What is dysphagia?

What Does dysphagia Mean

It is called dysphagia to the complication or impediment to swallow . This verb , for its part, refers to the involuntary and voluntary movements that allow an element that is in the mouth to pass to the stomach.

Dysphagia, therefore, is a disorder that makes eating difficult . This problem usually arises from a disease of the esophagus or an organ that is around it, although the causes can be diverse.
If the person experiences problems for food to pass from the mouth and pharynx into the esophagus, it is called oropharyngeal dysphagia . Instead, if the difficulty is registered in the descent of food through the esophagus, the disorder is known as esophageal dysphagia .

Dysphagia can include pain when swallowing, choking, drooling, extensive chewing, clearing of the throat, inability to close the lips, and even rejection or expulsion of food through the tongue. To determine its origin, the doctor may use different studies, such as an esophageal manometry , an X-ray or an esophagogastroduodenoscopy .
Esophageal manometry is known as a study that is carried out with the objective of measuring force, muscle tone or pressure in certain areas of the esophagus while it is in a state of rest. In the same way, it allows to record the characteristics of the internal movements in the process of swallowing, taking into account the activity of the muscles that intervene in it.
Esophagogastroduodenoscopy, for its part, is also called gastroscopy and it is an exam that serves to observe the duodenum, stomach and esophagus. The procedure is carried out with the aid of an endoscope and a series of flexible tubes with a lamp and a video camera at the end that allow the operator to film the cavities and view them on a monitor.
The cancer , Parkinson's disease, stroke (CVA), the gastro-esophageal reflux, thyroid problems gland, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Alzheimer's disease and tonsillitis are among the possible causes of dysphagia. It is important to discover the pathology of origin to define the treatment , which may include changes in diet, drugs or a surgical intervention.
At the level of diet , it is generally suggested that the patient does not ingest alcohol or spicy foods and that they modify the consistency of food and beverages to favor swallowing and thus minimize dysphagia. It is important to note that if not treated properly, dysphagia can seriously compromise the patient's body, both through poor nutrition and lack of hydration.

Among the many tips that experts often give their dysphagia patients to improve their relationship with food are the following:
* Avoid stressful situations at mealtime, something in which the person in charge of caring for the patient must collaborate;
* never eat in a hurry, but assume that swallowing will take longer than normal, but allow the body to complete the process at its own pace;
* remain seated during the meal and a minimum of half an hour during the beginning of digestion , to ensure that the food has descended sufficiently along the esophagus;
* for those with dysphagia who are in bed, it is necessary to help them to sit up as much as possible since giving them food while lying down is an unacceptable decision;
* If we have to feed a dysphagia patient , the cutlery should be brought closer to him from below, to avoid him being forced to raise his head.

Go up