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Tips For Eating

To reduce residue in your throat:

  • Moisten solid foods with gravy, sauce, broth, butter, mayonnaise, sour cream or yogurt.
  • Choose chicken or fish instead of tougher meats.
  • Avoid dry crumbly food such as crackers, rice, cookies, nuts, chips or popcorn.
  • Avoid bread products such as sandwiches, bagels and muffins.
  • Focus on the swallow. Hold your head in a different position to try a different swallow pathway.

To reduce fatigue:

  • Eat several small meals during the day.
  • Chop or mince solid foods (like meat).
  • Eat your largest meal earlier in the day when you have more energy.
  • Take anticholinesterase medication (for example, Mestinon) shortly before mealtimes.

To reduce the risk of food accidentally going into your lungs (called "aspiration"):

  • Thicken all fluids to the consistency recommended by your doctor or speech pathologist.
  • Remember that ice cream and popsicles melt into a thin fluid in your mouth, and that once you chew fruits, the juice released is also a thin liquid.
  • Be careful swallowing mixed-consistency foods, for example, cereal with milk, soups (like chicken noodle or vegetable), and fruit salad mixed in juices.

To reduce nasal regurgitation:

  • Limit each swallow to half a teaspoon.
  • Sit upright and don’t tilt your head forward when swallowing.

This information was abstracted from “Myasthenia Gravis and Swallowing Difficulty,” by Angela Colton-Hudson, M. CL Sc., Speech Language Pathologist, University Campus, London Health Science Chapter, published in Conquer newsletter, MGF of Illinois, April 2006.

Unless otherwise stated, the information provided here is of a general nature, composed by non-medical personnel. It is meant to be accurate and helpful advice for MG patients. It is not intended to be medical opinion, nor is it a substitute for personal professional medical care.

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