Dysphagia in SNorthwest Arkansas

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Dysphagia is a term used to refer to difficulty or even the inability to swallow food and liquids. There are several possibilities as to why someone could experience dysphagia. It may be due to muscle spasms in the throat or esophagus, because they didn't chew their food thoroughly, or other internal complications. Dysphagia may also describe the sensation of food being trapped in one's neck or chest area. If you notice these symptoms and need treatment for dysphagia in Arkansas, help is available. Contact our skilled gastrointestinal physicians at GI Alliance of Arkansas at your earliest convenience to find out more in relation to solutions we can provide to assist you in getting back to a better life.

Dysphagia has two different forms, each with its own causes.

Oropharyngeal dysphagia

Oropharyngeal dysphagia is the label for when a person has difficulty starting the act of swallowing. Causes involving neuromuscular concerns are more typical in this type of dysphagia. This is because of the fact that the muscles of the mouth, the back portion of the throat, and the upper esophagus directly communicate with the brain. Nerves in these areas can be damaged, causing problems with swallowing.

In some instances, strictures (narrowed areas in the esophagus) or tumors developing in the back of the throat can cause trouble with swallowing.

Esophageal dysphagia

Esophageal dysphagia has a range of causes, some of the most frequent being:

  • Lack of esophageal muscle strength
  • Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
  • Swelling in the esophagus from acid reflux
  • Scarring in the esophagus from acid reflux (GERD)
  • Achalasia (when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) can't relax during swallowing because of a problem with nerve control)
  • Spasms in the esophagus
  • Esophageal blockage due to a foreign body

Dysphagia may be recognized by some of the symptoms listed below:

  • Aspiration pneumonia
  • Coughing or gagging while swallowing
  • The sensation of food being stuck in one's throat or chest
  • Liquid or food regurgitates through the nose
  • Pain when swallowing
  • Pain in the chest
  • Drooling
  • Food impaction (food getting stuck)
  • Inability to swallow
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Hoarseness
  • Acid reflux
  • Regurgitation

In the event you notice any of the dysphagia symptoms listed above or difficulty swallowing, please get in touch with our gastroenterology team in Arkansas to connect with a specialist.

The providers at GI Alliance of Arkansas offer a number of treatment strategies to address the individualized needs of our patients. The most common dysphagia treatments are:

  • Practicing exercises to re-stimulate the nerves that trigger the swallowing reflex
  • Practicing different techniques for swallowing
  • Surgical intervention
  • Dilation of the esophagus
  • Medications to reduce acid reflux, muscle relaxers, or corticosteroids
  • Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for severe cases)
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If you or a family member need help dealing with the symptoms of dysphagia in Arkansas, a gastroenterologist may be able to relieve your discomfort. Schedule a consultation with a GI doctor at GI Alliance of Arkansas immediately if you experience any combination of the above-listed symptoms regularly. It is essential to meet with your provider as soon as possible if loss of weight or vomiting accompanies your difficulty swallowing.

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Staff was very courteous and helpful. The assistant who saw me was VERY thorough. I would recommend GI Alliance to anyone who has GI issues.

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