Difficulty Swallowing / Dysphagia Treatment
by ShawnKhodadadian
 Manhattan Gastroenterology (Upper East Side)
Sep 17, 2020 | 172 views | 0 0 comments | 16 16 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink

If you are experiencing dysphagia or difficulty swallowing, you should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan and to exclude a serious condition.

If you have difficulty swallowing food or liquids you may have a medical condition called dysphagia. If you are experiencing dysphagia, you should always be evaluated with a thorough consultation and examination by a physician for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan and to exclude a serious illness or condition such as esophageal cancer or other causes.  There are many potential causes of dysphagia which will require a thorough evaluation.

Symptoms of Difficulty Swallowing

If an obstruction is blocking your windpipe or preventing you from breathing properly, get medical help immediately. Symptoms of swallowing difficulty can include:

  • Coughing or choking when trying to swallow
  • Pain while swallowing
  • Unable to swallow
  • Drooling
  • Hoarseness
  • Feeling like food is stuck in your throat or chest
  • Regurgitation
  • Heartburn / GERD
  • Acid reflux
  • Dehydration
  • Unexpected weight loss

Causes of Difficulty Swallowing

When you swallow, it seems like a natural act, but it’s actually composed of three actions: moving food or liquid from your mouth to your throat, squeezing it down your throat past your windpipe, and sending it down your esophagus to your stomach. Problems can occur during any of the three actions.

Mouth causes of swallowing difficulty include:

  • Dry mouth, not enough saliva to move food out of your mouth, which can be caused by medications or a different health issue

Throat causes of swallowing difficulty (oropharyngeal dysphagia) include:

  • Neurological disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy or post-polio syndrome
  • Neurological damage such as from a spinal cord injury or stroke
  • Cancer and some cancer treatments
  • A condition called pharyngeal diverticula that creates a small pouch in your throat, just above your esophagus, that collects food and leads to difficulty swallowing and other problems

Read the opinion of our doctors about swallowing here: https://www.manhattangastroenterology.com/conditions/difficulty-swallowing/

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