Dysphagia in Kansas City, MO
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What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a term used to describe someone’s inability or struggle to ingest food and liquid. There are several answers as to why someone could have dysphagia. It might be because of spasms in the muscle in the throat or esophagus because they did not masticate (chew) their food well enough or other internal situations. Dysphagia can also refer to the feeling of food being lodged in the chest or neck area. Should you have such symptoms and need treatment for dysphagia in Kansas City, MO, help is available. Contact our experienced GI specialists at Digestive Health Specialists today to learn how we can provide help to get you back to a better life.
What causes dysphagia?
There are two variations of dysphagia and the causes are unique for each type.
The condition known as oropharyngeal dysphagia describes difficulty starting to swallow. Neuromuscular factors are more typical in this form of dysphagia. This is because of the fact that the muscles of the mouth, the back of your throat, and the top portion of the esophagus directly communicate with the brain. Nerves in these structures are not immune to damage, which can result in issues with swallowing.
On some occasions, narrowed areas in the esophagus (strictures) or tumors growing in the posterior side of the throat can cause you to have a hard time swallowing.
The condition referred to as esophageal dysphagia has many causes, a few of the most typical being:
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Lack of esophageal muscle strength
- Esophageal blockage due to a foreign body
- Scarring in the esophagus from reflux (GERD)
- Esophageal spasms
- Achalasia (the condition wherein the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is unable to relax during swallowing due to abnormal nerve control)
- Swelling in the esophagus due to reflux
What are some symptoms of dysphagia?
The most common signs and symptoms of dysphagia include (but are not limited to):
- Gagging or coughing when swallowing
- Acid reflux
- Unwanted weight loss
- Excessive salivation
- Liquid or food regurgitates via your nose
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Chest pain
- Pain when swallowing
- Food impaction (food getting stuck)
- The feeling that food is stuck in your throat or chest
- Inability to swallow
Should you experience any of the dysphagia symptoms listed above or trouble swallowing, reach out to our GI practice in Kansas City, MO to meet with a specialist.
What are the treatments for dysphagia?
At Digestive Health Specialists, we provide several treatment options to help address the personalized needs of our patients. The most common treatments for dysphagia include:
- Learning exercises to re-stimulate the nerves that initiate the reflex of swallowing
- Learning different swallowing techniques
- Esophageal dilation
- Medications to reduce acid reflux, corticosteroids, or muscle relaxants
- Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for severe cases)
We can help your swallowing difficulties subside
If you or a member of your family are facing any symptoms of dysphagia in Kansas City, MO, help is available. Set up an appointment with a GI specialist at Digestive Health Specialists at your earliest opportunity if you are experiencing any combination of the listed symptoms consistently. It is important to visit your provider as soon as possible if loss of weight or vomiting is present along with any trouble swallowing.
Very caring dr. She listens and not many drs do that now days. She truly cares about her patients.
The whole team at the office were wonderful!!!!!
All the nurses and doctor was very nice. I would recommend Dr. Shireman he made me feel really comfortable. Thank you
Dr. Hagan is awesome. I got diagnosed with colon cancer in May 2022. He was so nice and comforting at breaking the news to me. He then recommended a surgeon to get surgery right away. When I went back for my 6 month follow up he wanted to deliver the wonderful news to me himself. No polys, or cancer. Dr. Hagan genuinely cares for his patients.
Dr Michael Hagan is an excellent doctor. He is very knowledgeable and professional. He takes his time with you and answers any and all questions you may have. He is very patient and understanding. I would recommend him to all my family and friends.