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I am caring for both my mom and husband who have dysphagia.

Imho, AlvaDeer offers excellent advice. Thank you, Alva.
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Reply to Llamalover47
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There are plenty of products out there. Have your parents had swallowing evaluations performed? The therapist will let you know exactly what thickness their fluids needs to be thickened to - and can recommend the products available in your area.
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Reply to Taarna
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Thick It and Simply Thick are perfectly safe. But you have great advice below if you want to do it another way.
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Reply to AlvaDeer
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We used Thick It for years but switched to the more expensive Simply Thick a couple of years ago. It is expensive but SO much easier to use. I order it from Amazon. Not "natural", per se, but makes my life and Mom's so much easier that we decided it was worth it. The doc indicates that we might be able to get insurance to cover it if I pursued it, but I haven't had time yet. Still work about 60 hrs a week as well as taking care of Mom!
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Reply to Teri4077
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That is why we have Teks that deal with the persons ability to chew...and varying ability to swallow.
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Reply to DKelso34
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The advantage of using the products like Thick It and some of the others is that they are flavorless and colorless so they can be used in anything.
You can also adjust the thickness that you want or need by adding as much or as little as you need. (I went from making liquids "nectar thick" to a "pudding thick" using Thick It)
Other thickening agents may need to be heated first like flour, cornstarch, arrowroot and tapioca.
Puddings, and I would not really call packaged pudding "natural", have flavorings and sweeteners.
Gelatin and or Jello type products begin to melt down at body temperature so they go down as a liquid and can cause aspiration.
For foods it can be easier thicken with mashed potatoes or other veggies. Hot foods you can use the regular products you would use to thicken a gravy. (I also use oatmeal that I processed to a flour, I used cream of wheat. Cornmeal is a bit coarse)
Blending or pureeing foods just add as much liquid to get the consistency you need. Water or juices work depending on what it is you are making.
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Reply to Grandma1954
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You can read the lables on the thickeners to determine the most natural. I also found this on the web...
Thickening Liquids Naturally

Add milk to yogurt or pudding. Add the liquid slowly and stir to prevent clumping.
Mix juice with baby food or blended fruits.
Mix flavored or non-flavored gelatin with juice in a blender.
Add bread crumbs, potato flakes, crushed crackers, or pureed meats to stews and soups.
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Reply to MACinCT
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cwillie Feb 1, 2021
Just an FYI - Gelatin is NOT a recommended thickener because it will melt from body heat in the mouth.
(3)
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If the speech pathologist suggests honey or nectar thick, buy nectar juices - pear, peach, etc. - at the grocery store. SimplyThick and Thick-It are commercial products that you can put in thin liquids such as water, coffee, tea, etc. Also, with people with dysphagia they may need a reminder to take small sips and swallow twice.
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Reply to NYDaughterInLaw
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After having aspiration pneumonia in Nov. 2018, my husband had to remain on thickened liquids until his death this past Sept. I used the product Thick It in all his drinks, including water. It worked great, and you get 3 different consistencies to choose from. I used the honey consistency for my husband. While it probably is a bit more expensive(usually around $18 for the 36 oz.)often when you buy in bulk, it tends to be less than that. To me it was well worth the price, as I never had to worry about my husband choking on his drinks, and he never complained about the taste. Now I know it's not the "natural" remedy you were asking about, but it sure made my life a whole lot easier, not having to worry that my husband's drinks were going into his lungs instead of his stomach.
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Reply to funkygrandma59
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The only "natural" way to thicken fluids would be to not offer water at all and stick to thicker mixtures like veggie or fruit juice smoothies, dairy options such as kefir and including things like soup in the daily diet. The thickeners can be expensive and the texture seems off putting, particularly those that use xanthan gum, but they give consistent results and time saving convenience. I think that many of us look for ways to cut back on the use of expensive necessities, but when it comes to things like like incontinence products, gloves, and thickeners the alternatives generally mean more work for already overburdened caregivers.
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Reply to cwillie
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Are you receiving input from a therapist trained in swallowing issues?

Have either of your LOs been seen by a trained swallowing specialist recently?

Have you requested that they receive professional swallowing evaluation?

Do you have access to help with this? Swallowing problems can be pretty complicated. Hoping you will be able to access information from trained medical personnel.
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Reply to AnnReid
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What do you mean by "natural"?

Commercially available products like Thick-it contain cornstarch and maltodextrin.
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Reply to BarbBrooklyn
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By natural, what do you mean exactly? Are there particular brands or ingredients that you're anxious to avoid for some reason?
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Reply to Countrymouse
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