Parkinson's disease can change many of the muscles used for speech, chewing,
and swallowing. Changes in these muscles may cause:
Weight loss and nutrition
Food "sticking" in the throat.
choking on food or liquids.
Trouble swallowing saliva, which causes drooling.
Trouble swallowing pills.
But there are things you can do to help reduce eating and drooling problems. A speech-language pathologist (also called a speech therapist) can teach you exercises and show you other ways to help with eating, swallowing, and drooling.
You can reduce eating problems by changing how and what you
Sit upright when eating, drinking, and taking
Take small bites of food, chew completely, and swallow
before taking another bite.
Take small sips of liquid, and hold them
in your mouth as you prepare to swallow.
If eating is tiring,
divide food into smaller but more frequent meals.
make swallowing easier. Try milk shakes or juices in gelatin
Eat moist, soft foods. Use a blender to prepare food for
Avoid foods such as crackers or cakes that crumble
easily. These can cause choking.
If you cough or choke, lean
forward and keep your chin tipped downward while you cough.
To reduce drooling:
Keep your chin up and your lips closed when you
aren't speaking or eating.
Swallow often, especially before you
start to speak.
Ask a speech therapist about exercises to strengthen lip muscles.
Avoid sugary foods that cause more saliva to
Ask your doctor about medicines you can use to help the
How this information was developed to help you make better health decisions.