Dysphagia is a swallowing disorder that causes difficulty in swallowing from the mouth to the esophagus that leads towards the stomach. It is caused due to strictures and narrowing of the esophagus which makes swallowing difficult. It becomes a painful problem especially if you are trying to swallow meat or any other food product. You can feel the food stuck in the esophagus in the middle of the chest, which can be extremely discomforting. Dysphagia can get so severe that swallowing liquids can become troublesome. Eating becomes a chore with this condition.
Common signs and symptoms of Dysphagia are
– Difficulty in swallowing food
– Bouts of coughing during or after meals
– Recurring pneumonia attack
– Losing weight without any reason
– Change in voice quality after mealtime
Dysphagia could deprive the body of proper nourishment eventually leading to weight loss and weakness. It is difficult for a dysphagia patient to remove food, stuck in the windpipe, by coughing or clearing throat. Therefore the food enters the lungs which can cause a serious infection resulting in Pneumonia. Swallowing problems can also be due to a growth of a pocket outside the esophagus, formed when the esophagus wall is weak. While you are sleeping or lying down the food trapped in the pocket gets inside the pharynx. In this condition esophagus is too narrow, thus the trapped food prevents other food items from entering the stomach.
Dysphagia can be caused due to damaged muscles and nerves used for swallowing. People suffering from Parkinson’s disease may have problems while swallowing. A stroke or head injury may also affect the muscle that may constrain the mouth and throat movement. An infection or an irritation could narrow the esophagus. Some people have problem swallowing food right from birth for e.g. a hole in the roof of the mouth which leads to inability to suck.
Home Remedies for Dysphagia
Licorice (Glycyrrhiza glabra) helps in reducing spasms and swelling. It relieves pain that affects the gastrointestinal tract. Avoid taking it for longer periods if suffering from blood pressure. A dose of 380 to 1,140 mg per day is recommended.
Slippery elm (Ulmus fulva) protects irritated tissues and promotes healing. A dose of 60 to 320 mg per day is advised. Mix 1 tsp. of slippery elm powder with water and have it three to four times a day.
You can also use these herbs Valerian (Valeriana officinalis), Wild yam (Dioscorea villosa), St. John’s wort (Hypericum perforatum), Skullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora) and Linden flowers (Tilia cordata) in tincture or tea form. For the tea, use 1 tsp each of these herbs for 1 cup of water to be steeped for 10 minutes. Drink it three times a day. In tincture form use equal parts of these herbs 30 to 60 drops three times a day.
Warning: The reader of this article should exercise all precautionary measures while following instructions on the home remedies from this article. Avoid using any of these products if you are allergic to it. The responsibility lies with the reader and not with the site or the writer.