Dysphagia: If the food is a danger
Dysphagia can have different causes, and mainly affects older people. The Severity can range from mild discomfort to total inability to swallow. The swallowing is disturbed reflex and the cough reflex, lack of eating and Drinking can become life threatening. The swallowing process is a complex process that can be controlled consciously, partly involuntarily, runs out. Up to 2000 times, an adult swallows on a daily basis with the help of around 50 muscle pairs of saliva, food and liquid.
Dysphagia: symptoms and causes
An acute, painful dysphagia almost everyone knows as a vexing corollary to irritated tonsils a common cold infection. Allergic reactions (e.g. to an insect bite) can lead to the swelling of the mucous membranes, and thus swallowing disorders. A typical Symptom is the swallowing disorder, the rare, but life-threatening Tetanus. The causes of chronic swallowing disorder are varied and can cover one or more phases of the swallowing process.
- The most common cause of a neurogenic disorder, such as skin, as a result of stroke, traumatic brain injury, brain inflammation, or disease, such as Parkinson’s disease and multiple sclerosis. Also diseases of the muscles such as the muscle wasting (muscular dystrophy) or of the connective tissue such as scleroderma can lead to swallowing problems.
- Also tumors or surgery in the area of the throat, mouth and head area, cervical spine, or upper esophagus can undergo a dysphagia.
- Poisoning, chemotherapy or radiation therapy in the throat and esophagus area or as a longer-reclining breathing tube are also a factor.
- Younger also psychogenic swallowing disorders are typical of the feeling, to constantly have a lump in the throat, possibly coupled with a Räsuperzwang.
- In the child, congenital malformations (e.g., cleft lip and palate-column), or neurological diseases of the nervous system or the muscles are often underlying, or, not infrequently, a relatively banal – Vergörßerung the palate is almonds.
- In the elderly, the Swallowing is, on the whole is often less efficient – it also speaks of Presbyphagie. The reaction time of the muscles and nerves is prolonged; loss of teeth, decreased muscle strength, dry mucous membranes and ossification of the jaw joint, Swallowing more difficult. This includes frequent movement and coordination disorders in old age, for example, as a manifestation of a dementia disease.
Dysphagia: a vicious circle
Aspiration (Penetration) of food, liquid or saliva in the airway may have a pneumonia or chest infection, which can ultimately mean death. Especially in the elderly pneumonia is often due to dysphagia. The swallowing is disrupted operation, is accompanied to the eating process, often of a cough, throat clearing, choking or Drooling. This, in turn, that the person only likes little or nothing to eat. A vicious cycle of continuous weight loss, malnutrition, Dehydration (dehydration) and reduced quality of life. Poor nutrition weakens the immune system, thereby reducing the age-related enhanced susceptibility to infections significantly. As a result of the General condition, and diseases occur frequently worsens.
Dysphagia: diagnosis is important
In the case of suspicion of a swallowing disorder, the diagnosis is in each case by an appropriately trained physician is useful. It is not only the extent of the dysphagia, but also causes a search. In addition, the doctor can give assistance for the everyday and special professionals such as occupational therapists, speech therapists, or nutritionists refer.
Dietary tips for swallowing problems
Help with dysphagia can taste neutral andickung funds (special diet food). In order for hot or cold drinks and food can be brought quickly and simply in a consistency which facilitates Swallowing. By Pureeing the food, you reach a homogeneous, mushy food for a of risk to Swallow your arm.
As food potatoes and carrots are, for example, rather than fibrous vegetables such as leeks, asparagus, and legumes. Food such as noodle soup, are completely unsuitable, since two different consistencies are difficult in the mouth to control – well-a thickened cream soup works. It is also advisable to serve the meals with an acidic flavor additives, such as lemon, – the swallowing mechanism is triggered.
With occupational therapy and speech and language pathology as measures of swallowing is a reflex exercise. Especially in the case of Older is a natural food intake with the help of drinking water and Esshilfen (sippy Cup, slide the spoon) for as long as possible is desirable, and with dietary measures, such as andickung resources, energy concentrates, and to optimize drinking food. High-calorie drinking water and food Probe can further prevent a nutritional deficiency.
Important the food is in the Sit after the meal for at least 30 minutes should be spent Sitting down. No longer Swallow at all possible, need to be taken further action in regard to, for example, the nutrition via a gastric probe.