How to Diagnose and Treat Dysphagia Effectively

dysphagia therapy

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  • Medical treatment for dysphagia is commonly split into two forms: esophageal and oropharyngeal
  • Magnesium may be a powerful home remedy to help you manage the symptoms of dysphagia. The National Institutes of Health recommends that adult males 31 to 50 years old consume around 420 milligrams of magnesium per day, while females should have around 320 milligrams

Diagnosing dysphagia requires a variety of tests to examine your swallowing capabilities. This will help your doctor determine which part of the digestive tract is causing the problems. Methods may include:1

X-ray with barium: Your doctor will require you to drink a beverage with barium, an element that can help highlight the esophagus better when taking x-ray images.

Dynamic swallowing study: You may be asked to swallow solid foods coated with barium while your doctor observes or looks for blocks in the esophagus that the liquid barium wasn’t able to highlight.

Endoscopy: This procedure is a visual examination of your throat through an endoscope, a thin and flexible device with a light attached at the tip.

Fiber-optic endoscopic swallowing evaluation (FEES): Your throat will be inspected with a flexible tube with a camera attached to the tip.

Esophageal muscle test: Also known as manometry, the goal of this procedure is to measure the muscle contractions as you swallow via a small tube with sensors.

Imaging scans: Aside from x-rays, a computerized tomography (CT) scan and a magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scan may be used to view other details that may have been missed with other tests.

Increasing Your Magnesium Intake May Help Manage Your Esophageal Muscles

Magnesium may be a powerful home remedy to help you manage the symptoms of dysphagia. According to the Nutrition Reviews, almost half of the people living in the United States are deficient in this mineral. When this happens, you develop various symptoms such as loss of appetite, vomiting and fatigue. As time goes on, it may cause uncontrollable muscle contractions and cramps, both of which are related to dysphagia.2

In this regard, increasing your intake of magnesium may help lower your risk of dysphagia. The National Institutes of Health recommends that adult males 31 to 50 years old consume around 420 milligrams of magnesium per day, while females should have around 320 milligrams. The healthiest sources include:3

Almonds

Spinach

Avocado

Grass fed beef

Traditionally fermented yogurt

Banana

Wild-caught Alaskan salmon

Grass fed raw milk

Pasture-raised chicken

Broccoli

In addition, increasing your consumption of magnesium may help protect your brain from stroke. This is an added bonus, because stroke is one probable cause of dysphagia.4

If Symptoms Are Severe, Surgery May Be Needed as a Last Resort

Medical treatment for dysphagia is commonly split into two forms: esophageal and oropharyngeal. The first refers to difficulty passing food down the esophagus due to a motility disorder or an obstruction. The second refers to neurological disorders that cause muscle problems.5

Causes of esophageal dysphagia like achalasia or esophageal stricture may require esophageal dilation. In this procedure, a balloon attached to the tip of an endoscope will be lowered down into your esophagus, where it will be inflated to expand the pathway. People who have esophageal tumors, on the other hand, may require manual surgery to remove the blockage right away to provide relief.

In the case of oropharyngeal dysphagia, swallowing therapy may be needed. A speech and language therapist will teach you new eating habits to help work around problems caused by neurodegenerative illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease. If your doctor deems it necessary, especially if you’re at risk of pneumonia or malnutrition, quick action is administered using a feeding tube to provide your stomach access to essential nutrients.6

MORE ABOUT DYSPHAGIA

Dysphagia: Introduction

What Is Dysphagia?

Dysphagia Symptoms

Dysphagia Causes

Dysphagia Treatment

Dysphagia Prevention

Dysphagia Diet

Dysphagia FAQ


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