Dysphagia in Indianapolis, IN
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What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia describes the struggle (or inability) to swallow food or liquid. There are a few factors that can play into an individual's dysphagia. It may be caused by spasms in the muscle in the throat or esophagus because they failed to masticate (chew) their food thoroughly or other internal issues. Dysphagia can also refer to the feeling of something being trapped in one's neck or chest area. In the event you experience these symptoms and need treatment for dysphagia in Indianapolis, IN, there is help available. Reach out to our knowledgeable GI specialists at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology today to find out more in relation to solutions we can provide to assist you in getting back to a better life.
What causes dysphagia?
Dysphagia can come in two varieties, each with its own causes.
The condition known as oropharyngeal dysphagia describes difficulty starting the act of swallowing. Neuromuscular causes are more typical with this variety of dysphagia. This is because of the fact that the muscles found in the mouth, the back of the throat, and the top portion of the esophagus share direct connections with the brain. Nerves in these structures can be damaged, causing issues with swallowing.
Sometimes, strictures (narrowed areas in the esophagus) or tumors forming in the rear of the throat can be the cause of your difficulty swallowing.
The condition referred to as esophageal dysphagia has numerous causes, a few of the most common being:
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Blockage by a foreign body in the esophagus
- Swelling in the esophagus due to reflux
- Scarring in the esophagus from reflux (GERD)
- Lack of esophageal muscle strength
- Achalasia (the condition wherein the lower esophageal sphincter can’t relax while swallowing because of a problem with nerve control)
- Esophageal spasms
What are the symptoms of dysphagia?
Symptoms of dysphagia usually include:
- Acid reflux
- Food impaction (food getting stuck)
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Unwanted weight loss
- Discomfort while swallowing
- Loss of voice
- The feeling that food is stuck in your throat or chest
- Liquid or food regurgitates through your nose
- Coughing or gagging when swallowing
- Chest pain
- Lack of ability to swallow
In the event you experience any of the dysphagia symptoms listed above or difficulty swallowing, get in touch with one of our GI offices in Indianapolis, IN to connect with a specialist.
What are the treatments for dysphagia?
The GI physicians at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology can provide several treatment options to help meet the individualized need of each dysphagia patient. Treatments for dysphagia usually involve:
- Learning exercises to re-stimulate the nerves that initiate the reflex of swallowing
- Learning different techniques for swallowing
- Surgical intervention
- Esophageal dilation
- Medications for reduction of acid reflux, corticosteroids, or muscle relaxants
- Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for extreme cases)
We can help your swallowing difficulties subside
If you are struggling to live with dysphagia in Indianapolis, IN, help is available. Schedule an appointment with a gastrointestinal doctor at Indianapolis Gastroenterology and Hepatology at your earliest convenience if you are experiencing any combination of the above-listed symptoms regularly. It is imperative to visit your doctor as soon as possible if weight loss or vomiting accompanies any difficulty swallowing.
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