Do you know what is thick water? Or is thick water healthy? It is available for people who feel difficulty in swallowing called dysphagia. They will feel difficulty in a way that they may cough. Thick water will make them easy to swallow or aspirant.
Just like other health industries around the world, health has also been revolutionized. With new technology and treatments, it is easier to handle patients and deal with them. Saving lives is what matters in this industry. When it comes to Dysphagia, patients suffer a lot. They have to be on the lookout to avoid thin food or drinks that they cannot swallow.
These types of patients have a professional recommendation to take thick liquid when they face such problems. Moreover, they should avoid thin liquids like ice cream, soft drinks, etc. If they eat or drink such a thing, they face a lot of breathing issues. And, without proper care and help, they can even face death.
So, patients like these need thick water. Even though it is a famous term a lot of people still do not know about it and the benefits it provides. So, let’s discuss it in detail.
What Is Thick Water and Why Do People with Dysphagia Take It?
If this problem of dysphagia does not resolve soon it can lead you to a lung problem and pneumonia. So thickened water can overcome these problems because it also has pure hydration present in it. This water must not have any artificial flavors added to it. Thicker water & water thickeners even do not have an expiry soon which means they are for long-term use.
What Is Thick Water Used For
Thicker water is for people who suffer from dysphagia. Its constancy makes them less difficult to swallow. They are easy to mix with drinks that contain powder without disturbing their taste. What does thick water taste like? It’s tasteless actually. You cannot feel a thing while drinking it because it tastes just like normal water.
You can buy it at a cheap price and can also use it with other beverages. Do you know what is thick water made of? Patients should know about its composition so they know whether they can drink it or not. Some people have allergies to different ingredients so make sure you know what you are drinking.
Thick Water Ingredients Include:
- Sodium Acid
- Xanthan Gum
- Potassium Sorbate
- Sodium Benzoate
- Sodium Hexametaphosphate,
- Calcium Disodium EDTA
If thicker water is not available to you then you can also make it in your home with some thickener for water. How to make thick water? Like if you add banana flakes, different cereals (like cream of home rice and others), or gravy to your water. Moreover, you can add instant potato flakes to your liquid then you will have excellent thick water.
Where to Buy Thick Water?
The brands that offer thicker water for dysphagia are as follows:
- Thick-It® brand
- Thick & Easy
- Think & Clear
- Thick and hard
- Simply Thick
Before you buy thick water it is important to research them. You can know more about it by going to the official websites of these companies. Also, you can contact the company to tell them about your case and ask whether their product is good for you or not. The best thing to do here is to talk to your general physician. They will guide you the best and prescribe the thick water that you can take.
What Is in Thick Water?
To prepare the right thick water, there are many levels for its preparation. It is important to know how much thickness it should have. The right level of thickness depends upon the beverage as well. For example, the density for juices, milkshakes, tea, tomato juice, or mangoes pulp differ. So, the level of thickness is to ensure that it can make every beverage thick. It is important for patients with dysphagia.
What is Thick Water For?
Now, you might know what is the purpose of thick water. It is to help people who suffer from dysphagia and face difficulties in any situation. There are some tips for those people:
- They should not use more ice cubes to the liquids which make them thin. If they want to enjoy the cold drink they can use thick water for making ice cubes.
- They should read and follow instructions on the product packaging. So that they get well familiar with the thickness level of a liquid.
- Try to avoid desserts like ice cream and shakes. Because when you take them to your mouth they start melting at some point and become difficult to swallow.
- Some products can also change their thickness level at certain temperatures. So try to maintain the temperature of your product you want to take
Hopefully, all these precautions will clear thickened water purposes.
Why Do People Drink Thick Water?
The American Speech-Language-Hearing Association reports that 1 in 25 adults suffer from dysphagia, which makes it difficult to hydrate.
The difficulty swallowing can manifest in one of several ways, says Dr. Wolfman. Several people have trouble swallowing food by directing it toward the back of their throat. Some people experience dysphagia as a feeling of food getting stuck in the throat or chest while swallowing.
According to Dr. Wolfman, dysphagia can be caused by many short- and long-term medical conditions. Thick water can help people with dysphagia who have the following conditions:
- Neurological disorders
- Some cancers
- Anatomical abnormalities
- The damage caused by swallowing pills incorrectly
- Radiation or chemotherapy treatments
What Are the Current Recommendations for Swallowing Challenges?
According to The National Foundation for Swallowing Disorders, the chin should be tucked downwards when swallowing. This prevents food from being aspirated by closing off the trachea. A sideways head position may also be helpful to improve swallowing.
The flow of thick liquids is slower than the flow of regular ‘thin’ liquids like water, milk, and juice. Slowed flow rate allows muscles to react more quickly to move food to the right spot. Likewise, pureeing foods can smooth their texture and improve their flavor.
Dietitians and speech pathologists can accurately diagnose the swallowing disorder and determine if there’s a way to overcome or at least alleviate it.
How to Use Thickened Water?
The availability of products like Thick-It water is often determined by supply and demand. As a result, increasing demand – such as the one resulting from the TikTok challenge – can limit the supply of the product for those who need it. Unless you need nutritional liquid thickeners due to dysphagia, you should avoid buying them.
The University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics recommends the following best practices when using liquid thickeners:
- If the water is thickened, do not add ice cubes. The texture of the remaining liquid will be altered by melting ice.
- The label of a thickening agent should provide instructions and measurements.
- Rather than thickening water with thickened potato flakes, pureed vegetables, or other dairy products, such as melted soft cheese, you can add food items to thicken the broth.
- You can travel with single-serving powdered thickeners or eat out when you have a stopover.
What Is the Problem with Some Thick Water Products?
You may want to explore some thick water alternative products on the market, but take the time to consider the concept. What makes adding even more starch into one’s diet a good idea? Is it GMO corn starch? Or do you have any ideas about adding starch to the water such as tapioca starch? This way you would at least know it is not a GMO product.
Why wouldn’t you just mix your aloe vera gel with thick water so that the liquid has the consistency of aloe vera gel, and drink that? It would be adding a functional food, one that provides some good benefits to your beverage.
Is Thick Water Healthy:
Yes, thick water is healthy and made for people who have problems swallowing. Thin liquid or food can go into their air canals and they can have issues breathing. So, thick water is a healthy alternative for them to ensure proper swallowing of their food. They are even advised to take such foods that have a thick composition.
Do Thick Water Helps in Hydration:
Yes, of course. The people who cannot drink normal water cannot survive. So, thick water is the only thing they can drink. It provides them the same hydration so their body can develop immunity and be healthy. They are even recommended to drink a short amount so they can drink easily. Moreover, they can mix things with their water and drink which will increase the nutrients. Thick shakes are highly recommended for these people.
It will help a lot to hydrate their body and enjoy the nutrients that will keep them healthy.
A common saying is that “health is wealth“. Human health is most precious so try to take care of your health first in dysphagia. If something is not suitable for your health then avoid it. Or get to know what is thick water and how it is helping patients like you or your loved ones.
To avoid any serious issues, it is also important to contact your doctor immediately. Then start drinking thick water based on their professional guidance and your medical condition.