Sometimes we feel difficulty in swallowing that may be caused due to momentary factors. But some people are seen suffering from this problem more often. This condition is then referred to as dysphagia. It is mainly a disorder which is related to the throat or esophagus. It is worth noting that esophagus is the pathway amid mouth and the stomach. Due to problems in swallowing, the food or liquid items consumed by the body are not passed to the stomach easily. It is because the muscles and nerves that help in passage of foods and liquids via esophagus are not working properly.
Under normal circumstances, these muscles and nerves contract so that the food may be passed through the food pipe easily and reach the stomach. Due to certain problems with the brain or the nervous system, these muscles or nerves don’t work properly and hence create problems in swallowing. This condition is then referred to as dysphagia. Occasional occurrence of difficulty in swallowing is okay but frequent recurrence of the same needs immediate medical treatment and attention.
Sometimes problem of dysphagia may arise due to blockage or obstructions in the food pipe or esophagus. Due to problems in difficulty and improper intake of foods as a result of this condition, the concerned person may also suffer from low energy levels and physical exhaustion, weakness and fatigue.
What are the common and possible causes of dysphagia?
As per medical science, dysphagia may be caused due to multiple factors such as-
Brain stroke or some other brain or nervous disorders
Cancer of the head or neck
Inflammation of the tonsils or larynx or inflammatory conditions relevant to these body parts
Gastro- oesophageal reflux
Any type of head injury
Unlimited alcohol intake
Poor dental conditions
Administration of certain drugs or medicines
Common symptoms of dysphagia
Some of the commonly noticed symptoms of dysphagia are-
Choking, gagging or coughing during swallowing of the foods
Problems in passage of foods or liquids via food pipe in first attempt or easily
Feeling of obstruction of food pipe, throat, or chest foods or liquids consumed by the body
Reiteration of foods or liquids via throat, mouth or nose immediately after swallowing
Experience of pain during swallowing of foods
Loss of weight due to inadequate intake of foods or liquids
Chest pain or heartburn or experience of pressure in the chest
How to cure and prevent dysphagia?
Problem in swallowing of foods or commonly called as dysphagia can be cured and prevented by taking care of some points relevant to eating habits, lifestyle and other general habits.
Instead of eating heavy foods or meals at a time, you may prefer having small meals frequently.
Also make sure that the foods consumed by you are cut down into smaller pieces and chewed well. Eat slowly so that the foods consumed by you get completely digested.
Avoid smoking, alcohol and caffeine as all these result in heartburn.
Avoid consuming sticky foods as these may choke the food pipe.