Digestive Diseases

What causes Trouble with Swallowing

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No one thinks much about trouble swallowing, but certain esophageal disorders can make that happen. In this article, I'd like to discuss a few of what these causes might be.

Trouble swallowing is medically termed dysphagia. The term refers back to food that does not go all the way down or gets hung up somewhere in either the chest or throat.

When your esophageal sphincter does not work properly because of not relaxing, it is known as Achalasia. This problem will cause the contents of what you have swallowed to come back up into your throat.

A diffuse spasm is something that causes high pressure, un-coordinated contractions of the esophagus that occurs after swallowing foods. This is pretty uncommon, affecting the lower esophagus walls. These contractions might go off and on, and even become gradually much worse over time.

As I have discussed at least a few times before, GERD which is gastroesophageal reflux disease is an acid reflux condition where acidic leak back up into the esophagus and often cause pain and sometimes leads into swallowing problems. The dangers of GERD is that it can lead into Barrett's Esophagus which is pre-throat cancer.

Scleroderma is a scar tissue type of disease that causes hardening of the skin. It is progressive, and usually over a time period, causes the esophageal sphincter to become weak. Trouble swallowing then becomes a problem.

Pharyngeal diverticula is an abnormality of the esophagus where there is a pouch that sits on top of it. This causes many problems swallowing along with halitosis and coughing.

An esophageal stricture can cause many problems. This is because your esophagus narrows down, and as you swallow or try to swallow, food gets stuck on the way down to the stomach. This is a condition that needs attention as soon as possible since it can cause problems with malnourishment not being able to get any foods down.

Another causes can be neurologically related. This is entitled oropharyngeal dysphagia. It causes you to choke or cough as you try to swallow food. It is referred to as a neuromuscular problem. Problems such as multiple sclerosis, muscular dystrophy, and Parkinson's Disease can cause this problem.

Things such as strokes, cleft lip or palate in children, or developmental problems can cause many problems swallowing. Also, anyone that has had other brain issues such as meningitis or cerebral palsy will commonly have this problem.

If you have troubles at all with your swallowing, it is a must to see your doctor for testing to determine what is going on exactly.

More about this author: Jennifer Kirkman

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