Esophageal Dysphagia Treatment in North Houston
Why does it hurt when you swallow?
You may think that swallowing is a simple and easy task that you perform hundreds of times every day with little thought or effort. However, in reality, it is a complex movement that involves the esophagus, muscles in your throat and mouth, your brain, and several other muscles and nerves to work together to perform the swallowing motion. The entire swallowing process occurs in a matter of seconds, but a lot is happening during that time. It’s broken into three phases, which include:
- The food or liquid enters the mouth
- The food or liquid moves from the mouth through the throat/pharynx and into the esophagus
- Food goes through the esophagus with muscular contractions and is pushed into the stomach
Dysphagia / Difficult and Painful Swallowing
The term dysphagia is often used by digestive disorder physicians for the condition causing painful or difficult swallowing. Because swallowing is a complicated process involving many working parts, there are many underlying health issues that can result in pain when swallowing. Visiting a doctor who specializes in digestion-related conditions can help you get to the bottom of your swallowing issues and properly diagnose and treat your dysphagia.
What causes dysphagia?
Dysphagia, or difficulty swallowing, can occur during the process of swallowing if one of the following problems occurs:
- Achalasia – Inability to relax the sphincter muscle
- Esophageal narrowing – Inflammation from GERD or a tumor
- Pharynx muscle dysfunction – Loss of muscle control, often due to stroke
- Brain disturbances – Often related to Parkinson’s disease, ALS, Lou Gehrig’s disease, or multiple sclerosis
What are the symptoms of dysphagia?
Some of the most common signs that you may have a swallowing problem include the following:
- Frequent pain when swallowing
- Routinely choking while eating
- Swallowing that seems to take longer than it should
- Pneumonia that is recurring
How is dysphagia diagnosed by a digestive disease doctor?
If you think you might have a swallowing problem, contact us at Allied Digestive Disease Center in Houston for a full evaluation and digestive testing. Our team is dedicated to helping you return to a normal, healthy lifestyle free from any and all digestive-related pain. One of the following tests may be used to help determine what is causing your dysphagia and how to proceed with treatment:
- Upper GI endoscopy
- Manometry testing
- Ph testing
- Cineradiography testing
How is dysphagia treated by a Houston digestive doctor?
At our digestive disease center, we take patients with all kinds of gastrointestinal problems — from minor discomfort to chronic digestive conditions. Depending on the reason for your swallowing problem, we can offer the full range of treatment options. We’re your partners in digestive health and will create a personalized treatment plan that gets you on the road to feeling your best.
- Lifestyle modifications
- Diet modifications
- Prescription medication to treat underlying digestive diseases
- Assessment by a Speech Language Pathologist for a more detailed look at your swallowing function
If you are experiencing dysphagia or trouble swallowing, visit Allied Digestive Disease Center of Houston today. Our team is able to provide excellent services to get your nutrition back on the right track. Schedule an appointment at our practice today by calling 832.912.4481 or fill out the form on this page.