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Here are all the mnemonics you ever wanted on Dysphagia. These mnemonics covers all aspects of the disease/health condition 

Causes of Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: BEACHES

B – Benign strictures

E – Esophageal cancer

A – Achalasia

C – Cervical spine diseases

H – Hernia, hiatal

E – Esophagitis

S – Scleroderma


Triggers for Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: STRESS

S – Stroke

T – Trauma to the neck or chest

R – Radiation therapy

E – Emotional distress

S – Surgical complications

S – Smoking and alcohol abuse


Risk Factors for Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: OLD CARS

O – Older age

L – Lifestyle factors (smoking, alcohol)

D – Diseases (neurological, gastroesophageal)

C – Connective tissue disorders

A – Anatomical abnormalities

R – Recent surgery (especially head, neck, or chest)

S – Stroke history


Warning Signs of Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: SWALLOW

S – Sore throat

W – Weight loss

A – Appetite loss

L – Laryngeal discomfort

L – Liquids causing coughing

O – Obvious difficulty swallowing

W – Wheezing or gurgling after eating


Predisposing Factors of Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: DINNER

D – Dementia

I – Inflammation of the esophagus

N – Neurological disorders

N – Nasopharyngeal carcinoma

E – Esophageal motility disorders

R – Radiation exposure (neck/chest)


Signs & Symptoms of Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: FOODS

F – Feeling that food is stuck

O – Odynophagia (painful swallowing)

O – Oral lesions

D – Drooling

S – Speech difficulties


Characteristic Findings in Dysphagia:


E – Esophageal spasms

A – Aspiration pneumonia

T – Tumors (benign or malignant)

C – Cricopharyngeal bar

A – Acid reflux

R – Regurgitation

E – Enlarged lymph nodes (neck)

F – Fibrosis (post-radiation or surgery)

U – Ulcers in the esophagus

L – Laryngeal nerve damage

L – Lesions in the mouth or throat

Y – Yeast infection in the esophagus


What Should Be Avoided in Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: HARD FOOD

H – Hot beverages

A – Alcohol

R – Rough-textured foods

D – Dry foods

F – Fizzy drinks

O – Overeating

O – Overly spiced foods

D – Dense meats


Drugs Used To Treat Dysphagia:


M – Muscle relaxants (for esophageal spasms)

E – Esomeprazole (and other proton pump inhibitors)

D – Dilation therapy (not a drug but a treatment)

I – Ipratropium (for drooling)

C – Calcium channel blockers

A – Antacids

T – Tricyclic antidepressants (for neuropathic pain)

I – Inhaled steroids (for eosinophilic esophagitis)

O – Omeprazole

N – Nitrates (for esophageal spasms)

S – Sucralfate (for esophageal ulcers)


Drugs To Avoid In Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: DRY MOUTH

D – Decongestants

R – Radiopaque contrast agents (in certain cases)

Y – Yohimbine

M – Muscle relaxants (can worsen some types)

O – Opiates

U – Ulcerogenic NSAIDs

T – Tricyclic antidepressants (can cause dry mouth)

H – Histamine H2 antagonists


Diagnostic Tests for Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: CHECKUP

C – Chest X-ray

H – High-resolution manometry

E – Endoscopy

C – CT scan (of neck and chest)

K – KUB (for detecting impacted material)

U – Upper GI series (barium swallow)

P – pH monitoring (for acid reflux)


Laboratory Findings in Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: BLOOD TEST

B – Blood count (CBC for anemia or infection)

L – Liver function tests (if related to alcohol use)

O – Osmolarity (for dehydration)

O – Oxygen saturation (if aspiration pneumonia suspected)

D – Dysphagia-related nutritional deficiencies (e.g., iron, vitamins)

T – Thyroid function tests (if related to goiter)

E – Electrolytes

S – Swallowing study results

T – Toxins (screening for toxic substances)


Complications of Dysphagia:


S – Starvation

W – Weight loss

A – Aspiration pneumonia

L – Lung abscess

L – Loss of pleasure in eating

O – Obstruction of the esophagus

W – Worsening malnutrition

P – Psychological impact (anxiety, depression)

A – Altered speech

I – Infection risk (due to aspiration)

N – Nutritional deficiencies


Differential Diagnosis of Dysphagia:

Mnemonic: FOOD PATH

F – Functional dysphagia (psychogenic)

O – Obstruction (physical)

O – Oesophageal motility disorders

D – Diverticula (Zenker’s, etc.)

P – Pharyngeal causes

A – Achalasia

T – Tumors

H – Hiatal hernia

Dr. Arin Nandi

Passionate About Medical Science & Helping Future Doctors Achieve Top Ranks In Medical Exams. He is professionally a dentist as well as a public health expert from JIPMER (1), (2)working in health department