Dysphagia With GastroMed Connect

What is dysphagia?

Dysphagia is an individual’s difficulty or inability to ingest food or liquid. There could be many explanations for why a person may experience dysphagia. It may be due to muscle spasms in the throat or esophagus, not chewing their food thoroughly, or other internal problems. Dysphagia can also refer to the feeling of food being stuck in one’s neck or chest area. If you notice such symptoms and need treatment for dysphagia in Kyle, TX there is help available. Reach out to our experienced GI specialists at GastroMed Connect today for treatment options that we can provide to help you get back to an improved quality of life.

What causes dysphagia?

Dysphagia may be diagnosed as one of two variations and the causes are unique for each type.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia

Oropharyngeal dysphagia involves trouble when starting to swallow. Neuromuscular factors are more frequent in this variety of dysphagia. This is because the muscles of the mouth, the back portion of your throat, and the top portion of the esophagus directly communicate with the brain. Nerves in these locations can be damaged, causing issues with swallowing.

On some occasions, narrowed areas in the esophagus (strictures) or tumors forming in the rear of the throat can cause difficulty swallowing.

Esophageal dysphagia

The condition known as esophageal dysphagia has numerous causes. Some of the most frequent include:

  • Achalasia (the condition where the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is unable to relax while swallowing because of a problem with nerve control)
  • Blockage by a foreign body in the esophagus
  • Esophageal muscle weakness
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
  • Inflammation in the esophagus due to acid reflux
  • Esophageal spasms
  • Scarring in the esophagus from acid reflux (GERD)

What are some symptoms of dysphagia?

The most frequent signs and symptoms of dysphagia include (but are not limited to):

  • Drooling
  • Inability to swallow
  • Food impaction (food getting stuck)
  • The sensation of food being stuck in your chest or throat
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Chest pain
  • Acid reflux
  • Discomfort when swallowing
  • Regurgitation
  • Liquid or food regurgitates via your nose
  • Gagging or coughing while swallowing
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Hoarseness

Should you have any of the symptoms of dysphagia or trouble swallowing, contact your local GastroMed Connect in Kyle, TX to connect with a specialist.

How is dysphagia treated?

At GastroMed Connect, we offer several treatment options to best address the individualized needs of our patients. Common treatments for dysphagia are:

  • Implementing exercises to re-stimulate the nerves that initiate the reflex of swallowing
  • Implementing different swallowing techniques
  • Surgical intervention
  • Dilation of the esophagus
  • Medications to reduce acid reflux, corticosteroids, or muscle relaxants
  • A liquid diet or feeding tube (for severe cases)

The best way to determine the correct method of care for your dysphagia in Kyle, TX is to request a consultation with one of our skilled GI specialists who will customize a treatment plan based on your individualized needs.