Saturday, May 7, 2011

Types of Medical Treatments Available to Dysphagia Patients

(Mon Apr 25th, 2011, by Michiel Van Kets)

Dysphagia is the medical terminology when referring to difficulties in swallowing and is caused by strokes and related illnesses and damages in the central nervous system. Although a minor problem that can be easily remedied, dysphagia may, at times, take on serious proportions with fatal consequences. Pill forms of medication are difficult for dysphagia patients to swallow, so liquid medications are used in substitute to solve this problem.

To continually ensure the administration of correct dosage, all liquid medicines come with special measuring spoons. Since regular teaspoons are not of standard sizes, it was revealed during a recent study that the dosage could vary greatly when the special spoon supplied with the medication was not utilized. If you are having trouble using the spoon that comes with your medicine, ask your pharmacist for a medicine cup or oral syringe in order to measure your dosage as accurately as possible.

It is necessary for liquid formulations to be designed a bit differently that tablets so that patients receive the proper dosage without the need to consume large quantities of liquid. It must also include ingredients that mask the taste of the drug which frequently is bitter and foul tasting. The normal dose for children is usually no more than 4 millilitres, but adults will usually need to take the medication in a larger dosage. The medicine comes in a syrup solution and has sweeteners and other flavours that hide the otherwise bad taste of the medicine; these types of medicines are normally thicker, as a thick syrup is not as likely to spill or be accidentally inhaled. Furthermore, it might have additional ingredients that make sure the medication stays in the liquid so the medication will work properly.

Medication must be stored properly and safely. It is essential that dosage and timing instructions are followed closely and that any leftover medication is taken to a pharmacy for proper disposition.

The very act of swallowing is quite complicated because it is caused by a reflex neurological action that is managed by the brain. It involves the act of masticating food until it forms a small, soft ball of food called a bolus. The bolus must then be moved into the pharynx where some small, automatic muscle movements work together to get the food into the oesophagus, or food pipe, and into the stomach. Everything happens when the body, at the same time, prohibits foods and liquids from going into the wind pipe and lungs. The whole act of swallowing is maintained by different locations in the brain and if any one of these locations is injured, for example by a stroke, this can cause dysphagia.

There are many medical conditions that could cause the sufferer to experience difficulty swallowing. In order to develop a proper treatment plan that will work, it is critical to find out why the patient has developed this problem. Stroke dysphagia is the most common culprit. Liquid medication and food have alleviated post-stroke problems in case of a number of patients. Although most cases of swallowing difficulties can be alleviated by exercises, there do exist some chronic cases that require feeding tubes.

When the dysphagia becomes so painful that the person is not able to swallow liquid medicine or food, then it is time for either a temporary, or perhaps permanent, feeding tube that will need to be inserted. When other treatments fail to work, this is a final option. Prior to reaching this phase, the reduction of the amount of food put into the mouth, thoroughly chewing the food, adding additional liquid to the food or completely liquefying the food can all be a beneficial aid to swallowing. Since becoming distressed can exacerbate the issues, it is a good idea for the patient to remain as calm as possible.

Younger victims of dysphagia normally suffer from inflammatory muscle diseases, while in older victims dysphagia is linked to central nervous system issues, such as Parkinson's disease, dementia, multiple sclerosis, bulbar palsy and stroke. Achalasia is another possible cause as to why a patient may be experiencing difficulty when trying to swallow. This condition involves the oesophagus when it is not able to sufficiently relax and allow food and liquids to travel down to the stomach; when this happens, the food is regurgitated, the person loses weight and there is pain in the chest.

Dilation damage may occur to the oesophagus if dysphagia is not treated. When that happens, patients who could previously swallow liquids even though they had difficulty swallowing solid foods may eventually be unable to swallow liquids, leading to the necessity of inserting a feeding a tube to provide food and water. Do not experience the pain of dysphagia for too long of a time period. To treat dysphagia, take medicine in liquid forms, mash up your food, take small bites of food, chew thoroughly, and look for medical advice and treatment.

Michiel Van Kets writes articles about dysphagia, a condition whereby swallowing is difficult or impossible due to a disease process, such as stroke. Patients who suffer from dysphagia still require their medication, but because of difficulties swallowing tablets, may find the frequency and experience to be an ordeal. Luckily, a pharmaceutical company such as Rosemont has developed liquid medication to relieve the symptoms of dysphagia, leading to a speedier recovery for patients.

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