General Question

longgone's avatar

What do you eat when it hurts to swallow?

Asked by longgone (14416points) 1 week ago

I have a severe issue with my throat. I’m seeing an ENT in the morning.

Until then, I need to eat something. I barely had anything solid all day, because it hurts to swallow even water or tea with honey. It feels like I’m swallowing shards of glass. Understandably, my body is rebelling against that plan.

If you needed to get as much nutritious food inside you as possible, in a short amount of time (to limit the pain), what would you pick?

Pain meds don’t make a difference at this point, though I took a dose just now and I’m still hoping it might kick in.

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28 Answers

SQUEEKY2's avatar

Soup, is all I can suggest.

Jeruba's avatar

I’d say stick to cold stuff such as apple juice and ginger ale because the temperature will probably be soothing. If you generally have good nutrition, you’ll be all right for a day or two without a regular balanced diet. That’s my layman’s opinion, anyway.

rebbel's avatar

Since hydration is always important, I’d say to stick with drinking water (even though even that hurts).
It, obviously, keeps you hydrated, but it can also suppress your appetite/hunger feelings.
And like @Jeruba said, you’ll manage (a day or two) without food.
I hope you’ll feel better, without pain, soon.

RedDeerGuy1's avatar

I would get an iv.

KNOWITALL's avatar

Mashed potatoes, applesauce, ice cream, hot tea or even milk.

JLeslie's avatar

Popsicle. This will give you some sugar so you get some calories. You could try ice cream also. Try to drink liquids, even just water to stay hydrated. I would t worry about “nutritious” I’d worry about some calories and hydration so you don’t start to feel nauseas or light headed, or risk serious dehydration.

Do you have a fever?

Do you have Chloresteptic spray in your country? Spray a bunch, like 8 or 10 sprays if they usually recommendation is 5 to help tolerate swallowing. Topical spray is really your best friend in my opinion for significant temporary relief. I mention usual dose, because I don’t know if your spray might have more medicine than in America, so just as a way to gauge.

Stay with cold as suggested above. If you have strep, it sounds like you might, hot liquids will inflame the tissue more. Do you have ulcers in your throat? If you open and stick your tongue out and look at the back can you see red and blister like back there?

Nothing acidic, no citrus juices.

longgone's avatar

Thanks, everyone. Since the consensus seemed to be “cold and liquid, don’t worry about nutritious”, I made a milkshake with banana and ice cream. I added a bit of frozen (mashed-up) broccoli, and ice. I’m sipping ice water now, which doesn’t feel horrible.

I wouldn’t usually worry about not eating healthy food for just a couple days, but when I feel sick I have a really strong urge to get vegetables and fruit into my body. I think you guys are right that this is not the time, though.

Thanks, everyone!

@JLeslie I had a high fever yesterday. Today it’s lower, but still not normal. That spray sounds similar to something we have. I don’t have it at home, but it’s a good idea for tomorrow. My throat looks very red, nothing else seems different.

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone It really sounds like strep. I don’t know why you need a specialist, but I’m glad you’re getting it checked. Strep needs to be tested if that is what it is.

Even when (I should say if, but my bet is when) you start antibiotics you will have 48 more hours of painful swallowing, so if the doctor doesn’t prescribes something topical to gargle or spray then I’d still seriously consider the spray over the counter. You just can’t be numb when you sleep, so if your doctor prescribes the mega stuff that completely dulls feeling and last 2 hours, then you have to take it when you’re truly in your wakeful hours. Most doctors don’t prescribe it, which is unfortunate.

The other illness that can cause fever and sever sore throat that is fairly “common” is mono, but it doesn’t sound to me like you have any other significant symptoms except the sore throat (like swallowing cut glass) and fever. It’s a classic description. No congestion I’m assuming.

janbb's avatar

It does sound like strep. I like the ice cream idea or if you have time to freeze some fruit juice as ice cubes and just suck them. Also, sucking on lozenges can be soothing.

Feel better soon, dear! If it is strep antibiotics should help fairly fast.

Jeruba's avatar

@longgone, you put bananas and ice cream and broccoli in the same milkshake? Stunning. That deserves a comment, but I truly can’t think of anything to say.

Stache's avatar

V8 and some greek yogurt with fruit on the bottom. Both are cold and nutritious.

JLeslie's avatar

V8 sounds acidic to me. Not trying to be contrary, but I just want to help the OP.

ragingloli's avatar

Try gargling Listerine, or get a throat numbing spray.

JLeslie's avatar

^^Why Listerine? Listerine is already something that burns and dries out tissues. Sounds like a bad idea.

@longgone What’s the diagnosis? Did you get some medicine? Or, are they making you wait for culture results?

longgone's avatar

The doctor basically said “Take these very strong pain meds so you can get things down and give your body the energy to fight this virus”. Probably not a bacterial infection, fortunately.

He said my lymph nodes are really swollen, but my tonsils look okay. He suggested a numbing spray like we talked about. He wants me to come back tomorrow if I don’t feel better, because tonsils apparently can be inflamed in places that aren’t visible. He thinks that’s getting more likely with every passing day as I’ve been sick since Monday.

I’m surprised at this experience. I don’t remember ever taking pain meds for a sore throat. Guess I’ve been lucky!

@Jeruba I know. It’s not like me at all. I’m blaming it on the illness, I think the virus is consuming my brain.

janbb's avatar

^^ Feel better soon, Sweetie. The knives down the throat is a lousy feeling.

longgone's avatar

^ Thanks. Please send some tuna popsicles.

JLeslie's avatar

@longgone He didn’t do a throat culture? How many days has it been with the sore throat? Since Monday? You were there and he didn’t bother to swab your throat? That’s ridiculous!

Most viruses that cause a sore throat don’t cause a fever. Most, I’m not saying all.

Usually, a sore throat for a cold start out to be very painful, but drinking water isn’t terribly painful, it’s a different type of irritation, and it goes away in 48 hours, you think you’re getting better, and then the congestion starts. But, if you have a severe sore throat for 72 hours or more that’s something else.

janbb's avatar

@longgone Herring lozenges are very good too!

hosa's avatar

I would pick barley drink. (barley flour with water texture like milk heated till boil)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, for veggies try some chilled V8.

How are you today?

Jeruba's avatar

@longgone, now that you’ve broken the broccoli-banana barrier, the possibilities are endless. How about an apricot and mustard shake? or chocolate ice cream with mayonnaise and capers? How about blending some carrots and asparagus with blackberry jam over ice?

Feeling better yet? I truly hope so. This can’t go on.

Dutchess_III's avatar

Well, it hasn’t even been 24 hours! But how are you feeling now?

longgone's avatar

@JLeslie He did not. He seemed rushed today, but he’s taken good care of me at other times, so I’m hoping his hunch turns out to be correct. Yep, the sore throat started on Monday, but it got much worse on Wednesday. And still no congestion, just the throat and a mild earache.

@janbb Ugh. That’s too much.

@Jeruba See my answer to @janbb. I feel a little better. I’m hoping it’s not just the pain meds.

@Dutchess_III A bit better, thank you. We’ll see!

RocketGuy's avatar

If water is too irritating, try Gatorade. It is our go-to drink for when my kids are sick.

MrGrimm888's avatar

^INDEED! A gatorade, almost frozen. Or coconut water, if you want less sodium. That would cover most electrolyte requirements.

There are lots of things like Ensure, that would cover protein, and other needs. They usually come in a fairly small can, so it might be easier to tolerate less volume.

snowberry's avatar

Trace minerals diluted with water according to directions, and sipped throughout the day is a standard in our house for sore throat. It really works, and isn’t just a pain killer. PM me for details.

Dutchess_lll's avatar

I.had 4 grandkids in my bed last night. Had a hard time sleeping….and damn if my throat didn’t start hurting like hell. Weird. But not nearly as bad as yours.

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