Dysphagia in San Antonio, TX
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What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is a term used to describe an individual's struggle or even inability to ingest food and liquid. There might be a variety of reasons why a person may experience dysphagia, such as a result of muscle spasms because of failing to chew food thoroughly or other internal problems. Dysphagia can also refer to the sensation of food being stuck in the chest or neck area. If you have these symptoms and need care for dysphagia in San Antonio, TX, help is available. Connect with our skilled gastrointestinal providers at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location in your community today to learn about the options we offer to help you get back to a better life.
What causes dysphagia?
There are two variations of dysphagia, and the causes are unique for each type.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia describes difficulty when starting to swallow. Neuromuscular factors are more frequent in this type of dysphagia. This is because the muscles of the mouth, the posterior portion of your throat, and the top portion of the esophagus have direct connections 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 forming in the back of the throat can cause trouble with swallowing.
Esophageal dysphagia has numerous causes, a few of the most common being:
- Esophageal spasms
- Scarring in the esophagus from acid reflux (GERD)
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Lack of esophageal muscle strength
- Foreign body blockage in the esophagus
- Achalasia (when the lower esophageal sphincter is unable to relax while swallowing due to abnormal nerve control)
- Swelling in the esophagus from reflux
What are the symptoms of dysphagia?
There are several common signs and symptoms of dysphagia. Some of the most common signs and symptoms can include:
- Gagging or coughing while swallowing
- Inability to swallow
- Pain while swallowing
- Aspiration pneumonia
- The feeling that food is stuck in your chest or throat
- Acid reflux
- Excessive salivation
- Food impaction (food getting stuck)
- Food or liquid regurgitates through your nose
- Unwanted weight loss
- Chest pain
If you notice any of these symptoms of dysphagia or have trouble swallowing, please get in touch with our gastroenterology group in San Antonio, TX to connect with a specialist.
How is dysphagia treated?
At San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates, we provide an array of personalized treatment options to best meet the unique needs of our patients. Common dysphagia treatments involve:
- Implementing exercises to re-stimulate the nerves that initiate the swallowing reflex
- Implementing different swallowing techniques
- Dilation of the esophagus
- Medications for the reduction of acid reflux, corticosteroids, or muscle relaxants
- Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for extreme cases)
Help your swallowing difficulties subside
If you or a loved one are living with any symptoms of dysphagia in San Antonio, TX, we are here to help. Request an appointment with a GI specialist at a San Antonio Gastroenterology Associates location near you today if you are experiencing any of the above symptoms on a regular basis. It is imperative to see your provider right away if weight loss or vomiting accompanies any difficulty swallowing.
Staff very nice and Dr. Franklin is wonderful.
First time seeing this doctor or a doctor for this matter that I have he explained everything very well and told me what what going to happen to see what was the next step. Understood everything
The nurses were awesome they make you feel comfortable and my doctor was so friendly I recommend this doctor and place to all my friends and family
Clinic has always treated me with respect. They're usually very prompt. At my recent endoscopy nurses and staff were very positive about the upcoming procedure and did everything to make me comfortable
Dr. Bullock, with Gastroenterology Consultants of SA is a true professional. He did my procedure and everything went according to plan. He is confident and makes his patients feel comfortable. I will continue to be a patient in the future.