There are a number of common gastrointestinal conditions, disorders and diseases that may cause problems. These include:

Dysphagia (swallowing difficulty)

People with dysphagia have difficulty swallowing. Dysphagia is distinguished from other symptoms including odynophagia, which is defined as painful swallowing and globus, which is the sensation of a lump in the throat. Some people may be completely unable to swallow or may have trouble swallowing liquids, foods, or saliva. Eating then becomes a challenge. Dysphagia is classified into 2 major types: oropharyngeal dysphagia and oesophageal dysphagia.

Causes of oropharyngeal dysphagia include cerebrovascular disease (stroke), multiple sclerosis Parkinson's disease, xerostomia, radiation and neck malignancy. Causes of oesophageal dysphagia include achalasia, reflux oesophagitis, Schatzki ring, oesophageal or gastric carcinoma, pharyngeal pouch and oesophageal web. Investigations may include barium swallow or videofluoroscopy, chest X-ray, gastroscopy and oesophageal physiology tests.

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