Drinking liquids is vital to our health, but if you have a dysphagia disorder, keeping up with your liquid intake can be much easier said than done. Those who have problems swallowing might find that drinking regular drinks could be difficult and dangerous, which is why there needs to be some kind of management in place.
This piece will offer you a guide on how you can manage liquids in a dysphagia diet.
What Is a Dysphagia Diet?
The dysphagia diet is designed for those with dysphagia, a disorder in which it is difficult or sometimes even impossible to swallow. There are many reasons why this disorder can happen, and some of them include cancer or radiation, muscular problems, Parkinson’s disease, nervous system issues, a stroke, or even things such as dental problems. The nature of dysphagia disorder means that sufferers will need to make adjustments to their diet to be able to help them get and keep nutrition down while avoiding dangerous issues such as choking. Usually the thinner the liquid, the more difficult it is to swallow.
The diet works by categorizing the level of the thickness of a drink from 0 to 4.
Level 0 – Thin
The base level of the dysphagia diet holds the thinnest liquids you can get. This includes tea, coffee, alcohol, juice, soda, and broths. To drink these as safely as possible, try using a cup or a straw.
Level 1 – Slightly Thick
The first level of the dysphagia diet scale is for drinks that are slightly thick. This can be anything that is thicker than water. They will, by default, take more effort to drink than water but will still flow freely through straws.
Level 2 – Mildly Thick
The second level of the dysphagia diet is categorized for liquids that can be sucked through a straw with some effort but flow more slowly off a spoon than thinner drinks.
Level 3 – Moderately Thick, Liquidized
Level 3 is comprised of liquids that are moderately thick or something that has been liquidized. This could be ice cream or soup, for example – the texture would be smooth and free of lumps. These foods can be consumed through a straw or cup, but it would take some effort. They could also be consumed with a spoon.
Level 4 – Extremely Thick, Pureed
Level 4 is the thickest level for drinks, and these cannot be consumed through a cup or a straw – they must be eaten with a spoon.
If you want to enjoy a particular food that is in a category that is too thin for you and difficult to swallow, you might want to consider using a SimplyThick bottle pump. This means you can pump the thickener into any thin drinks you need, whenever you need them.
It can be difficult to deal with a disorder such as dysphagia, but there are certain strategies you can try, along with treatments and therapies that are available to help you recover.