Dysphagia refers to a condition characterized by a difficulty in swallowing. There are various conditions that can trigger dysphagia. Someone who suffers from it often finds it difficult to live a normal life. Depending on the condition, the manner of swallowing can become extremely painful. Thus, eating and getting enough nutrients for the body can be a challenge. Fibromyalgia patients often complain about having dysphagia.
What Causes Dysphagia?
There are various reasons why one would suffer from dysphagia. Anything that interrupts with the nerves and muscles responsible for controlling the esophagus can lead to this condition. However, some of the most reported causes are:
• Achalasia– this condition triggers constriction of the muscles of the esophagus.
• Diffuse spasm – a condition involving uncontrollable muscle spasms, usually right after swallowing food.
• GERD or Gastro Intestinal Reflux Disease – this refers to the destruction of the tissues in the esophagus. It is often due to stomach acid flowing into the esophagus.
• Esophageal stricture – narrowing of the esophagus opening as a result of the scar tissues or tumor.
Dysphagia And Fibromyalgia
In one study, a good number of fibromyalgia patients have complained about the difficulty in swallowing. Fibromyalgia patients who participated in the study has been shown to have dysphagia and at a rate of 40 percent higher than those who do not have fibromyalgia.
Unfortunately, it is still a mystery as to why dysphagia is common in patients with fibromyalgia. There are just so many things that people don’t know about fibromyalgia just yet. But experts have speculated certain possibilities.
First of all, fibromyalgia patients tend to suffer from muscle weakness. The weakness may be able to explain why dysphagia happens. The muscles responsible for controlling the process of swallowing are affected by the general weakness of a fibromyalgia patient.
If you think you are suffering from dysphagia, the first step is to get a diagnosis. One way to diagnose the condition is through imaging test, such as the barium X-ray. The doctor examines the results from the test to check if your esophagus expands correctly. This can also be done through endoscopic camera.
The treatment mainly depends on what causes the condition. For instance, if the cause is weakness of muscles, the doctor may ask you to perform certain exercises. These exercises aim at strengthening your muscles, thereby treating dysphagia.