Watch our video to meet Petra, who talks about what it’s like to have a stroke, and dysphagia
If someone has difficulty swallowing food and drinks, they might have a condition known as dysphagia. In particular there is a risk of drinks or food “going down the wrong way” into the lungs. As well as being uncomfortable and sometimes painful, dysphagia is potentially dangerous, with patients being at risk of choking and lung problems, including pneumonia. Swallowing difficulties can lead to increased anxiety at mealtimes and loss of enjoyment when eating or drinking. Sometimes it may be difficult to eat and drink enough which can result in weight loss and dehydration.
Unfortunately, there is no single cause of Dysphagia and swallowing difficulties can affect people of all ages. Commonly associated with dementia and Parkinson’s disease, it can also affect people who’ve had strokes, or those who’ve had surgery around the neck.
‘Normal’ swallowing is a complex business. During each swallow, over 31 pairs of muscles swing into action. Swallowing has four distinct phases: from taking food into the mouth, to the automatic responses of the body that safely move it through the throat and into the gut. A single, complete swallow normally lasts between eight and 20 seconds. For older people, it can take longer. Difficulties can occur at any point during the swallow. If the muscles in the mouth or tongue become weaker or uncoordinated, there is a risk that food or drink that is swallowed may end up in the lungs rather than the stomach.
If dysphagia is not properly managed you may have a number of problems. In particular there is a risk of drinks or food “going down the wrong way” into your lungs.
One way to manage swallowing difficulties is to thicken drinks and food to the consistency your Speech and Language Therapist has recommended. To help you do this, a thickening powder called Nutilis Clear has been recommended.
Your Speech and Language Therapist, doctor or other healthcare professional can explain your swallowing difficulties to you in more detail.
Nutilis Clear is suitable for patients who are lactose intolerant, on a lactose-free diet, vegetarians and vegans.
Once a tin is opened, it should be stored in a cool, dry place and used within 2 months.
Nutilis Clear is designed to thicken foods and fluids easily, Nutilis Clear can be added to hot or cold drinks. Thickened food and drinks can be chilled, frozen or reheated.
Always ask your healthcare professional to confirm the number of scoops of Nutilis Clear that will be needed.
Always measure the liquid required, e.g. 200ml.
For best results, Nutilis Clear can be mixed using a fork, whisk or shaker. It is recommended to first place the powder all at once in the glass/cup/shaker and then add the liquid, but it is also possible to first place the liquid in the glass/cup/shaker and add the powder second.
To avoid lumps start stirring or shaking as soon as possible.
Nutilis Clear is made by Nutricia and is specifically designed for the dietary management of patients with dysphagia. It is a Food for Special Medical Purposes and must be used under medical supervision.
At Nutricia, we work to serve the patients who depend on us, through healthcare professionals and other caregivers, by developing and delivering specialised nutrition for many conditions. As a recognised leader in specialised nutrition, Nutricia has a mission to lead the use of Advanced Medical Nutrition in disease management. We have developed a broad and unique portfolio of products for many different patients. In partnership with doctors, healthcare professionals and caregivers, we aim to make a difference in people’s lives by speeding recovery and encouraging independence.