Thickened Drinks – What Exactly Are They, What Makes Them Needed and How Do You to ensure they are?

Like a Speech Pathologist, I had been frequently requested questions such as this through the family people of people that have been recently identified as having a swallowing difficulty. Almost everyone has never heard about swallowing difficulties, not to mention ‘Thickened Drinks’. Swallowing difficulties (also referred to as ‘Dysphagia’) are often observed, however they can impact people of every age group. There are lots of known reasons for dysphagia but a few of the more prevalent ones are: stroke cerebral palsy Parkinson’s disease mind trauma surgery and radiotherapy because of cancer from the mind or neck and changes towards the nerves and muscles from the throat that creating swallowing hard for the seniors.

What Exactly Are Thickened Fluids and What Makes Them Suggested?

If somebody continues to be identified as having a swallowing difficulty, chances are they’ll happen to be suggested ‘thickened drinks’ or ‘thickened fluids’. Thickened drinks are essentially normal drinks which have were built with a specifically formulated thickener put into them, to ensure they are thicker than regular drinks (this really is discussed more later within the article). They’re suggested by Speech Pathologists (also referred to as Speech Counselor or Speech and Language therapists) for those who can’t swallow normal fluids securely and who’re vulnerable to getting drinks get into their lung area. The effects of drinks entering the lung area could be strong coughing, choking or even more serious risks like a chest infection and aspiration pneumonia. I lately labored with one lady who, only four several weeks before, have been in hospital together with her third bout of aspiration pneumonia in under 10 several weeks. She’d been suggested thickened drinks over 12 several weeks ago, but she was still being consuming normal drinks at least one time each day and small quantities of the drinks were entering her lung area. It was an issue, not just due to the fluid within the lung area, speculate naturally sourced bacteria in her own mouth travelled using the fluid and into her lung area. Once this happens, it is just dependent on time prior to the bacteria leads to a chest infection referred to as aspiration pneumonia. Fortunately with this lady, she finally took in to advice and just drank the thickened drinks which were suggested to her. She’s not were built with a recurrence of aspiration pneumonia since!

What is stand out about thickened drinks? One good reason they work is they travel more gradually lower the throat and therefore are simpler for an individual to manage once they swallow. To obtain a better idea, picture this- Someone starts flowing water from just one cup and informs you to definitely catch it inside a bowl that you’re holding. You’ll attempt to respond as quick as possible, but there’ll most likely be considered a delay between once they start flowing and if you have moved the bowl to trap water. This short delay will most likely imply that a few of the water lands on the ground. Imagine someone flowing a thickened drink, just like a thick shake, from just one cup. You’d most likely catch really this liquid since the thick shake flows more gradually from the cup and provides you additional time to reply. This is comparable to what goes on if somebody having a swallowing difficulty drinks water versus a thickened drink. Once they stay hydrated, your muscle mass and nerves within their throat don’t act rapidly enough and a few of the water will go to their lung area. However when they drink thickened drinks, the fluid moves more gradually which gives themselves additional time to manage and direct the fluid from their lung area and toward their stomach. That’s one good reason why thickened fluids work. As individuals with swallowing difficulties generally have the problem all day long, every single day, thickened fluids usually are meant to replace normal drinks. Which means people getting thickened fluids will generally, be unable to drink normal drinks whatsoever or until their Speech Pathologist advises otherwise. Therefore, if somebody is on thickened drinks, they ought to try to drink because them as is required to maintain normal hydration (1-2 litres).