According to the National Foundation for Swallowing Disorders, there are about 15 million people in the United States that fall into this group. While the concept of “thick water” may be unfamiliar to the general public, for people who have difficulty swallowing, it can be a regular and healthy way to stay hydrated.
For these patients, food and drinks can get “stuck” in their throats because their muscles or nerves are damaged, making it hard for them to move.
You might not know this, but when you swallow, 50 sets of muscles and nerves work together.
Signs of swallowing difficulties include:
Any of the following can be indicators of a swallowing disorder:
- Food gets caught in the mouth
- medicines are hard to swallow
- gagging on food or drinks
- speech sounds gurgly after eating or drinking.
The difficulty is that if someone can’t swallow their meal, they can go down the wrong “tube” and into the trachea. The esophagus is where it should go. This is called “aspiration,” and when it happens, the food goes into the lungs. It can cause pneumonia or even kill you.
How to Make Thick Water
The only safe and practical option is to create thick water at home. Also, the solution to this difficulty is straightforward if you exercise creative thinking.
Ingredients that can be combined to make Thick Water.
These are some ingredients. By using these we can make thick water.
- Aloe vera
- tapioca starch
- cassava flour
- slippery elm herb
- marshmallow herb
- diatomaceous earth
You can create thick water in your kitchen
- Choose Your Thickener
- Mix the Thickener with Water
- Mark Your Ratios
Mark Your Ratios
Make a note of the thickener-to-water percentage. Because various people have varied thickening preferences and different swallowing difficulties, the answer may vary slightly from person to person. In actuality, you might want to use a variety of thickeners.
One important note while making thick water
Don’t use ice. We all want our water cold, but when you add ice, you’re just adding more water. If the glass rests for any length of time, the ice will melt. This will change the ratio of thickener to water, which, depending on the person, could make it harder to swallow.
How does Thick Water taste?
The thickener employed will change the taste of the water. Adding flavorings like lemon or lime can make the food taste better. The consistency is the most obvious difference between thick and “regular” water. After all, it’s thick, so you can anticipate it to be like gel. Some individuals will be upset, but others won’t care as much.
Who can get benefits from thick water?
Thickening water is helpful for anyone who has trouble swallowing. However, it is essential to talk to a doctor before beginning treatment for a family member.
Some of the most frequent medical disorders that make it hard to swallow are:
- Reflux disease and acid indigestion
- Esophageal inflammation (esophagitis)
- Nodules in the thyroid
- Injuries to the spinal cord
Drawbacks of thick water
Here are some drawbacks of this water as well
- It may alter the taste and texture of beverages and foods
- some people may find it less palatable than regular water
- thickened water can be more expensive than regular water
- it may not be as widely available.
Overall, the use of thick water should be determined by a healthcare professional in consultation with the individual and their caregivers. While it can be a useful tool in managing dysphagia, it is important to weigh the potential benefits and drawbacks before making a decision.