ALS News Today Forums Forums Living With ALS Your tips and advice for managing dysphagia (swallowing issues)

  • Your tips and advice for managing dysphagia (swallowing issues)

    Posted by Dagmar on October 31, 2023 at 1:01 am

    I recently wrote a column sharing the lessons I’ve learned during the past 9 years that I’ve had dysphagia:

    1. When dining out, I bring my pre-mixed beverage in a small sports bottle.
    2. I minimize distractions when I’m eating and/or drinking (no TV, reading, videos, etc.).
    3. When drinking I sit with good posture.

    What additional helpful tips would you add?

    Roman replied 4 months, 2 weeks ago 8 Members · 15 Replies
  • 15 Replies
  • Dagmar

    Member
    October 31, 2023 at 1:19 pm

    I also find that letting everyone at the table know about my swallowing issues helps prevent embarrassing situations – – like when they ask a question and my mouth is full of food. If I let them know early on, they have more patience to wait for me to swallow and then reply.

    • Saltys

      Member
      December 8, 2023 at 6:03 am

      I was told to try warning your brain food present by taking a small portions & same when drinking.

      • Dagmar

        Member
        December 11, 2023 at 11:25 am

        Good advice Saltys. Also, don’t feel rushed because others are eating and drinking fast.

  • Dagmar

    Member
    November 7, 2023 at 11:27 am

    Another tip is to always bring an extra straw in a plastic bag – – in case the restaurant only has small skinny straws… or none at all)

  • Rose Vas

    Member
    November 13, 2023 at 8:32 am

    Hubby uses breathing tools to exercise his lungs and swallowing excercise, keep deep breathing.

    • Dagmar

      Member
      November 13, 2023 at 3:15 pm

      Could you share what various breathing tools he uses?

      • Mary Costello

        Member
        November 22, 2023 at 9:35 am

        Do others use these breathing or mucous clearing devices? I always worry about weakening a muscle further, but would love to hear other thoughts.

      • Dagmar

        Member
        November 28, 2023 at 10:46 am

        There are foods that increase mucus – – like dairy products. I find that avoiding them helps keep my throat clear.

      • Rose Vas

        Member
        December 1, 2023 at 2:15 pm

        EMST 150

        http://Www.emst150.com

        This is first strength trainer he uses.

        Per Swallowing Tech 3 yrs ago

  • Rose Vas

    Member
    November 17, 2023 at 6:53 am

    This is one of them…

    https://www.google.com/shopping/product/1409200516896907678?q=breathing+tools&client=safari&sa=X&sca_esv=9d61a51198a9b3e0&hl=en-us&biw=430&bih=721&tbs=vw:l&prmd=isvn&prds=eto:15816767741290289292_0,cdl:1,prmr:1,rsk:CID_1409200516896907678,cs:1&ved=0ahUKEwjkooDMicuCAxV4RDABHZ21BE0QgTYI-xM

  • Mark Andrew Atwater

    Member
    November 28, 2023 at 3:13 pm

    I reluctantly have scheduled the insertion of a feeding tube. A milestone I didn’t want to get to, but my doctors have explained that even though I don’t need it right now, they want to get it inserted while my lung function is good.

    A question I have is what happens to the siliva when you can’t swallow. Also, I am getting over a nasty chest cold right now and I am having issues right now getting rid of the Phlemm from my lungs. When I can’t swallow, then what.

    • Dagmar

      Member
      December 7, 2023 at 11:42 am

      I’ve been using the brand Thick-It for the past 6-7 years. It works for all my liquids. (I wrote about it here):

      “When swallowing becomes an ALS issue” https://alsandwellness.blogspot.com/2020/02/when-swallowing-becomes-als-issue.html

      Regarding saliva, I think our bodies & throats can handle it… for example, you swallow all te time while sleeping. It’s just our mind that gets panicky. Learn to remind yourself to swallow a lot throughout the day so saliva doesn’t build up in the first place.

  • Kim Russell

    Member
    December 5, 2023 at 2:52 pm

    I found a video on YouTube that suggested thickening agent for liquids. I ordered SimplyThick Easy Mix from Amazon and it should be here Thursday. Apparently thicker liquids pass slower and that gives weakened muscles time to react.

  • Reese

    Member
    December 7, 2023 at 6:31 pm

    https://www.als.org/blog/nuedexta-trial-demonstrates-promising-results-impacting-bulbar-function-als-patients<div&gt;
    </div><div>I recently discovered this. I’ve been taking Nuedexta for 3 weeks and it seems to help with my swallowing and speech. </div>

  • Roman

    Member
    December 11, 2023 at 5:15 pm

    In my speech therapy I do some exercises for tongue, creek, jaws, and more, using an Electric stimulation machine. My swallowing has improve a lot.

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