Dysphagia: a swallowing Difficulty

One fine bad day was turned out for a good reason.
Dr.  Govathi Nikhila Karpuram, Dysphagiologist – speech pathologist at Medanta – The Medicity

Some people with dysphagia have problems swallowing certain foods or liquids, while others can’t swallow at all. It is a medical term for trouble in swallowing, it means it takes more time and effort to initiate and accept a swallow process in the body. This condition may occur at any age, but it is most common with elderly populations. Difficulty swallowing sometimes occurs after eating too quickly or not chewing food thoroughly. However, persistent swallowing problems may suggest a more serious condition.

The main symptoms of dysphagia are the feeling of being incapable to swallow or that food is getting stuck in the throat. Additional signs and symptoms associated with dysphagia include:

  • Pain while swallowing
  • Inability to swallow
  • Drooling
  • Hoarseness
  • Sore throat
  • Regurgitation
  • Frequent heartburn
  • Stomach acid backing up into the throat
  • Losing weight
  • Gagging or coughing while swallowing

Dysphagia can make it difficult to stay effectively give food to or hydrated and may also signal a more serious primary condition, such as GERD. Other risks associated with dysphagia include increased risk for lung infections, aspiration difficulties, and pneumonia.

Case Study:

A 60 years old man was suffering  from  Metastatic squamous cell carcinoma and was received Chemo-radiation therapy .In those days he had severe difficulty in swallowing ,though from inside he feels he want to eat everything but his throat was not supporting him for that which made him to take  liquid diet to survive his day. Due to his low oral intake he got dehydrated though he wanted to eat everything he couldn’t eat anything. All this made his life miserable, depressed and stressed about  the same, after achieving many things in his  life he  could not able spent his  good time with his family member with  his gold olden days and unable to play with his grand children’s all this were affected his quality of life.

One fine bad day was turned out for a good reason .On that particular day, in the morning he had a fall and vomiting’s, his daughter took him to the hospital through emergency ward .There immediate MRI/CT was done and diagnosed with “Lateral Medullary Syndrome (LMS)” at that movement his family was hopeless and the patient fully depressed after knowing it.  But, YES! They didn’t know that there is a treatment for that, with which he can overcome easily. Here, patient received a helpline through doctors for Dysphagia Evaluation .On the immediate day a Detail Bedside Swallow Evaluation was done by Dysphagiaologist in order to check the severity and to plan for the perfect management.  YES! Now, the immediate management plan was done by Dysphagiaologist for intensive Swallow therapy with Vital stim Electrical stimulation and family and patient was accepted for that and a new hope was seen in their faces. After 15 intensive sessions the patient started eating soft diet without any aspiration or difficulty in swallowing which turned out his life happy and now, currently he is on normal diet and spending his golden time with his family, playing with his grandchildren. Enjoying his life happily .This is how the bad day from liquid diet turned out him with normal diet.


A young energetic 45 years old man was working in Maruti Suzuki Company ,his personal and professional life was going very good .All of a sudden a strom came into his life through Brain Stroke . He brought to Medanta Hospital with help of his friends from office and informed to his family . A day made their family members to fell down towards the earth and were hope less as he diagnosed with “Lateral Medullary Syndrome” – it is scary word –which stops us from eating our favoirate foods . In his condition after coming to the conscious stage he  was realized that he cant swallow his own saliva and he felt that he cant eat anything  anymore throught out his life and should realy on Ryles tube feeding . By seeing the  his condition the famity members were so depressed and they were not able to eat anything with his remembrance. All of a sudden all happy faces were tured out with sadness and depression . One fine morning  (next day of his stroke) he received detailed Bed side Swallow Evaluation by Dysphagiaologist and which was  brought hope in them back with smile on their faces. He received immediate intensive Vital stim Therapy session  for 7 days by Dysphagiologist  and he started eating soft diet after 10 days came back to the normal swallowing .Currently is on normal diet  ,enjoying his food every  movement with all of his family member, friends and gone back to the office and leading an normal life .


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