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If you have multiple sclerosis (MS) and have swallowing problems, you’re not alone. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. Up to 80% of people with MS will experience a change in swallowing ability.

Swallowing is Complex
Swallowing is Complex
Source: Everyday Health

As swallowing is one of the body’s most intricate and silent functions. There are many different things you can do to make it easier. Such as using clear liquids to help avoid food or medicine going down the wrong tube. However, ingesting pills goes against everything multiple sclerosis stands for and shouldn’t be done without medical advice.

In my case, I was using clear liquids, which seemed to help initially and made swallowing a little easier. However, pill ingesting has the potential to be quite dangerous for anyone with ingesting problems. This is because ingesting pills isn’t a simple process. And they are usually stuck in the gullet, causing damage to the esophagus near the point of maximum muscle activity. Furthermore, because ingesting pills is quite forceful. And can cause injury to the oesophagus It’s common for swallowing problems to return after discontinuing the pill.

The main risk with ingesting medications is heartburn. Most medications and vitamins are not meant to be swallowed. Only some over-the-counter medications are on track for being swallowed. A food-based product should be suitable, as it retains most of its nutrients. Preserving the food’s natural fibre, vitamins, and minerals.

Taking vitamins and herbs every day. As well as medications, may also have a positive effect in the long run on swallowing problems. Because ingesting pills is an active swallowing process. Also, including weight loss in the goals of lung cancer treatment. Is often recommended, as well as reducing the risk of obesity-related diseases.

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Improve Swallowing

Fortunately, after noticing frequent heartburn and prescribed medications needed to support heartburn. I was able to stop the pills from going down the wrong tube, and have not experienced any more heartburn. Unfortunately, for those with swallowing problems or swallowing difficulty. The pill-to-food sensation can be quite intense and can be quite embarrassing. Luckily, once I realized that heartburn was linked to medications. I was able to find meds that reduced the heartburn and associated symptoms, without the side effects that medication had.

If you find yourself struggling with swallowing, you may also need to consider drinks that you can sip on during the day. Here are these and other ideas for managing your swallowing.

A variety of nondairy options are now available for those with a food allergy. Doctors at Northwestern Memorial Hospital recommend oat milk, almond milk, hemp milk, and soy milk. Research shows these options may provide micro-doses of beta-glucan, a protective risk factor for MS, which in small doses can help people with swallowing issues. (The FDA does not list oat milk as safe and therapeutic for MS, with the exception of organ meat.)

If you’re able to avoid dairy and find cashews tasty, try soaking them in water for 20 minutes. This helps remove excess minerals and will prevent the bacteria responsible for botulism from growing. Mixing nut milk with peanut butter or other fats may also help consistency. Your dentist may recommend taking a daily vitamin or supplement to ensure your body has enough calcium and vitamin D.

Eating Disorders

Considering the risk of Sudden Outcome Heart Failure (SOH) and the importance of careful and regular monitoring by a medical provider, you’re probably familiar with the signs and symptoms of this condition. When distended or spasming larynx (throat writer) occurs within 6 months of a previous voiding episode, this is a clear sign of SOH. Doctors recommend annual physicals for individuals at increased risk of SOH.

The problem of swallowing can be exacerbated by eating disorders, such as anorexia. Eating disorders can increase the risk of swallowing problems as well as hurting or scarring the esophagus. You may find that you need regular care from your provider to manage your swallowing issues.

There are exercises to help manage your swallowing issues, with specific emphasis on preventing the spasms, stiffness, and inability to eat that might come with your condition.

Belly fat is rich in fat soluble cell walls and essential fatty acids, which is why raw, plant-based foods and drinks can help prevent or treat digestion issues.


Studies show keeping your belly muscles strong can help optimize your digestive functions. Essentially, your stomach needs food (or semi-digested food if you suddenly stop eating) to keep working. If your gut isn’t working properly, this won’t happen, and you might notice pain and discomfort. Your stomach needs attention and time to recover.

Processed Food

Therefore, if you experience trouble regulating your salt level when eating raw or minimally processed food, you can use salt lamps that heat food to make it easier to consume.

Usually swallowing can be a very inconvenient and uncomfortable experience for anyone with MS.

MS Society President Susan Troxler

While it’s not life threatening, many people report mouth and throat soreness, congestion, and difficulty breathing after swallowing.

Susan Troxler

In fact, MS can affect swallowing functions to such a degree that it can “significantly hinder mobility.” Individuals with the disease may have difficulty chewing, swallowing, and speaking. This is sometimes referred to as a “hidden speech disorder” and typically affects the muscles of the throat and throat area. Sometimes it can cause difficulty with urination as well.

The good news is that swallowing can be quite easy to manage if you follow these principles. It’s important to see a doctor if you have MS or have experienced a change in swallowing ability over the last six months, as these changes could be the result of the disease and not just a byproduct of things like stress or cold weather.

MS Symptoms

MS symptoms can make it very difficult to maintain proper swallowing ability.

Fortunately, there are preventative measures you can take that should help prevent any potential damage to your throat. Because a change in swallowing ability can be the first sign of MS, prevention is usually the best course of action.

The first area to pay attention to is your neck and jaw area. As mentioned above, gum health plays a huge role in preventing swallowing issues. You should eat gum pieces thoroughly or risk developing a toothache.

food particles in your throat can irritate your airways, causing coughing, runny nose, and trouble breathing.


The NFLBI adds that swallowing difficulties are a “red flag” that should prompt a doctor’s appointment. This is because problems with swallowing are a red flag symptom for MS. The NFLBI goes on to say that post-MS symptoms of swallowing difficulty will appear within weeks to months of your initial onset of MS.

The mouth and throat are powerful muscle groups that work together to help you manage your daily activities. Strong muscles in this area can prevent issues with swallowing. However, swallowing problems can often go unnoticed otherwise. If the symptoms of trouble swallowing worsen or continue for more than a few days, or if it interferes with your ability to chew food, you should see a doctor, especially if you have any other issues with your mouth and throat.

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A lot of work has gone into bringing you this post. We hope you found it interesting and informative. If you have a question, please ask it in the comments at the foot of this post.

If you don’t have a question you can use the comment to say “Hi”. If you have MS – stay strong and follow the warrior code.

How MS Patients Can Improve Their Swallowing

Stephen Walker is a blogger who has been living with Multiple Sclerosis or MS since 1994. He devotes a lot of time to researching this dreadful autoimmune disease, looking for answers and possible treatments.

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