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If you have a problem swallowing foods or liquids, you may have dysphagia. This condition has a number of causes. Your healthcare provider can find out what is causing your problem and help relieve your symptoms.
Your tongue pushes foods or liquids from your mouth to your throat as you eat or drink and swallow. They then pass down the esophagus (a muscular tube) into the stomach. To keep foods or liquids moving, the esophagus muscles tighten and relax in wavelive motions.
With dysphagia, foods or liquids do not easily pass down the esophagus. Dysphagia may happen if the esophagus walls thicken, causing a narrowing (stricture) of the passage. Dysphagia can also be caused by any of the following:
A problem in the esophagus, such as an ulcer, stricture, irritation, infection, inflammation, or cancer
Muscles in your mouth, throat, or esophagus that don’t work right or are not coordinated
A nerve or brain problem (such as a stroke) that leaves your mouth, tongue, or throat muscles weak or changes how your muscles coordinate
If you have dysphagia, you may:
Feel chest pressure or pain when you swallow
Choke or cough when swallowing
Vomit after eating or drinking
Regurgitate food or liquid out your nose
Aspirate (inhale into the lungs) foods or liquids when you swallow
Have fatigue and weight loss
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