I have been dysphagia, a foodie's nightmare. I have been diagnosed as having a small sliding hiatal hernia with no acid reflux. I had the fluoroscopy to determine this and then a speech and swallow test, which I aced.
By Rhea from Amityville, NY
I was left with very mild dysphagia after a tracheotomy 7.5 years ago. Mine includes reflux because my spleen was ruptured in an accident. The speech therapist at the nursing home suggested this: tip your chin down as far toward your chest as possible when swallowing. That helps clear the esophagus and allows the food or drink to go down more easily.
If you don't absolutely have to have reflux meds, try to avoid them. If you must, try not to use more reflux meds than absolutely necessary for comfort. After 7.5 years on prescription-strength generic Zantac, it's difficult to wean myself from it. I can usually get to OTC-strength, but if I eat tomato-based or fried foods, it isn't fun. Being on a tight budget with a hubby who insists on cooking fried food doesn't help. But I'm working on him!
Go see the SLP (speech/language pathologist) and follow his/her advise. They can give you many helpful compensatory techniques. Diet-wise you can experiment a bit to see what causes problems and what doesn't, but high fat foods are likely to be a problem.
Look on the bright side, fried foods are terrible for your general health. You'd be surprised how many delicious foods are "low fat". Look into Cooking Light and Eating Well magazines for ideas. Good Luck
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