Most people have experienced some type of stomach problem or discomfort in their lifetime. The stomach stores swallowed food, mixes food with acids for digestion and then transports the mixture to the small intestine. Common stomach ailments include Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), which occur when food and acids regurgitate and cause discomfort in the throat, chest or upper abdomen. These and other stomach problems may be treated with over-the-counter medications and lifestyle modifications, such as eating healthy, avoiding fatty foods and eating slowly. Other stomach conditions, such as peptic ulcers require medical attention.
A person experiencing swallowing problems, which is called dysphagia, may have difficulty swallowing foods or liquids. Problems swallowing may also cause coughing or choking while eating, slow chewing or eating, gurgling sounds from the throat when eating, hiccups after swallowing and chest tightness or pain after swallowing.
Difficulty swallowing can happen at any age. Conditions that may cause swallowing problems include nervous system disorders, such as Parkinson’s disease or cerebral palsy; esophageal problems, such as Heartburn, Gastroesophageal Reflux (GER) and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD); stroke; head or spinal cord injury; or cancers of the head, neck or esophagus.