Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulty swallowing. When dysphagia is mild, it may cause an individual only to stop eating for a minute or less, but when it is severe, it can prevent an individual from taking in enough calories for adequate nutrition. Dysphagia has many causes. First, there may be physical (anatomical) obstruction to the passage of food. Second, there may be abnormalities in the function of the nerves of the brain, throat, and esophagus whose normal function is necessary to coordinate swallowing. Finally, there also may be abnormalities of the muscles of the throat and esophagus themselves.
Depending upon the cause of the dysphagia, the difficulty swallowing can be mild or severe. Some affected individuals may have trouble swallowing both solids and liquids, while others may experience problems only when attempting to swallow solid foods.
Other causes of dysphagia
- Compression From Other Structures in the Chest Cavity
- Esophageal Strictures
- Head Injury
- Muscular Dystrophy
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Causes of Dysphagia
1p36 Deletion Syndrome
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Esophageal achalasia is a disease of the esophagus that mainly affects young adults. Achalasia makes it difficult to swallow, can cause chest pain, and may lead to regurgitation. Here we discuss achalasia symptoms, surgery, treatment, and causes. Learn the definition of achalasia and what you can do to treat the disease.
Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM)
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ALS (Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis) Symptoms, Causes, Life Expectancy
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Charcot-Marie-Tooth Disease (CMT)
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Dry Mouth (Xerostomia)
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Gastroesophageal Junction Adenocarcinoma
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GERD (Acid Reflux, Heartburn)
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Is Thrush Contagious?
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
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Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Symptoms, Causes, Treatment, Life Expectancy
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Rabies is a viral disease that is transmitted via the bite of an infected animal. Symptoms include fever, headaches, and weakness. Treatment involves a series of injections: rabies immune globulin and four rabies vaccines administered over 2 weeks.
Salivary Gland Cancer
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Sleep apnea is defined as a reduction or cessation of breathing during sleep. The three types of sleep apnea are central apnea, obstructive apnea (OSA), and a mixture of central and obstructive apnea. Central sleep apnea is caused by a failure of the brain to activate the muscles of breathing during sleep. OSA is caused by the collapse of the airway during sleep. OSA is diagnosed and evaluated through patient history, physical examination and polysomnography. There are many complications related to obstructive sleep apnea. Treatments are surgical and non-surgical.
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There are four major types of thyroid cancer: papillary, follicular, medullary, and anaplastic thyroid cancer. Tumors on the thyroid are referred to as thyroid nodules. Symptoms of thyroid cancer include swollen lymph nodes, pain in the throat, difficulty swallowing, hoarseness, and a lump near the Adam's apple. Treatment usually involves chemotherapy, surgery, radioactive iodine, hormone treatment or external radiation and depends upon the type of thyroid cancer, the patient's age, the tumor size, and whether the cancer has metastasized.
What Are the Signs and Symptoms of Dysphagia?
What is dysphagia, and how do you know if you have it? Learn the signs of dysphagia and when to see a doctor.
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