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Dealing with Dysphagia while Maintaining Your Health

by Noah Lam, Chief Operating Officer of CWI Medical

 

Those dealing with Parkinson’s disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Cancer, Stroke, and Aging may have a common condition known as Dysphagia. Dysphagia occurs when your throat cannot control the muscles, and therefore you are unable to properly swallow foods and liquids. View Thickened Products

While healthy persons can easily swallow foods and liquids, Dysphagia can cause aspiration pneumonia by food or liquids entering into the lungs. This is a serious condition and anyone with dysphagia must be closely monitored, especially during mealtimes when choking can occur. In addition, be aware of any sudden weight loss, the darkness of your urine, constipation, and dry mouth. These are signals of dehydration, and you need to contact your physician soon.

You should avoid the following:
• Eating small pieces of food
• Eating hard to chew foods (such as nuts and raw vegetables)
• Eating foods that break apart
• Eating dry meats
• Eating plain rice
• Eating bread
• Talking during meals

Things that you should do:
• Consult your physician and a speech pathologist to learn exercise techniques that can strengthen your swallowing muscles and proper posture
• Smell your food to stimulate your salivary glands and appetite
• Moisten your food with butter, gravy or sauce
• Take small bites of your food
• Take small sips of liquids
• Modify the consistency of your foods and liquids to allow for safer swallowing

Since Dysphagia makes it very difficult to eat solid foods, it is more important to remain hydrated and nourished. You will most likely need to blenderize your solid foods to a smooth consistency. Adding a product like Resource ThickenUp adds shape and body to pureed foods. Resource ThickenUp maintains the taste and flavor of foods and liquids without the starchy taste. It mixes easily into foods and beverages to quickly reach the consistency prescribed by your healthcare professional.

Thin liquids such as plain water, juice or milk can be dangerous, so you must modify the consistency of the beverage. There are 3 types of consistencies that your healthcare professional may recommend for treatment: nectar, honey, and pudding. Resource thickened products also are available in convenient pre-thickened beverages providing a consistent pre-measured thickness, and quality assurance comes from a state of the art manufacturing process. The pre-thickened flavors that are available are Orange, Apple, Cranberry, Dairy, Vanilla Dairy, and Water with a hint of lemon. Resource Thickened Coffee comes in a pre-measured packet of powder that mixes with hot water.

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Noah Lam has over 15 years of experience of providing high quality medical supplies and healthcare products from Acute Care Facilities to parents and children. His company, CWI Medical is a leading provider of clinical diabetic nutrition to healthcare facilities, dialysis centers, and for home use. In addition, CWI Medical is an ACHC Accredited organization maintaining standards of excellence in the Healthcare Field. For more information, please visit http://www.cwimedical.com

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