Dysphagia is a term used to describe the difficulty in swallowing. Sometimes the patient experiences pain while swallowing fluids, solid and semi foods. This painful swallowing is called odynophagia. Dysphagia usually arises from disorders of the esophagus. Another cause for dysphagia is the weakening of nerves and muscles involved in moving the food down the throat and esophagus. The causes of dysphagia also include esophageal stricture, esophageal tumor, and achalasia. Neurological disorders like Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, stroke, or injury to the brain and spinal cord also cause dysphagia. Homeopathic treatment for dysphagia follows a symptomatic approach to help such patients. An indicative picture of the individual is the first step towards selecting the most appropriate homeopathic medicine for dysphagia. The chances of recovery in dysphagia vary from case to case. In cases with mild symptoms, improvement with homeopathic treatment for dysphagia is possible. In cases with severe symptoms, homeopathy provides supportive help.
Symptoms of Dysphagia
Symptoms of dysphagia vary from mild to severe. The symptoms of dysphagia include the feeling of food being stuck in the throat or behind the sternum; gagging, choking or pain while swallowing; heartburn; or regurgitation of food. Dysphagia may be noted while consuming liquids, solids or both. Dysphagia may lead to respiratory problems like aspiration pneumonia and also malnutrition.
Homeopathic Treatment for Dysphagia
1. Lachesis and Hyoscyamus – When Swallowing Liquids is Difficult
Lachesis and Hyoscyamus are effective medicines for dysphagia. They are effective when dysphagia for liquids is present. Lachesis is used when the patient has difficulty in swallowing liquids or even saliva. Pain and swelling in the throat are also present. There is choking when drinking liquids. Hyoscyamus is useful when there is a constricted sensation in the throat along with an inability to swallow liquids. Fluids may go the wrong way down the larynx. Other symptoms include a burning sensation and shooting pain in the throat.
2. Kali Carb and Alumina – When Swallowing Solids is Difficult
Kali Carb works when there is difficulty in swallowing solids along with gagging and vomiting. Kali Carb may also work well in cases of dysphagia from the stricture of the esophagus. In such patients, food may also go into the windpipe. Alumina works well when swallowing of solid food is difficult, painful and there is extreme dryness in the throat. The throat feels plugged. A patient needing Alumina can consume warm drinks with ease.
3. Baptisia and Baryta Carb – When There is Inability to Swallow Solids
Baptisia and Baryta Carb are some of the best medicines for dysphagia. They are helpful in cases where a person can only consume liquids, and there is gagging at the introduction of solid food. A patient needing Baptisia cannot swallow any solid food because of a constrictive feeling in the throat. Consuming only liquids is easy. Constriction at the cardiac end of the esophagus may also be present. Baryta Carb helps in cases when the patient consumes only liquids. Not even a slight amount of solid seems to move down the esophagus. Stinging and burning in the throat may also be present. Empty swallowing leads to a smarting pain in the throat.
4. Belladonna and Cactus – When the Patient Has To Drink to Swallow
Belladonna and Cactus are both significant treatment for dysphagia where the patient has to drink water to help swallow food. Belladonna works well when a person having dysphagia has to drink water to help swallow food. There is also a tendency to choke easily while swallowing. The food may go down the wrong way.
Belladonna is a medicine for painless dysphagia. Cactus is highly indicated when a person has to drink a lot of water to make the food move down the esophagus. Heat and constriction in the throat may also be the symptoms indicating the use of the Homeopathic medicine Cactus. A feeling of suffocation may also arise from constriction in the throat.
5. Anacardium and Hyoscyamus – For Dysphagia with Choking
Medicines that are most suitable for dysphagia with choking while swallowing are Anacardium and Hyoscyamus. The characteristic feature to use Anacardium is easy choking while eating or drinking anything. Scraping and rawness in the throat are also important symptoms for selecting this remedy. Hyoscyamus is effective when there is choking while drinking liquids as the liquid goes down the larynx instead of the esophagus. The fluid may also regurgitate and come out through the nose in some cases.