Newly Diagnosed with Dysphagia - What You Should Know

Newly Diagnosed with Dysphagia – What You Should Know

Getting a new health diagnosis is always a stressful thing. People tend to feel a combination of fear, confusion, stress and even anger as they come to terms with what their diagnosis means to their immediate and future health. If you’ve been newly diagnosed with dysphagia you are probably going through the gambit of emotions right now, and because this isn’t a widely talked about health condition, there is likely a lot of confusion involved. Here we’ll take a look at everything you need to know regarding dysphagia.

What Is Dysphagia?

If your doctor has told you that you have dysphagia, there’s a good chance the term won’t sound familiar. In reality, it’s just the medical term for saying you have swallowing difficulties. People with this disorder take much more time and a lot more work to move the food from the point of entry (mouth) to their stomach.

Did you know that there are also millions of people that suffer from the condition? The month of June is Dysphagia Awareness Month in the US, which is a time to help raise awareness of the condition so that it can be understood by more people, and hopefully, cause less confusion and stress.

What Are the Symptoms of Dysphagia?

Curious about the symptoms of dysphagia? Maybe you haven’t received a diagnosis yet but you’re wondering what is causing your swallowing issues. While each person is unique, there are some common signs and symptoms that can be associated with it. These symptoms include the following:

  • Difficulties swallowing
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Increased or constant drooling
  • Heartburn
  • A hoarse voice
  • Food seems to get stuck in the throat
  • Gagging when swallowing
  • Coughing when swallowing
  • Weight loss
  • Regurgitation

What Causes Dysphagia?

When you have been diagnosed with a medical issue often the first thought in your mind is how and why this happened? What caused the swallowing difficulties? The fact is that there isn’t a simple answer, as there are several factors that can contribute to it. These can include such things as a traumatic head injury, spinal cord injury, certain cancers, a brain tumor and a variety of medical conditions such as Parkinson’s Disease, Cerebral Palsy, ALS, multiple sclerosis and more.

While it can affect anyone, according to statistics, 50% of the people with dysphagia are over the age of 60.

What Can You Do About It?

So, what can you do about it? What treatments or options exist now that you have been diagnosed with dysphagia? Much of that will come down to how mild to severe your case is, what caused it and what type of dysphagia you have. Often there will be lifestyle changes required such as a change in your diet. The SimplyThick Easy Mix can be used to ensure that liquids are the right consistency and texture to swallow comfortably and safely. Other treatment options may include learning new swallowing techniques, medication or surgery.

The key to dealing with a dysphagia diagnosis is to get as much information as possible. The more you learn about this swallowing disorder, the better equipped you will be to handle it.

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