How to Cope with a Dysphagia Diagnosis
If you have recently been diagnosed with dysphagia, then this news can be difficult to come to terms with.
When you have trouble swallowing, it is natural that you will want to speak to your doctor as soon as possible. This can be quite a serious concern that has a big impact on your day-to-day quality of life. If you have been finding it hard to swallow normally, then a dysphagia diagnosis might not come as a surprise to you, but it can still be challenging to adjust to.
What is Dysphagia?
This condition refers to swallowing difficulties. It can range in severity but should always be assessed by a medical professional.
This is an issue that can present slowly and get worse over time. You may find that initially you have trouble swallowing certain items of food and that this then develops to include more and more types of food. It can also progress to include fluids.
As well as finding it hard to swallow, you may experience frequent coughing or choking when you are eating or drinking. This can, of course, be very unpleasant and may also be quite dangerous at times.
How to Manage Dysphagia
Being aware of how to manage your condition is a great way to help yourself to come to terms with the diagnosis.
There are certain products available, such as SimplyThick liquid thickener, that can help to improve the consistency of food and fluids to make swallowing easier for you.
Changing the consistency of food and fluids through the use of a liquid thickener is one of the best ways to manage dysphagia. You may also find that undergoing speech therapy helps you to develop new techniques for swallowing food and fluids.
Your healthcare professional may suggest that medication will be an effective treatment route for you. There are certain medications that can improve how well the muscles in the esophagus are able to contract, which can enhance the process of swallowing.
Good Foods to Include in Your Diet
As you work to come to terms with your dysphagia diagnosis, you will want to experiment with different foods. You will likely find that certain foods are easier to manage than others.
If your condition is quite serious, then you might discover that you have to stick to a diet of pureed foods that do not require chewing. You can create this puree yourself by blending your favorite foods. You may also choose foods that are already like this in their normal forms, such as yogurts and soups.
Living Your Life
It is so important to know that you can still live a happy and fulfilling life as a dysphagia sufferer. Although it will, of course, impact the ways in which you eat and enjoy food, you do not have to let it affect other parts of your life, such as your work or relationships.
Finding local support groups to connect with other people with the same condition could be incredibly helpful for you, especially if you have only recently received your diagnosis.