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Food going down wrong pipe while eating, gagging, cannot swallow, vomiting, spitting saliva. What can be done?

My 66 year old husband has had two incidents while eating where the food goes down the wrong pipe. He starts to gag, cannot swallow , and starts to throw up, and continued to spit saliva . He cannot continue eating and it may take hours before he returns to normal. He is a heathly man, not overweight , 6 4 tall. This has happened before while eating rice. Tonight it was grilled chicken. I should include that he refuses to see the dentist and has not done so for a long time. Thank you so much. I am very concerned. His wife.
Asked On : Fri, 9 Nov 2012
Answers:  1 Views:  408
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ENT Specialist 's  Response
Aug 2013
hello and welcome to HCM,

I am Dr Sriram Nathan and I will try to help you out with your problem.

Since you are mainly worried that your husband gets bouts of gag due to the food going into the wrong pipe, let me give you a few pointers:

1. This is a common problem so at the offset do not worry about the same.

2. Tell him not to speak or talk during eating

3. Avoid spicy and oily food especially in the night

4. Keep a healthy weight and do exercise to increase his muscle tone which includes your muscles of the digestive tract

5. Reduce caffeinated drinks and also avoid alcohol

6. Do not immediately lie down after a meal

7. Try an anti reflux and motility drug like pan-d which will make his symptoms better. Your doctor will know about this.

If he does not get better then you must get an upper GI endoscopy and get back to me or any ENT with the reports


Dr Sriram Nathan
Answered: Fri, 15 Nov 2013
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