In later stages, weakness of the throat muscles can lead to swallowing troubles (dysphagia), additional accentuating nutritional issues. this can often appear on very gradually, meaning it can be difficult to spot.
• Clinical and X-ray exams of swallowing are essential when there are clinical indicators of feasible aspiration (getting food in the windpipe) and bad motion of the swallowing muscles (food feels like it is obtaining stuck in the throat). such indicators include unintentional weight loss of 10% or more, or insufficient weight gain in growing children, prolonged meal times (>30 minutes) or mealtimes accompanied by fatigue, drooling, coughing or choking.
• Pneumonia caused by fluid going down into the lungs (aspiration pneumonia), unexplained decline in pulmonary function, or fever of unknown origin may be signs of swallowing troubles necessitating assessment.
• In case of swallowing problems, a speech language Pathologist should be involved to deliver an individualized treatment plan. The goal would be to preserve fantastic swallowing function.
• Gastric tube placement should be offered when work to preserve weight and fluid intake by mouth do not help enough. potential dangers and advantages of the procedure should be discussed carefully. A gastrostomy may be placed by endoscopic or available surgery, taking into account anesthetic considerations and family and personal preference. A feeding tube provided at the correct time can relieve a lot of pressure from trying to consume enough.
Provided the swallowing muscles are OK, having a feeding tube doesn’t suggest you can’t still consume the food you want to – just that you don’t need to rely on mealtimes to get the calories and other nutrients you need so you can enjoy the food more.