Types of Food and Drink to Ease the Symptoms of Dysphagia
Dysphagia is a troublesome condition that affects the ability to swallow food and drinks. As you can imagine, this is highly inconvenient at times and while sometimes it is manageable with physical therapy and other medication, other times it is not the case. Therefore, if you find yourself in the position of dealing with this ailment, find a diet that suits your needs. The following foods are ones to rely on and others to avoid completely.
Mashed food is the best consistency to tackle swallowing issues. It is not only softer, but it is easier to consume in smaller portions. Lots of food can be mashed, though the more traditional options like potatoes and other vegetables may be the most appetizing. Add a little butter for an enhanced flavor, but try to avoid salt.
Soup is the obvious choice. It can be watered down but kept thick and requires no chewing at all. There are hundreds of recipes to choose from and you can incorporate so many different ingredients all blended together. You will never get bored of trying new things out. It’s also incredibly easy to make!
Making a liquid or food thicker might feel counterintuitive when addressing dysphagia symptoms, but the opposite is, in fact, true. Thickeners, like the ones from the Simply Thick LLC company, actually support the swallowing process.
When someone with dysphagia tries to swallow food or drink, it is often painful and difficult to engage the muscles to complete the process. A thickener slows everything down so it is simplified, and deters food from going to the wrong place such as the lungs. It can be incredibly dangerous if this were to happen, so any product that considers ways to help is beneficial.
Pureed meats, soft cheese, and scrambled eggs will be the go-to option on the harder days. You may need to invest in a good quality blender to make the cooking preparation go faster, but that is an easy enough task. If you want to add some variety, try food like avocado or a very mild paneer curried dish.
Food to Avoid
There will be good days and bad days, and the bad days will require extra support and nurturing. Though you can’t always avoid everything all the time, if your dysphagia is flaring up, try to avoid the following categories to not further exacerbate the symptoms.
• Products that are hard to chew: Tough meat, dry biscuits like crackers, and hard food sorts such as nuts are all going to cause problems and increase pain.
• Irritable food: Chillis, peppers and all things spicy can cause heartburn which makes symptoms harder to manage. Don’t add these to dishes, and avoid cuisine that might provoke this response.
Caffeine also makes the list for the same reasons, though it can be enjoyed in moderation on the better days.
Regardless of the cause of your dysphagia, the symptoms are all the same. They are there to be managed, and the only successful way to do this is through your choice of diet and hydration.