Receiving a medical diagnosis can be both a moment of relief and one of anxiety. You may be wondering, what comes next? Well, when it comes to the condition known as dysphagia, there are a few directions things could go in. This guide explores some of the options below.
An Investigation Into the Cause
The first thing your doctor will hope to establish is what lies beneath the dysphagia. This is not a condition that tends to exist on its own, as it is typically brought on by something else like GERD or dementia. It is important that you engage with this stage of the process because it will give you the answers that you need to heal in the right way.
Symptoms Can Get Better or Worse
The main thing to remember about dysphagia is that your symptoms can get better, but they can also get worse. It is fairly typical to have worse days when you feel triggered and may even not want to eat or drink because of the intensity of it all.
Watch Out For Your Mental Well Being
Conditions like this can impact your mental health in various ways. You may develop low self esteem and even depression. It could also bring anxiety about eating and hurt your confidence when it comes to things like socializing. Stay alert for any red flags because letting your mental health decline will make it that much more difficult to engage with treatment appointments and other positive actions.
A Food Journal Will Help
Keeping a food journal is a common practice for dysphagia patients because it helps them to learn their triggers and cross reference symptoms with different types of meals and drinks. That means, if you are having a bad day you can look back and see if there are any common occurrences and avoid them in the future.
You Are At Risk Of Dehydration and Malnutrition
One of the most pressing risks of dysphagia is that you are more susceptible to malnutrition and dehydration. Whether this is because you are struggling to eat and drink full meals, or because you are on a restricted diet, it still needs addressing and avoiding wherever possible. Both symptoms can lead to medical complications and even death if left for too long.
Find a Product That Will Help
There are lots of products out there that can help make eating and drinking easier during the day. For instance, thickeners like the Simply Thick mix-in powder will facilitate a more successful mealtime and ensure that you are not missing out on essential nutrients that support your body. It is useful when you find something that can help like this as it gives you back your confidence and creates a more supportive environment overall while you are navigating the side effects of this condition.
Post-diagnosis is always a bit confusing. Dealing with a condition like dysphagia means there will be good days and bad days, and it is not something that you can disengage from as the risks are too high.