Swallowing and choking

Hi, I’m 152 days as a stroke survivor and I’ve managed to get most of my life back to 90% of what it was.I’m very lucky it was a mild stroke but I have lasting issues which include my swallowing is still difficult along with”wind & hiccups” which are with all the time whether I’ve eaten or not.Sometimes I have to really fight hard not regurgitate my food so it takes me ages to finish a meal.I’ve now started eating softer easy to swallow foods but still the hiccups come back… I know this is small issue but does anyone else suffer these problems. Oh one other thing I’ve noticed watching emotional programs on tv I find myself really fighting back my tears,which didn’t happen previously……


Stroke left me with dysphagia, I can’t eat bread (too dry) or drink water direct from the tap,(too wet), hiccups probably because I/you eat too fast, thus taking in more air. I am on a level 5 diet and have been for 2 years. Stay with what you’re comfortable with, my advice is don’t "experiment " with different foods if alone, no-one to raise alarm if you begin to choke . Speech therapist and/or dietician should be able to help, hope this is some good,
Martin :+1:

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@philrug I can’t give advice, but as far as the emotion thing is concerned if it helps, I get that uncontrollable wave coming through every once in a while. I try not to fight it, just experience it. I can’t say for sure but this stroke thing is a pretty overwhelming event, traumatic, frightening and for me, leaving a great sense of loss. I cope, but I think the emotion thing comes from deep down where there is no hiding from all this. It is a necessary expression of feeling that has to come out, maybe a little like grieving.
So, no you are not alone and this Forum is a great place to say your piece, share your experience and get some feedback. Use it, there are kind, listening ears here with a wealth of experience.
No two strokes are the same but there is a shared experience.
Take care and
Keep on keepin’ on
:smiley: :+1:

Hi Martin,thanks for the reply.My problems don’t stem from eating to fast or trying different foods.I am a very slow eater and my food is the same as it always been.I don’t eat meat of any sort,my diet consists mainly of vegetarian foods as before my stroke.Maybe it’s the veg that I consume!who knows….take care on your recovery journey………Phil

Hi Phil, yes I get hiccups a couple of times a day it’s v annoying especially if I’m out somewhere . I eat and drink slowly but doesn’t seem to make much difference and I try not to talk while I’m eating . Wish I cud enjoy my food :disappointed:I’ve lost 3 stone since my Stoke Aug 21 . I find chewing tiring and my teeth more sensitive which doesn’t help either . I spoke to gp about my hiccups but he wasn’t interested … only seen him once since I came home a year ago !

I am lucky, both that my stroke has been very mild, and that I have a very approachable and interested GP. I have been able to discuss my issues with eating with her and to get to the bottom of some of the issues if not all of them.

My theory is that the problems I have been having (with chewing, with dizziness, and with digestion) are three fold. I don’t chew as well as I used to although my enjoyment of food is very gradually returning. I need to eat quite slowly, to reduce portions and to eat little and often. Even then I find that I get hiccups and wind fairly often.

I think that’s partly because my balance isn’t perfect and the symptoms are definitely worse when I am tired. In order to avoid this I try to do taxing jobs (just about to clean the windows) in the morning and relax in front of the TV in the evening.

Even while being careful I suffered from occasional vomiting. An increase in a PPI (lansoprazole) didn’t seem to help so my GP referred me for a scope which confirmed a hiatus hernia and the presence of an infection. A rather hefty course of anti-biotics seems to have dealt with the infection(touch wood) and the lansoprazole and dietary changes are sorting the hiatus hernia.

So all in all yes, I think hiccups, wind (I have to admit from either end) and general gastric problems can be an after effect of stroke. I am hoping that they can be gradually dealth with and am so fortunate to be looking forward to my Christmas dinner.

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Like you I have very sensitive teeth on my left side,the tooth ache never stops,its been like that for 13 months now, and no NHS dentist about

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Hi Patricia glad I’m not the only one with sensitive teeth … as if we haven’t got enough to deal with :rage:nothing worse than tooth ache . I almost feel I don’t chew normally and keep asking hubby if I am chewing funny :flushed:I’ve actually got in with a dentist on 15 December and will ask if stroke can affect your teeth you take care x

I keep biting the inside of my mouth,there are times when my teeth crash

Stroke left me with dysphagia too. Nobody would know except my dentist, and those others I tell - like you! Therefore, I cough occasionally, or need to have a drink asap as feel like I have ‘swallowed the wrong way’! Thankfully, can eat and drink normally otherwise, at a restaurant, cafe or likewise. Carole x

Hi Christine, my symptoms are very similar which is frustrating[quote=“christine2, post:5, topic:31962, full:true”]
Hi Phil, yes I get hiccups a couple of times a day it’s v annoying especially if I’m out somewhere . I eat and drink slowly but doesn’t seem to make much difference and I try not to talk while I’m eating . Wish I cud enjoy my food :disappointed:I’ve lost 3 stone since my Stoke Aug 21 . I find chewing tiring and my teeth more sensitive which doesn’t help either . I spoke to gp about my hiccups but he wasn’t interested … only seen him once since I came home a year ago !


Hi Patricia it’s a real shame that you’ve experienced a stroke.I see you suffer with sensitive teeth.I haven’t had teeth issues but as previously I struggle with wind & hiccups and I really didn’t know that the condition is called dysphagia.Some thing else to Google!Take care👍

Hi all,just an update regarding the swallowing issues of which many of us stroke survivors are experiencing.I found that if you don’t breathe(hold your breathe) whilst drinking/eating I’ve not experienced any hiccups or food/drink going down the wrong way so far.It may work for some but worth giving it go……Try and have a good Christmas everyone :tada:Speak again in the future :v::v:

Yes I find it bad something and I eat slow but nothing work s went out to eat to eat start cough ing the throw it up was not nice at all the people in the restaurant ask if I was ok andy

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There’s plenty of time yet for it to get a lot easier and eventually go as did mine in the first year post stroke. It’s a pain in the butt but you will get there, you’re doing all the things I did, just take smaller bites and whatever you do, don’t breath in as you swallow :rofl:

And yes, I too got over emotional and cried anything and everything. Even the kids knew how to set me it didn’t take much :rofl: That too wears off in time, just hang in there :wink: and always carry tissues :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I had a stroke on 6th June 2022, over a year ago, still have many issues which I can disguise but coughing is not one of them. It can come out of nowhere as well as when eating or drinking and is very distressing for me and those around me as I can not catch my breath. My daughter can get quite upset. I cough when sleeping or lying down on my back, or tip my head back just a bit too far when drinking. I clear my throat a lot too, liquid comes out of my nose, I feel worn out afterwards.

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Hi @Emdavies23 just wanted to say welcome to the forum…I’m only a day late :blush: Hope you are finding it useful here, insightful even. Don’t be shy to ask anything or even just to chat or browse, we are a friendly bunch :wink:

Some useful, insightful reading to be found in the Welcome post, also full of useful tips and links you can look through at your leisure.
Welcome - what we wish we’d heard at the start

Our Best Posts on My Stroke Future

Hi @Emdavies23
Please let me add my welcome :slight_smile:
Sorry you had cause us to join us but now you have found us You should get good support :slight_smile:

Emerald is already pointed you at some of the resources. The welcome post mentions searching and maybe in your case "speech and language therapy"and “SALT” would be good searches .

Muscle control for avoiding the sort of things you describe is managed via exercises some of which require repeating tongue twisters. My salt therapist gave me sheets of them to read out loud on the ward in hospital. They’re fairly easy to find online with additional support by YouTube.

As well as being careful with food and choking hazards and saliva control which is the one that gets me about once or twice a week there is also a need to be aware of chest infections caused by inhaling inappropriately.

I think if you search here you’ll find threads that will inform you about aspect of other people’s journey so that may be relevant to yours

:slight_smile: Ciao