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Dysphagia

  • DYSPHAGIA IN THE ELDERLY

    Are you 65 years and older or do you have family members in this age group?  If you said yes to either one of those questions, the following information may be beneficial to you and/or your loved ones.   As we get older there are many physiological changes that occur in our bodies.   Our ability to swallow is one that tends to decrease with advanced age.  The difficulty to adequately swallow is also known as dysphagia. Continue reading

  • SPOT THE WARNING SIGNS OF DYSPHAGIA

    Individuals with dysphagia or difficulty swallowing can often have signs of dysphagia long before they are diagnosed. Unfortunately, undiagnosed dysphagia can lead to malnutrition, dehydration and respiratory problems.  Dysphagia can also be a symptom of an underlying condition.  Older adults and individuals with neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis, as well as those with head and neck cancers are at high risk for developing dysphagia. Continue reading

  • ARE YOU STAYING ADEQUATELY HYDRATED?

    Dehydration is a form of malnutrition that can be over looked.  Many older adults do not meet their daily fluid requirements.  There are many physiologic changes related to aging that increase your risk of dehydration.  These include dysphagia, decreased kidney function, decreased thirst sensation, changes in mental status, and decreased mobility.  Some older adults also fear incontinence or desire to avoid frequent trips to the bathroom due to pain. Medications can also contribute to dehydration.  Most common are those used to treat hypertension, as they often work as a diuretic causing increased fluid loss.  Dehydration can lead to constipation, electrolyte imbalances, kidney damage, and in some cases even death. Continue reading

  • LET’S STIMULATE YOUR APPETITE

    Many patients I work with in the hospital tell me that they are not eating due to lack of appetite.  Decreased appetite can lead to unintentional weight loss in older adults.  Loss appetite can have many causes, some directly related to aging and others are not. As we age our sense of smell and taste change.  If food doesn’t taste or smell good, our desire to eat may decline.  Older adults often have early satiety, and feel full after eating only small amounts.  Constipation can also make a person feel full even if they haven’t eaten recently.  Additionally, medications can decrease appetite and alter taste. Individuals with dementia or Alzheimer’s may just not remember they need to eat.  Many older adults are also less active which can be a contributing factor. Continue reading

  • SAMPLE THREE-DAY DYSPHAGIA MEAL PLAN

    While the goal of diet modification for people diagnosed with dysphagia is to decrease their risk of aspirating food, it is not always easy to follow new dietary recommendations. Some patients may not accept diet modification.¹ If taste, variety, simplicity and convenience are issues, THICK & EASY® products may be a solution. We want to help you get started with this easy, three-day menu plan. Continue reading

  • DEMYSTIFYING MODIFIED BARIUM SWALLOW STUDIES

    Would you or your loved one benefit from convenient THICK & EASY® products? A modified barium swallow study is one way that health professionals can determine if a change in diet, or other tactics, may help someone with dysphagia have an easier time swallowing. The test is fairly simple. It requires the patient to swallow small amounts of everyday liquids and foods mixed with diluted barium. An x-ray device is used to see images of what’s happening in the patient’s mouth, throat and esophagus as they swallow. Continue reading

  • MAKE FAMILY DINNERS SIMPLE WITH TIME-SAVING TIPS

    Sitting down together at the dinner table each night is great for fostering both a healthy lifestyle and togetherness as a family. Relatives with dysphagia want to feel included in household activities, and with different diets and hectic schedules, that can be a challenge. However, preparing nutritious family meals and eating together doesn’t necessarily require hours slaving in the kitchen, a gourmet cooking background or a budget bust. With these simple family dinner tips and helpful products such as THICK & EASY® thickeners and pre-thickened foods and beverages and MED PASS® nutritional shakes, you and your loved ones can find time to enjoy one another’s company – and delicious meals – every night of the week. Continue reading

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