Does Food Get Stuck in Your Throat?
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Coca Cola Can Fix That
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December 26, 2017


By
Susan Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist






It happens usually in a restaurant. Someone is eating a steak or
perhaps a piece of turkey, having a good time, when suddenly
they stop laughing because a piece of meat
 gets stuck in their
throat.  Embarrassed, they excuse themselves to go to the
bathroom to try to cough it out.  

Called "steakhouse syndrome" ,"bolus obstruction" or
"esophageal stricture", the condition is not as well known as it
should be.  The condition can be fatal.  The food can puncture
your esophagus or, even if you are successful in dislodging it, it
may slip into your lungs causing choking and death.

Steakhouse Syndrome Is a Common Complication of Acid
Reflux


Acid reflux can cause irritation and a narrowing of the
esophagus. Left untreated, this sets the stage for steakhouse
syndrome.

Esophageal strictures can happen at any age, and there are
many reported cases of throat narrowing or fibrous tissue in
children. A 1992 study from Red Cross War Memorial Children's
Hospital in South Africa, for example, described 16 consecutive
cases seen at the hospital involving children of an average age
of 30 months (2 and 1/2 years old).

But most cases of steakhouse syndrome occur in adults
suffering from acid reflux.


Your Throat Can Also Narrow If You Injure It By Drinking Hot
Liquids

Drinking hot coffee, tea or other liquids can scald your throat,
causing inflammation, scarring and narrowing of the esophagus.

In 2014, for example, doctors from Japan's Department of
Digestive Surgery, Toranomon Hospital, reported the case of a
28 year old man with esophageal strictures caused by drinking
hot coffee six months earlier.

You can avoid this particular cause of throat narrowing by
simply letting hot drinks cool down to warm before drinking.


Coca Cola Works as Well as Surgical Endoscopy in Dislodging
Food Blocking the Throat

































The standard procedure for dislodging food stuck in your
throat is to have a doctor perform an endoscopy. A tube is
snaked into the throat and the food is removed, sometimes bit
by bit, sometimes all at once.

But you may be at home, alone, when food gets stuck or you
may not be near a doctor.

In this situation, doctors from the UK have discovered
something quite remarkable. Coca- Cola actually works as well
as an endoscopy at dislodging food stuck in your throat.


In 1993, doctors from Basingstoke District Hospital, Hampshire,
UK, studied the effectiveness of Coca-Cola versus an
endoscopy in 13 patients with food stuck in their throats.

With 6 of the patients, the doctors gave them Coca-Cola a day
before they were scheduled for endoscopy surgery to remove
the blockage. To their surprise, when the patients were x-rayed
before surgery, the examination showed that the bolus
obstruction had cleared up completely.

With the other 7 patients, the doctors did not administer
anything prior to surgery and in all 7 cases, the bolus
obstruction was there just before surgery.  In 5 of these cases,
the doctors proceeded to perform an endoscopy, succeeding in
partially removing the bolus.  

In the remaining 2 cases, seeing the success of Coca-Cola, the
doctors decided to administer the Coca-Cola before the
surgery. Once again, the bolus obstruction disappeared
completely, without the need for surgery.

Keeping a bottle of Coca-cola in the house is a good addition to
your first aid kit, especially if you are at risk for esophageal
obstruction.

What Can You Do to Prevent Food from Getting Stuck in Your
Throat?


1. Treat Acid Reflux

Since acid reflux is a major risk factor for throat damage,
causing throat narrowing, you should of course treat acid
reflux if you have it.  We have written about natural remedies
for acid reflux.

2.
Lose Weight

Being overweight is also a risk factor for esophageal
obstruction simply because the added weight on your throat
narrows the food opening.  Here are the strategies scientists
have determined are most effective in weight loss over time.


3.
Eat in Smaller Bites

Cutting up your food into smaller bites can reduce the risk that
a large piece of food will get stuck in your throat.  To judge
how large a bite of food should be, look at your fork. The food
you put on your fork should never cover the entire spokes of
the fork.

You may also think of a small grape. Try to cut your food down
to the size of a small grape before you put it in your mouth.

4.
Chew Food Thoroughly Before Swallowing

You should never swallow food before it is thoroughly chewed.
Try to chew food at least 30 times before it is swallowed.


5.
Drink Water as You Eat

You should sip water as you eat to ease the food along the
food pipe.  Mineral water works even better than flat water.































































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