Feeding & Digestive Treatments for Familial Dysautonomia

Experts at NYU Langone are experienced in identifying and managing problems related to swallowing difficulties in babies, children, and adults who have familial dysautonomia. These specialists work closely with experts at the Pediatric Aerodigestive Center, part of Hassenfeld Children’s Hospital at NYU Langone, to prevent serious complications, such as pneumonia, which can occur when food is aspirated into the lungs.

Our nutritionists provide support to ensure that children and adults with familial dysautonomia receive an appropriate amount of calories while maintaining a balanced diet.

Swallowing Therapy

Our speech and language pathologists perform assessments called swallowing studies to identify foods and fluids that may be swallowed safely by a baby, child, or adult with familial dysautonomia. Swallowing studies are performed regularly at each checkup.

After these evaluations, speech and language pathologists develop an individualized program to help you or your child choose foods that are safe to swallow. Therapists also teach exercises that can strengthen the swallowing muscles and close off the airway when swallowing.

Antireflux Therapy

Children born with familial dysautonomia often have gastroesophageal reflux disease, in which food or fluid flows backward from the stomach into the esophagus. In some instances, food and fluids can be aspirated into the lungs, causing a respiratory infection.

Our familial dysautonomia experts work with specialists at NYU Langone’s Pediatric Gastroesophageal, Upper Airway, and Respiratory Diseases Center to identify strategies and treatments to prevent food from being regurgitated and aspirated into the lungs. Our doctors develop an individualized treatment plan based on each person’s symptoms and overall health.

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