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What does it mean to have difficulty swallowing?
Difficulty swallowing happens when there is trouble passing food and liquids from the mouth, throat, and esophagus before it travels to the stomach. Difficulty swallowing can be a symptom of many different issues ranging from muscle spasms to food allergies. It is important to identify the cause of the difficulty so the right treatment can be administered before it leads to a serious issue. To learn about the treatment options available to you, contact our GI doctors at GI Alliance to set up an appointment.
What causes swallowing difficulties?
The causes of difficulty swallowing don't have one specific reason. When you experience trouble swallowing, it can be because of an underlying condition that has gone undiagnosed, a food allergy, or inflammation in your esophagus. Below are some reasons why difficulty swallowing may be happening:
- Muscle spasms
- Achalasia (when the muscle that lets food into the stomach doesn't relax at the right time)
- Foreign bodies in the throat or esophagus
- Esophageal rings (a thin ring of tissue above the stomach that is narrower than the rest of the esophagus)
- Neurological disorders
Difficulty swallowing can affect those of all different ages but is more common in older adults. To learn more about the different causes and the treatments that are available to you, schedule an appointment with the GI specialists at GI Alliance.
What are the symptoms of swallowing difficulty?
Difficulty swallowing can point to a variety of conditions. When dealing with difficulty swallowing, it is important to get treatment as quickly as possible to ensure that you can breathe and eat normally. The main symptoms of difficulty swallowing include things like:
- Pain in the throat while swallowing
- Inability to swallow
- A sensation of food in the throat
- Frequent heartburn
- Trouble breathing
Schedule an appointment with a gastroenterologist at GI Alliance today if you experience any combination of the above symptoms regularly. It is important to see your doctor if weight loss or vomiting accompanies your difficulty swallowing.
What are the treatments for difficulty swallowing?
The treatment for difficulty swallowing starts with identifying the source of the difficulty. If the cause is food allergies, the right steps will be taken to reduce swelling and you will be asked to avoid the food. In the case of esophagitis, we will narrow down the cause, determining whether it is from an infection (infectious esophagitis), or reflux esophagitis. For muscle spasms in the throat, we may recommend medications to relax the muscles or surgery. Let the GI physicians at GI Alliance help you regain your ability to swallow.
Relief you can feel
If you've experienced difficulty with swallowing and are looking for an experienced team to help you manage it, contact the GI specialists at GI Alliance. The team will properly diagnose the cause and find a treatment that works best for you. Don't delay scheduling an appointment, as difficulty swallowing could point to a larger issue that needs prompt treatment. Schedule an appointment today to experience the relief you can feel.
Every visit has been amazing. I feel like I'm finally being heard and they are truly trying to help me!
Dr. Branstetter and the staff are excellent. Thanks to the nurses Christina Pagan and Daniel.
Professional and kind. Very supportive in getting care I needed.
DR. Patel is amazing!!! My elderly mother was very happy with DR. Patel, as was I. He really takes the time to listen to any and all of your concerns. He is very empathetic, compassionate and caring. He was very patient with my mother and I, as I translated for my mother what the DR was explaining.If only all DR’s were like DR. Patel, were they truly care about their job, profession and the patient. Thank you DR. Patel, look foward to seeing you and your amazing smile again in 5 years!!!!
Very professional, I really appreciate Dr Agarwal.