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amandaleroux posted:
I need information please: My dad (90years old) has Parkinson's for 15years and for three weeks now he cannot swallow any food. He eats only jogurt and ice cream and lost a lot of weight. Is there anything doctors can do to help him swallow again?
lovedogs1955 responded:
Unfortunately, the problem with swallowing food/drink is not rare with Parkinson's. I have it as well and understand the concerns that you have.

I had a swallowing study done in the radiology dept at the hospital. A Speech Therapist and Radiologist both stood beside me and administed the test together. I had to swallow increasing viscosities of food, from extremely thin liquid to finally eating this barium-type paste on a graham cracker. The test pinpointed exactly where my problem is. I worked with a Speech Therapist several times trying exercises to do to try and train my other muscles to kick in and help swallow.

Along with that, I also have strictures that form in my lower esophagus and make passing food into my stomach very difficult. My GI doctor dilates these a few times a year, which is an outpatient procedure done under twilight anesthesia.

So, all of that being said, and considering your father's age, try modifying your dad's diet. A mechanical soft diet has helped me very much. All that means is that I try to not have to chew very much because then my tongue and other muscles get too tired and make it very hard to initiate my swallow. Experiment with types of food as well. For example, I have a hard time with bread, but do pretty well with crackers.

Talk to your dad's neurologist and see what can be suggested. Sounds like a dietician might help you with this. Good luck!
fishinaddict responded:
I have the same problem on a reoccurring basis. The doctor performs an outpatient procedure which expands my esophagus and allows me to swallow again for a while. The procedure than has to be repeated.
amandaleroux replied to lovedogs1955's response:
@ Lovedogs1955 Thank you so much for answering my question and your good advice! I will pass this on to my dad.
amandaleroux replied to fishinaddict's response:
Thank you @ fishinaddict for your advice! I' ll tell my dad about this!
njladyluck replied to lovedogs1955's response:
Great topic and great post you guys!!! Never heard of that procedure and this info is good to know!!!
lovedogs1955 replied to njladyluck's response:
Glad I was able to give good information. I'm rather disappointed with this community...not all of us PD patients and caregivers, but the apparent loss of our resident "Expert moderator."

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