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Issue #16 Swallowing

June 19, 2024

Welcome to The Climb, your weekly journey with Lifecycle Sherpa, where we explore Parkinson’s Disease, its symptoms, treatments, tips, techniques, and build a supportive and knowledgeable community.

This week’s trail leads us to…Swallowing issue (Dysphagia).

Question: What is it? Why does it happen? What can I do to manage it?

Answer: Swallowing issues begin mildly and progress significantly to include inability to swallow food, liquids and pills and can lead to malnutrition, aspiration pneumonia and choking.

They occur as a result of poor activation of the tongue and cheek muscles, causing a problem with ability to move food through the throat, dysfunction of the throat, and incoordination of a sphincter in the esophagus as motor control declines.

Tip: Here are TWO:

1) Proper posture when eating:

Body: Sit up straight or slightly forward on a flat, firm surface with feet flat on the floor.

Head: centered in the middle of the body with the chin tucked slightly down.

Use pillows and towels to assist with proper positioning, if necessary.

2) Eat small bites and clear your mouth between bites and before speaking.

Expert Tip: Speak to your doctor regarding a referral to a Speech Therapist to address more techniques and strategies.

Learn more!

We always encourage feedback, as it helps us enhance our community. Feel free to reach out regarding future topics you want to learn about, or how we can improve your experience.

See you next week!

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