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Welcome to our health education library. The information shared below is provided to you as an educational and informational source only and is not intended to replace a medical examination or consultation, or medical advice given to you by a physician or medical professional.

Understanding DysphagiaDisfagia

Understanding Dysphagia

Cutaway view of esophagus

If you have a problem swallowing foods or liquids, you may have dysphagia. This condition has a number of causes. Your doctor can find out what is causing your problem and help relieve your symptoms.

Causes of Dysphagia

With dysphagia, foods or liquids do not easily pass down the esophagus. Often, dysphagia occurs if the esophagus walls thicken, causing a narrowing (stricture) of the passage. Dysphagia can be caused by any of the following:

  • A problem in the esophagus, such as an ulcer, a stricture, or cancer

  • Muscles in your mouth, throat, or esophagus that don't work right

  • A nerve or brain problem (such as a stroke) that leaves your mouth, tongue, or throat muscles weak or changes how your muscles coordinate

Common Symptoms

If you have dysphagia, you may:

  • Feel chest pressure or pain when you swallow

  • Choke or cough when swallowing

  • Vomit after eating or drinking

  • Aspirate (inhale into the lungs) foods or liquids when you swallow

  • Have fatigue and weight loss

Date Last Reviewed: 2004-10-21T00:00:00-06:00

Date Last Modified: 2002-07-09T00:00:00-06:00

At Utah Gastroenterology, you can count on us to help you with your sensitive condition. Look to us for highly attentive, personalized care no matter how complicated your GI problem may be. Give us a call at 801-944-3199 or use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule your preferred consultation time.

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