What Causes Trouble Swallowing?

What Causes Trouble Swallowing?

If you are having difficulty swallowing, or it’s painful to swallow, you might be wondering what is causing it. Several factors can cause swallowing problems, and your gastroenterologist can help. Dr. Mukhtar Anees at Southwest Gastroenterology Clinic in Burleson, TX, offers comprehensive gastroenterology services, including diagnosis and treatment of swallowing difficulties associated with GERD and other conditions.

What You Need To Know About Swallowing Difficulties

Swallowing difficulties can occur from a sore throat due to a virus or bacterial infection. If your swallowing problem doesn’t go away, you could have a more serious issue, like acid reflux or GERD, which can cause esophageal inflammation and damage.

If you have acid reflux or GERD, it means the sphincter muscle separating your stomach from your esophagus is not working properly. When this happens, stomach acid flows from your stomach, back up into the esophagus. In addition to difficulty swallowing, you may experience a burning sensation in your throat. Other signs and symptoms of acid reflux and GERD include:

  • Chronic wheezing and coughing
  • Frequent chest pain, nausea, and vomiting
  • Sensitive teeth from eroding tooth enamel

If you are suffering from occasional swallowing difficulty, you can try:

  • Taking over-the-counter antacids
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding eating before bed
  • Limiting spicy, acidic foods
  • Limiting caffeine and alcohol
  • Quitting smoking

For more frequent, more severe swallowing difficulties, you need to visit your gastroenterologist. Your gastroenterologist will typically diagnose the cause of your swallowing difficulties with an endoscopy. Using a thin, flexible tube, known as an endoscope, your gastroenterologist can view your esophagus, checking for blockages, growths, and abnormal tissue. If growths or blockages are found, they can be removed. A sample of tissue may also be taken for biopsy.

Depending on the cause and severity of your swallowing difficulties, your gastroenterologist may recommend:

  • Medications to reduce stomach acid production
  • Dietary consultation and meal planning
  • Lifestyle modification
  • Surgical treatment for severe cases

Want To Know More?

To find out more about what might be causing your swallowing difficulties, call Dr. Anees at Southwest Gastroenterology Clinic in Burleson, TX. You can reach him in the office by calling (817) 293-9292, so call today.

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