Dysphagia in New Orleans, LA
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What is dysphagia?
Dysphagia is someone’s difficulty or inability to ingest food or liquid. There might be many explanations as to why an individual can have dysphagia. It might be due to spasms in the muscle in the esophagus, a failure to masticate (chew) their food well enough, or other internal situations. Dysphagia can also refer to the feeling of food being trapped in the chest or neck area. If you experience these symptoms and need care for dysphagia in New Orleans, LA, there is help available. Reach out to our knowledgeable gastrointestinal providers at Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates today for more about the options we can offer to assist you in getting back to a better quality of life.
What causes dysphagia?
Dysphagia may occur in two different variations and the causes are unique for both types.
Oropharyngeal dysphagia describes difficulty starting a swallow. Neuromuscular causes are more common with this variety of dysphagia. This is a result of the muscles of the mouth, the back of the throat, and the top portion of the esophagus sharing direct connections with the brain. Nerves in these areas can be damaged causing issues with swallowing.
At times, narrowed areas in the esophagus (strictures) or tumors forming in the rear of the throat can cause you to have a hard time swallowing.
The condition known as esophageal dysphagia has numerous causes, a few of the most common being:
- Inflammation in the esophagus from reflux
- Esophageal blockage due to a foreign body
- Lack of esophageal muscle strength
- Achalasia (when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) is unable to relax during swallowing because of abnormal nerve control)
- Esophageal scarring from acid reflux (GERD)
- Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE)
- Spasms in the esophagus
What are some symptoms of dysphagia?
The most common signs and symptoms of dysphagia can include:
- The sensation of food being stuck in your throat or chest
- Inability to swallow
- Aspiration pneumonia
- Acid reflux
- Gagging or coughing when swallowing
- Food impaction (food getting stuck)
- Food or liquid regurgitates through the nose
- Pain in the chest
- Unexplained weight loss
- Pain when swallowing
If you experience any of the above symptoms of dysphagia or trouble swallowing, contact our gastroenterology group in New Orleans, LA to meet with a specialist.
What are the treatments for dysphagia?
At Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates, we perform a variety of treatment options to help meet the individualized needs of our patients. The most common dysphagia treatments include:
- Practicing exercises to re-stimulate nerves that trigger the reflex of swallowing
- Practicing different swallowing techniques
- Esophageal dilation
- Medications for reduction of acid reflux, muscle relaxers, or corticosteroids
- Special liquid diet or feeding tube (for extreme cases)
We can help your swallowing difficulties subside
If you or a family member are living with any symptoms of dysphagia in New Orleans, LA help is available. Request a consultation with a gastroenterologist at a Metropolitan Gastroenterology Associates in your community immediately if you are experiencing any combination of the listed symptoms regularly. It is imperative to see your provider without delay if weight loss or vomiting accompanies your trouble swallowing.
My experience with Dr. Staudinger was a good one. She was on time with my appointments. She was personable and took time to talk with me. She was comforting and followed up me on my lab work. Her location in Marrero is easy to get to with non-complicated parking. I’m not planning on needing a gastroenterologist for 10 years but should I need to, I will be back to see Dr. Staudinger.
Dr. Mayer and staff are excellent providers who explain every step of the way. Highly recommended
Absolutely wonderful. It couldn't have been better. Totally professional. Dr.Lemann was patient, kind and sweet. The staff was professional and friendly. They made me feel comfortable. I'm glad to have her as my new doctor. ☺
I will come back in about 5 yrs , but the procedure was quick and smooth !!!!
The best ever.