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Stroke Health Center

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Stroke Recovery: Coping With Eating Problems

It is common to have trouble swallowing, also called dysphagia, after a stroke. You may not be able to feel food on one or both sides of your mouth. You may have problems chewing or producing enough saliva. Or you may have other conditions that make eating difficult and increase your risk of choking.

Other things that may interfere with normal eating include:

  • Problems seeing or judging where things are, especially on the side of your body affected by the stroke.
  • Problems recognizing familiar objects or remembering how to do everyday things.
  • Paralysis or weakness or trouble controlling movements (apraxia).
  • Problems with smell, taste, or the sense of feeling.
  • Depression, which can cause a loss of appetite and requires treatment.

If you have eating problems after a stroke, you will need a thorough evaluation by a speech therapist or another rehabilitation specialist. You may need special X-rays to see how you are swallowing. As you recover from a stroke, your rehabilitation team will monitor your progress. Swallowing and eating problems often improve over time, but some may last for the rest of your life. But there are many things you can do to make eating easier.

what.gif What can I do to manage eating problems?
why.gif Why is it important to carefully manage eating problems?
how.gif How do I manage eating problems?
where.gif Where can I learn more about managing eating problems after a stroke?

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ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerE. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerRichard D. Zorowitz, MD - Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Last RevisedJune 28, 2011

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: June 28, 2011
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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