Dysphagia is the technical term for the symptom of the sensation of difficulty in swallowing. Dysphagia is usually a sign of underlying disease of the esophagus, which may be due to Gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD), cancer, thyroid disease, stroke, or a number of other diseases. The problem is generally diagnosed on history, where difficulty on initiation of swallowing suggests stroke or other neurologic disease, while dysphagia later in the course of swallowing suggests GERD, cancer, dystrophy , or a number of other medical conditions. Esophagogastroduodenoscopy is usually performed as part of the evaluation of a patient with dysphagia.
See also: stroke, degenerative neurological diseases (e.g., Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease), reflux disease, and esophageal achalasia.
Last updated: 10-29-2005 02:13:46