Dysphagia in Texas
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What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a term used to describe a person's struggle to eat or drink food or liquid. A variety of explanations exist as to why someone might experience dysphagia. It may be because of muscle spasms in the throat or esophagus because they didn’t chew their food well enough or additional internal problems. Dysphagia can refer, also, to the feeling of food being stuck in one's neck or chest. Should you have these symptoms and need treatment for dysphagia in Texas, there is help available. Request a consultation with our highly trained providers at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants to learn how we can assist you in getting back to an improved life.
What causes dysphagia?
Dysphasia may occur in two different variations and the causes are unique for each type.
The condition known as oropharyngeal dysphagia describes trouble when starting to swallow. Neuromuscular causes are more frequent with this type of dysphagia. This is a result of the fact that the muscles of the mouth, the back of your throat, and the top portion of the esophagus directly communicate with the brain. Nerves in these structures are not immune to damage, which can result in issues with swallowing.
Sometimes, narrowed areas in the esophagus (strictures) or tumors growing in the back side of the throat can cause you to have a hard time swallowing.
Esophageal dysphagia has numerous causes, a few of the most typical being:
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Inflammation in the esophagus from reflux
- Spasms in the esophagus
- Blockage by a foreign body in the esophagus
- Achalasia (the condition wherein the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) can’t relax while swallowing due to a problem with nerve control)
- Esophageal scarring from reflux (GERD)
- Lack of esophageal muscle strength
What are some symptoms of dysphagia?
The most frequent signs and symptoms of dysphagia include (but are not limited to):
- Food impaction (food getting stuck)
- Coughing or gagging while swallowing
- Unexplained weight loss
- Acid reflux
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Chest pain
- The sensation of food being stuck in one's chest or throat
- Pain when swallowing
- Inability to swallow
In the event you have any of the above symptoms of dysphagia or trouble swallowing, contact one of our Texas locations to meet with a specialist.
What are the treatments for dysphagia?
At Texas Digestive Disease Consultants, we perform a variety of treatment options to best address the personalized needs of our patients. Common treatments for dysphagia include:
- Learning exercises to re-stimulate nerves that trigger the reflex of swallowing
- Learning different techniques for swallowing
- Surgical intervention
- Esophageal dilation
- Medications to reduce acid reflux, muscle relaxers, or corticosteroids
- A liquid diet or feeding tube (for extreme cases)
Help your swallowing difficulties subside
If you or a family member are dealing with any symptoms of dysphagia in Texas, help is available. Request a consultation with a gastroenterologist at Texas Digestive Disease Consultants today if you are experiencing any combination of the above symptoms consistently. It is imperative to meet with your provider as soon as possible if loss of weight or vomiting accompanies your difficulty swallowing.
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