Sunday, January 23

Dysphagia: Diagnosis, Treatment and Controversies

Have you ever swallowed and had food “go down the wrong way” into your stomach? In some cases, Dysphagia has become a permanent problem. Perspective is everything here, as this may be a rare condition and may affect otherwise healthy people to varying degrees.

What is dysphagia? It may be defined as a difficulty with swallowing and this can have a number of causes. In some cases, patients may have been born with pharyngeal trauma. Those born with impaired swallowing capabilities may also have trouble swallowing because they have a malformed or absent upper pharyngeal sphincter. Also, the loss of weight is sometimes blamed for this condition. While it is possible that persistent and significant weight loss causes Dysphagia, it must be remembered that many other conditions can cause dysphagia, and weight loss is not always indicative of Dysphagia.

Although Dysphagia is sometimes unattractive and causes emotional issues, it may not be the cause of significant symptoms. While it is not always easy to tell if a persistent swallowing problem is a true case of Dysphagia, at the same time a lack of weight loss is not the only sign that may indicate this type of nutritional deficiency. hungry, tired, and hassle-free are also good indications that the condition could be the cause.

What are the causes of Dysphagia? Although it can be caused by diet deficiency, medication or infection, Dysphagia can also be caused by an obstruction in the esophagus as with the diagnosis of Chiari colic. Also, irritation of the pharynx whether it is irritated by irritation of the upper esophageal sphincter, surgery, acid reflux, smoking, or other conditions can cause Dysphagia. Also, the inability to fully swallow liquids causes the esophageal sphincter to weaken and inhibit the flow of liquids.

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Dysphagia that lasts longer than a few days requires medical evaluation although the severity of symptoms will range from slight discomfort to heavy significant problems. Since Dysphagia may be caused by ill health, the symptoms must be watched out for. Any change in eating habits accompanied by poor appetite, vomiting, sustained vomiting, chest pains, high blood pressure, fever, nausea, or an increase in weight must be watched out for. Chest pain caused by heartburn can also be an indication of Dysphagia. Chest pain from Eatingucky foods seems to be more common in those with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.

Dysphagia may be caused by psychological or emotional stress, medication, dental infection, pregnancy, anxiety, drugs, weight loss, and poor lifestyle. An evaluation by a physician will determine the cause of Dysphagia.

How may Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease affect the lifestyle of the patient? Several studies have found that the risk of Developing Dysphagia increases markedly in Ladies who are going through menopause. Researchers at the University of Michigan performed a series of experiments which involved the participation of 55,000 females from the state. The researchers supplied the females with health information disks and advertised the dangers of G.I.R.D which are the two generic names for the steroid hormones. The females were then categorized into three groups. The first group was treated with no G.I.R.D. the second group was treated with a combination of G.I.R.D. and Fluconazole and the third group received both drugs. The researchers measured many variables concerning the females, diet, sleeping habits, exercise, etc. and compared those in the treatment groups before and after treatment. Although some variables were not changed, the researchers could find significant effects of G.I.R.D. on some of the variables. Also, the “combined treatment group” had significantly higher improvement as compared to the untreated group. In the untreated group, despite the addition of a stimulant drug, vomiting, and fever, some of the females had dramatic and persistent hypotension. After the treatment, the untreated females reported a significant improvement in eating habits and general well being.

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What do you do if you suspect yourself or friend to be suffering from Dysphagia? Ask them to visit their doctor ASAP if they are vomiting after eating spicy or hot foods, trying to avoid citrus fruits, or waking up late. Also, if the vomiting happens after a large meal, find out if there is a gastric ulcer or other type of dysfunction preventing the proper amount of nausea while eating. If yes, then there may be a way to treat this disorder without medication.Dysphagia slightly affects everyone at one time or another.

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