Is the term ‘dysphagia’ new to you? Is it a medical condition you’ve never heard of? Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that can affect people of all ages but tends to be more common in older individuals. It can range in severity and can be temporary or permanent, depending on the cause. There are also many treatment options available to those with dysphagia, which makes coping and living with it much easier.
Are you concerned you may have dysphagia? If so, it’s good to know the common symptoms so you know whether or not it would be wise to book an appointment with your doctor. Of course, any concerns at all should be enough to give them a call. Here’s a look at six symptoms of dysphagia.
Pain When Swallowing
This particular symptom can be a sign of many different health issues but the pain when swallowing is a commonly reported symptom of dysphagia.
Trouble or Inability to Swallow
The severity of this symptom will vary and can worsen over time if not addressed. If you have difficulty swallowing food and even thin liquids, it’s best to speak to your doctor. If left unchecked, it can get worse and you may become unable to swallow. An inability to swallow means you risk dehydration and not getting the proper nutrients. This issue is often solved by switching to a liquid diet that is the right consistency – not too thick and not too thin. Thickening agents such as Simply Thick are meant for this purpose.
Swallowing Causes Gagging or Coughing
Maybe you can physically swallow but it is a lot of work and effort and results in gagging or coughing. Again, you risk all those same issues – dehydration and poor nutrition. It also makes eating and drinking an unpleasant and even scary experience.
You Have Liquid or Food Leak from Your Mouth
When eating or drinking, do you ever experience it leaking from your mouth? This can be another sign of dysphagia. Often, people with the disorder have to take more time and effort to chew and swallow and even then it can get stuck and even leak out.
Uncomfortable After Meals and Drinking
Those who suffer from dysphagia often report feeling uncomfortable or even in pain after eating or drinking. It can feel like something is stuck in your throat immediately after, and this feeling can last for a while. It may even feel stuck in your chest. Pain may be experienced too and you may encounter a hard time breathing after you finish your meal.
Sudden Weight Loss
Sudden weight loss should not be seen as the only symptom or indicator as this can be tied to different illnesses and issues. However, if you have the abovementioned symptoms plus sudden weight loss, they can point to dysphagia. The weight loss is due to not getting enough nutrients and calories in your body.
The important thing to remember is that if you suspect you may have dysphagia, it is necessary to speak to your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. From there, a treatment plan can be developed.