There are many people who suffer from swallowing issues such as Dysphasia. For these people, consuming foods that contain a high amount of liquids can be dangerous. Individuals with Parkinson’s Disease, certain types of cancer, and other conditions can lead to swallowing difficulty. Though the elderly most commonly suffer, even young children can be diagnosed with Dysphasia.
One of the most common treatments for this condition is thickening the foods and beverages that are served to the individual. Thickening the foods and beverages to a nectar consistency can allow the individual to more easily consume foods without being forced to go on a feeding tube.
Why Do Dysphasia Patients Need Thickened Foods?
If you suffer from Dysphasia, this means your swallowing mechanism is not as strong as it should be. Sometimes, people who suffer from this condition can experience aspiration which means liquids are sucked into the windpipe. When this happens, pneumonia is a risk. According to medical studies, thickeners add depth to foods, improve bioavailability, and offer greater feelings of satiety.
There are varying degrees of thickness, but most individuals will do well with a nectar consistency. Those with severe swallowing issues may require a honey consistency so they are able to swallow more effectively.
Five Amazing Liquid Thickeners
While there are many ways to thicken liquids and foods sources, not all of these work quickly. Those who suffer from certain health concerns need to be able to thicken their foods immediately, without the need for cooking and long waits. These five liquid thickeners will amaze you.
1. Simply Thick
Simply Thick is a liquid thickener that instantly thickens foods and beverages without changing the taste or appearance. This liquid thickener can be used to thicken beverages and other foods to the desired consistency of thickness. It comes in convenient packs and pump dispensers.
2. Hormel Thick & Easy
Hormel Thick & Easy is a thickener that quickly adds volume to all types of beverages. It can make beverages as thick as nectar or honey, depending on the needs of the individual.
3. Resource Thicken Up
Resource Thicken Up is completely clear and will not cloud any beverage or food. It mixes in smoothly and instantly thickens a beverage for quick consumption.
4. Thick-It Food and Beverage
Thick-It Food and Beverage is ideal for both drinks and food dishes. It does not change the flavor but simply adds bulk for Dysphagia patients who have trouble swallowing.
5. Thik & Clear
Thik & Clear allows you to thicken all sorts of beverages so they move slowly through the mouth and esophagus. This thickener is tasteless and does not change the appearance of the food.
Properly Thicken Foods
It is imperative patients and their caregivers learn to properly thicken beverages and foods. When liquids are properly thickened, they are easier to swallow for those who have Dysphagia and other swallowing issues.
Thickened liquids should only be given according to a doctor’s orders. No matter which thickening agent you choose, it is important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
Most of these thickeners thicken beverages instantly, but great care should be taken in ensuring the liquid is thickened to the right consistency before serving.
To ensure the right consistency is achieved, you can compare some liquids that are already naturally thick, such as buttermilk and tomato juice. Some individuals require their liquids to be more at the consistency of honey. Thickening beverages and some foods allow for safer eating for those who suffer from swallowing conditions.