Difficulty Swallowing in St. Louis, MO
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What is difficulty swallowing?
Difficulty swallowing, or dysphagia, occurs when an individual has a hard time moving food and drinks from the throat, mouth, and esophagus prior to traveling through the stomach. Difficulty swallowing can be an indication of multiple different conditions, ranging from esophageal spasms to allergic reactions. It is essential to find the root of the problem in order for the right treatment to be administered. If you are interested in learning more about the available treatment options in St. Louis, MO, reach out to our GI provider at your nearest Specialists in Gastroenterology location to request a consultation.
What causes trouble swallowing?
There is not one specific factor that causes difficulty swallowing. When you have swallowing difficulties, it might be due to a specific problem that has gone undiagnosed, a food allergy, or inflammation in your esophagus. Below are some reasons why difficulty passing food from your mouth to your stomach could be occurring:
- Enlargement of the thyroid
- Foreign objects in the throat or esophagus
- Esophageal rings (bands of tissue that narrow the inside of the esophagus)
- Neurological conditions
- Muscle contractions
- Achalasia, which occurs if the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) becomes paralyzed
- Scars from gastroesophageal reflux disease
Trouble swallowing may impact people of all age ranges, although it is most common in older patients. Our Specialists in Gastroenterology providers will partner with you to develop a treatment plan that fits your needs.
What are the symptoms of trouble swallowing?
Trouble swallowing could suggest a number of concerns. If you are experiencing difficulty swallowing, it is crucial to get care as quickly as you can to confirm that you can breathe and eat safely. The most common signs of swallowing difficulty include:
- Not having the ability to swallow
- Feeling like food is sticking in the esophagus
- Regurgitation of food
- Shortness of breath
- Repeated acid reflux
- Discomfort in the esophagus while swallowing
It is important that you see a GI specialist in St. Louis, MO immediately if you endure any mix of the above issues regularly. It is important to see your gastroenterologist when weight loss or vomiting occurs along with your trouble swallowing.
What are the treatments for difficulty swallowing?
Most treatment plans for swallowing difficulties begin with pinpointing the cause. If it is caused by food allergies, the right measures will be taken to diminish inflammation, and then we will advise that you avoid eating the food that caused the reaction. If the cause is inflammation in the esophageal lining, your specialist will identify the root cause, establishing whether it is caused by a viral or bacterial infection (infectious esophagitis), or GERD. If you experience muscle spasms in the esophagus, our team might prescribe muscle relaxers or recommend surgery. Let the GI providers at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community work with you to strengthen your ability to swallow.
Relief you can feel
When you've experienced difficulty with swallowing and are looking for an experienced team to help you handle the problem, reach out to the GI specialist at a Specialists in Gastroenterology location in your community. Your provider will work to uncover the cause and determine a solution that is ideal for your needs. Don't hesitate to reach out for help, as trouble swallowing might signal a larger concern that needs emergency treatment. If you need treatment for difficulty swallowing in St. Louis, MO, request a consultation today to begin your journey back to optimal wellness.
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Great staff made the procedure a relaxing and comfortable experience.