Difficulty Swallowing

Difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) is commonly associated with stroke, and can result in insufficient fiber and caloric intake. While, primary causes of malnutrition result from poor food choices and/or preparation; secondary causes result from poor masticatory ability, difficulty swallowing, and elimination, digestion, absorption, and utilization impairments. Malnutrition, secondary to insufficient protein intake may occur, resulting in decreased consumption of overall calories and dietary micronutrients, consequently delaying recovery. Individuals with dysphagia receive adequate dietary intake after one month. Speech therapy can also help. Dietary recommendations for dysphagia are individualized, ranging from pureed to regular food. Nutritional supplements can provide adequate nutrition when regular foods cannot be tolerated. Individuals who experience a stroke, especially on the predominant side, are typically unable to adequately maintain oral hygiene, which can lead to further dental and systemic health problems.