

The most prominent symptom of achalasia is dysphagia, which is characterised by swallowing difficulties or sensations of food stuck in the oesophagus. Dysphagia often triggers coughing and shortness of breath or choking on food.
1. Discomfort or pain in the chest
2. Weight loss
3. Heartburn
4. Intense discomfort or pain after eating

Some of the treatments include:

Most of the methods to treat achalasia focus on the lower oesophageal sphincter (LES). The treatments used can either permanently alter the sphincter’s function, or reduce symptoms.
1. Oral medications such as calcium channel blockers or nitrates are prescribed, which can relax the LES to let food pass through with more ease. Your doctor may also treat the LES with Botox.
2. For a more permanent treatment, the sphincter can be dilated or altered. In dilation, a balloon is inserted into the oesophagus and it is inflated. This will stretch out your oesophagus to improve function.
3. To alter the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy is performed. It is a kind of surgery where minimal incisions are made to gain access to the LES, and then it is carefully altered to improve flow of food to the stomach.

Unlike dilation, which can cause complications such as tears in the oesophagus, oesophagomyotomy has a greater success rate. However, certain complications may still arise, such as:
1. Acid reflux
2. Respiratory conditions that are caused by food entering your windpipe

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

3391 people found this helpful

Difficulty in Swallowing - Can It Be Due To Esophagus Blocking?

Dr. Parth Amin 86% (13 ratings)
DNB (ENT), Diploma in Otorhinolaryngology (DLO), MBBS, SR (ENT)
ENT Specialist, Ahmedabad
Difficulty in Swallowing - Can It Be Due To Esophagus Blocking?

Swallowing food comes naturally to human beings. But when there is a problem, it is usually called Dysphagia. Esophagus, a muscular tube-like organ located at the back of our throat, usually helps in swallowing food and transferring them to our stomach. When esophagus does not function properly, dysphagia happens. Patients suffering from brain or nerve disorder, seniors and babies might have this problem.

People with dysphagia might witness the following issues:

  • Difficulty in swallowing solids and liquids.
  • Gaging, choking or coughing usually occurs when trying to swallow.
  • Experience pain when trying to swallow and also heartburn.
  • Swallowed food might come back up either through mouth or nose.
  • A chronic problem might result in weight loss.

Causes:
There are 2 main reasons, why the Esophagus might become dysfunctional.

  1. Due to some medical condition the muscles and nerves that help the esophagus work have stopped working.
  2. The esophagus is blocked by something.

There can be a number of reasons for both the condition. Here are the reasons why the muscles and nerves might not work.
Certain diseases can create problems with your nervous system, which in turn can affect the esophagus. These diseases are polio, multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, Parkinson’s disease.

  1. A brain stroke, spinal cord injury or brain injury can also affect swallowing.
  2. Polymyositis or Dermatomyositis are immune system problems that can cause swelling or weakness.
  3. The muscles of esophagus suddenly squeeze, which is called esophagus spasm.
  4. Scleroderma causes the esophagus to become thin and weak.

The esophagus might be blocked because of these reasons:

  1. Esophagus might have malignant or non-malignant tumours.
  2. Esophagitis is a medical condition when the esophagus is infected, got some allergy or even if a pill got stuck on it.
  3. People suffering from reflux diseases often experience the acid that backs up into the esophagus. This can cause an ulcer on it resulting in scars. Scars make Esophagus narrower, making it difficult to swallow.
  4. There are small sacs called Diverticula on the esophagus or the throat, often making it difficult to swallow.
  5. Lymph nodes, tumours, bone spurs can also obstruct esophagus and create difficulty in swallowing.

In case you have a concern or query you can always consult an expert & get answers to your questions!

4418 people found this helpful
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