Dealing With Dysphagia by Choosing the Right Kinds of Food
Dysphagia is a disorder characterized mainly by difficulty in swallowing which happens due to many causes. It can happen due to a stroke or it can occur as a result of damage to the nerves leading to the tongue and throat. People with multiple sclerosis or Parkinson's disease may also suffer from this troublesome swallowing condition.
There are many ways to deal with this condition and two of the most widely employed techniques are postural modification and diet adjustment. Surgery is a drastic measure that is opted by only a few of the patients. Diet modification involves changing the amount of food you eat and what kind of food you eat.
There are many food types to avoid if you want to make your eating a less traumatic experience. Some of the stuff you can't have on the dining table includes meat, fresh fruits and vegetables, white bread and other sticky bread, and yogurt. But that does not mean you can no longer eat them. They can be processed first before you can have them.
Did you know that you can serve food in a different way so that it becomes safer to eat? One of the things you shouldn't forget is to serve food on small plates whatever food you are serving because a big plate with a lot on it can be daunting. Get small servings of food, so if you are at restaurants or even at home, manage your eating by having small portions on your small plate. Just come back for more until you are satiated. As much as possible, you have to eat slowly and have water or fluid at hand. Note that if you can't drink water in normal form, use thickening agents like Thick & Easy which make liquids more manageable to swallow.
Posture while eating is extremely relevant, so make sure that you are seated upright with your shoulders in level and your back straight up. Put your plate near you so you won't have to lean forward when eating. Allow yourself to see and smell the food before eating as this will stimulate the release of saliva which facilitates passage of food down the throat into the esophagus. As mentioned earlier, take small bites. Do not rush while eating because food might just fall out of your mouth. Chew your food thoroughly before swallowing. Swallow the food completely before you take another spoon. After finishing your meal, keep your posture upright for at least half an hour after the meal.
Now you can adjust your meals so that they become more suitable to you. Thicken your morning coffee and have cereal or porridge. Then, you can have fortified milkshake or thickened juice sometime between breakfast and lunch. You can have mashed potato with pulped fruit and pureed spinach at lunch time, and a thickened soup isn't bad. If you're drinking coffee in the afternoon, make sure it's thickened. It may be served with soft biscuits. You can have pureed meat, gently boiled veggies, mashed potato, and thickened soup in the evening. People with swallowing problems should seek the expertise of a dietician to improve their daily menu.
Jo is a writer for 'Dysphagia' http://www.dysphagia.org.uk, a website owned by Fresenius Kabi, a medical care enterprise concentrating in certain fields of infusion theraphy and clinical nutrition having beyond fifteen years working experience of offering patients with dysphagia with Thick & Easy , the UK's principal instant food thickener. If ever you are diagnosed with or know anybody who has dysphagia then have a look at Dysphagia.org.uk.
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