Have you recently been diagnosed with the swallowing disorder dysphagia? Are you feeling a little overwhelmed about your Dysphagia Diagnosis and having a hard time coping with what it means for you right now and in the future? Is the uncertainty causing stress and anxiety in your life?
Getting diagnosed with any sort of illness or medical disorder is enough to Cause Stress and can completely change your life but, after the initial shock subsides, it’s important to have an action plan on how to best tackle things moving forward.
A dysphagia diagnosis may be difficult to cope with, which is exactly why these tips and information can be so important. It’s the kind of information you can use as you create your action plan.
Be Prepared for Tests and Doctor Appointments
There’s a good chance you will be sent for a barrage of tests to first confirm the diagnosis and to help figure out the treatment path. This also means you can expect many doctor visits. The treatment path will depend on what type of dysphagia you have and its cause. The two types are esophageal dysphagia and oropharyngeal dysphagia. Your doctor will be able to identify which type you have and discuss what it means.
The Use of Food Thickeners
If you have a serious case/form of dysphagia, you may need a feeding tube or you may be placed on a liquid diet. A liquid diet means you’ll be able to swallow the nutrients necessary and ensure you don’t get dehydrated. The doctor may recommend you start using a food thickener. Food thickeners such as SimplyThick can prove to be essential for those with dysphagia. It’s important to strike that perfect balance of not being too thick or too thin. If the liquid is too thick, it will be too difficult to swallow, but too thin means you risk aspirating the liquid.
What If You Need Surgery?
Depending on the cause of your swallowing disorder, surgery may be the best treatment option. This is often followed up with swallowing and speech therapy to ensure you have a smooth and speedy recovery. Your doctor will be able to discuss why surgery is recommended, what the surgery entails, what the expected results will be and your recovery process. It’s wise to ask as many questions as possible so that you can feel comfortable and confident in the treatment.
Is This Condition Permanent?
One of the most common questions people have after a dysphagia diagnosis is whether or not it’s permanent. There is no one-size answer; instead, it depends on the severity of the case, the type of dysphagia, the cause and the treatment available.
Moving Forward with Dysphagia
The good news is that there are several treatment paths plus lifestyle changes you can make that can help you to cope with the condition much easier. It’s a good idea to talk about your feelings to a trusted friend, family member or a professional. You don’t want to brush those feelings under the rug and ignore them. There is a path forward after a dysphagia diagnosis.