Foods To Eat If You Have Dysphagia Or “Difficulty Swallowing”

Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulty swallowing. It can be a painful condition, as sometimes, swallowing can become impossible. Ongoing dysphagia is difficult and needs proper medical attention. 

Swallowing is a process which involves many muscles and nerves working together. When there’s an issue with these muscles or nerves, swallowing can become uncomfortable or slow. Other causes may include ALS, muscle dystrophy, tumors, cerebral palsy, multiple sclerosis, or Parkinson’s disease. Depending on where the actual problem lies, there are three types of dysphagia. The best ENT specialist in Islamabad described what dysphagia feels like, some foods to take that are easy on the gut in this condition, and what foods to avoid. 

How Do I Know If I Have Swallowing Problems 

Symptoms associated with dysphagia include two or more of these:

  • Painful swallowing
  • Unable to swallow at times
  • Drooling and coughing when swallowing
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Hoarseness
  • The feeling of food stuck in the throat 

What To Eat

An important part of the treatment is to help the patient eat proper foods for adequate nutrition. This requires a specialized diet for the patient. A dysphagia soft diet is needed in this case. You may eat foods that are moist and soft. Eating foods from all food groups is essential for the body to get the proper nutrition. Examples of foods for people suffering from dysphagia include:

Soft foods

A dysphagia diet obtaining soft delicious foods has plenty of options for you. Apart from stingy foods, cooked vegetables are soft and easy on the gut. It is important that you check if they are soft enough before you swallow them. Make sure they are diced very small to avoid them getting stuck in the throat. 

Mashed potatoes, egg salads, and tender meats that are low-cooked til they melt in your mouth are good examples to take. Poached and soft-boiled eggs are also an excellent choice. Eggs can be scrambled to soften them as well. 

Liquids

Fluids that are very thin in consistency are difficult to swallow for dysphagic patients. In this case, they may be thickened to make them easier to swallow. The patient needs to be monitored closely so that adequate levels of fluid are maintained in the body. Potato flakes, baby rice, unflavored gelatin, and other thickeners can be added to pureed foods and soups to thicken them. Alternatively, if foods are too thick, thinning agents such as broth, gravy, juice, milk, and plain yogurt can be added. Cenforce 200, Fildena 100 mg, Cenforce 100 mg and Cenforce 150 mg is the Best cure for Erectile Dysfunction. 

Pureed foods

Fortunately, nearly all foods can be pureed to ease intake. Just a suitable liquid and a good food processor or blender is required. You can use a sauce or gravy to puree the ingredient of choice. Using water will only dilute the taste and make it less appealing. 

Fibrous or stringy foods should be avoided as they do not puree well. Straining may be required afterward. Steaming and poaching foods before pureeing them makes the process easier. 

Moist foods

Dr. Muhammad Tariq recommends moist foods for intake for people who have difficulty swallowing. To understand what moist foods are, imagine those which are easy to turn into a ball or those which are extremely soft to the touch. Examples include foods that are mixed with sauces and gravies, pasta, and casseroles. Soups with soft chunks are a good example as well. Poaching, simmering, and steaming are some techniques to keep the foods moist and easier to ingest. 

Smoothies

The perfect way to have an ideal texture for ingredients to make it easier for dysphagia patients to ingest them are smoothies and milkshakes. The best part is that it can be packed with important nutrients containing all the essential fruits and vegetables. Many protein sources can be added to these as well to make up for the meats that you can take otherwise. 

Yogurt

Yogurt is rich in proteins and probiotics. The creamy texture makes it easier to ingest. Plain unsweetened yogurt is the best type to eat. They can easily be sweetened by the pureed form of your favorite fruit. The health benefits will be loaded. 

Foods To Avoid

Here are some foods that you should avoid if you have difficulty swallowing:

Hard and crunchy foods

Foods that are tough to chew should be avoided at all costs. Crunchy and hard-textured foods such as nuts, chips, crackers, and cookies are not to be taken. 

Dry Foods

Dry foods are very challenging for dysphagia patients as there is nothing to soften them for the throat. Dry cereal, crispy fries, and dry bread are examples.

Others to avoid

Foods that stick to the mouth such as toffees, caramel, marshmallows, etc may clog the throat and be harder to manage. Spicy foods can cause discomfort to the throat and should also be avoided. Carbonated beverages, alcohol, raw fruits and vegetables, and popcorn are some other examples of foods and drinks that dysphagia patients need to steer clear of. 

Conclusion

Dysphagia is a difficult situation to be in. it usually affects older people, but there is no specific age group that is affected. It is better to keep track of foods that are easier to swallow and those that are not to be mindful in the future. To ensure you are eating correctly, consult a healthcare provider for better advice.

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