Dysphagia in Utah

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Dysphagia is a condition that can make it difficult (or even impossible) to swallow food or liquids. There can be several reasons why an individual might have dysphagia. It may be because of muscle spasms in the throat or esophagus because they failed to chew their food well enough or additional internal problems. Dysphagia may also refer to the feeling of food being stalled in the neck or chest area. In the event you have such symptoms and need care for dysphagia in Utah, there is help available. Reach out to our highly trained gastrointestinal specialists at Utah Gastroenterology as soon as possible to learn more about solutions we can offer to assist you in getting back to a better life.

Dysphagia manifests in two different forms, each with its own underlying causes.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia

Oropharyngeal dysphagia is a condition in which you have difficulty moving the muscles that begin a swallow. Neuromuscular factors are more typical in this form of dysphagia. This is a result of the fact that the muscles found in the mouth, the back portion of your throat, and the top portion of the esophagus directly communicate with the brain. Nerves in these structures can be damaged, causing problems with swallowing.

On some occasions, strictures (narrowed areas in the esophagus) or tumors developing in the rear of the throat can lead to trouble with swallowing.

Esophageal dysphagia

Esophageal dysphagia has a range of causes, a few of the most frequent being:

  • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
  • Foreign body blockage in the esophagus
  • Lack of esophageal muscle strength
  • Inflammation in the esophagus due to acid reflux
  • Scarring in the esophagus from reflux (GERD)
  • Achalasia (the condition wherein the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to relax while swallowing because of a problem with nerve control)
  • Spasms in the esophagus

The most commonly reported symptoms of dysphagia include:

  • Food impaction (food getting stuck)
  • The sensation of food being stuck in one's chest or throat
  • Regurgitation
  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Lack of ability to swallow
  • Pain in the chest
  • Gagging or coughing while swallowing
  • Acid reflux
  • Liquid or food regurgitates through your nose
  • Drooling
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Hoarseness
  • Pain when swallowing

In the event you notice any of the above symptoms of dysphagia or trouble swallowing, reach out to our gastroenterology practice in Utah to schedule a consultation with a specialist.

The providers at Utah Gastroenterology are able to offer a range of treatment options to address our patients' unique health needs. The most common dysphagia treatments are:

  • Practicing exercises to re-stimulate the nerves that trigger the reflex of swallowing
  • Learning different techniques for swallowing
  • Surgical intervention
  • Dilation of the esophagus
  • Medications to reduce acid reflux, muscle relaxers, or corticosteroids
  • Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for extreme cases)
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Our specialists provide relief for dysphagia in Utah if you find yourself burdened by trouble swallowing. Set up an appointment with a GI physician at Utah Gastroenterology at your earliest convenience if you experience any combination of the above-listed symptoms on a regular basis. It is vital to consult with your doctor without delay if you experience weight loss or vomiting in conjunction with dysphagia symptoms.

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