Dysphagia is a painful condition that affects the ability to swallow food and drink. It often leads to a variety of medical issues and concerns that exacerbate the main symptom, and it can be extremely debilitating when left untreated. This guide has some helpful management strategies for anyone suffering from this condition.
Learn About the Root of the Problem
Dysphagia can be brought on by many external illnesses. Sometimes, there is no definitive cause and other times there is a clear answer about why it is happening. The vital information about why dysphagia is present will help to secure the correct treatment as you move forward. It could be because of any of the following afflictions.
- Heartburn and GERD
- Parkinson’s disease
- Cerebral Palsy
- Cancer in the area
- After a stroke
Any one of these pathways could be the main issue and each condition requires a different management technique. The most direct way to get the answers you need is to make an appointment and discuss the symptoms, concerns, and trajectory with a medical professional.
Adjust Your Food and Drink to Suit the Changing Needs
Once you have the cause figured out, it’s time to make some lifestyle adjustments. The first place to start is what you’re eating and drinking and how it is being consumed. Products like Simply Thick can make life easier by providing much needed support during meal times. You can also lean on a softer diet that will give you comfort and reduce the anxiety around eating. Vegetables and essential nutrients are easily added to a pureed platter and there will be no harshness to what you’re eating when you eat it.
Embracing Physical Therapy Treatment Pathways
In addition to dietary changes, there are also healing paths that can be found through physical therapy. Known as swallowing therapy in this context, it focuses on building and strengthening the core muscles used for swallowing. This enables the body to repair and rebuild and retrain. The last thing you need is to become dehydrated or malnourished as this can lead to even graver consequences. Therefore, finding a way to establish healthy eating that nurtures the mind and body and avoids a deficit from taking hold is beneficial. It is not always suitable, for example with dementia patients, so it is advisable to explore whether or not it will work for your personal circumstances.
Be Gentle with Yourself
Opening up the conversation about health issues with the people around you can be difficult. Throughout this transformative period, it helps to be as open as possible and maintain a sense of kindness to yourself as well. Mental health is easily affected, and becoming socially isolated will be detrimental for many reasons. Try to look after your brain as well as your body, and channel gentle energy moving forward. Find a few key websites filled with information for friends and family so you don’t have to repeat yourself, and let people into the journey.
Being diagnosed with any condition is difficult. It is helpful to find a slow path forward and be empowered by tools and kindness.