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Health Minute: Drink Soda for Food Stuck in Throat

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Health Minute: Drink Soda for Food Stuck in Throat

Nov 08, 2017

The next time you have trouble swallowing a piece of food, try drinking a soda. On today's Health Minute, emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen talks about how carbonation from soda can help dislodge the food stuck in your throat.

Episode Transcript

Announcer: The Health Minute, produced by University of Utah Health.

Interviewer: Time for another health hack with emergency room physician Dr. Troy Madsen. What is today's health hack?

Dr. Madsen: Today's health hack is treating food stuck in your throat and just using a soda. It sounds so simple.

Now when we talk about food stuck in the throat, I'm not talking about stuck in your airway. That's a big deal. I'm talking about, let's say you have a big piece of steak, gets stuck in your esophagus, in the food tube that's taking the food down to your stomach. You know it's stuck there because every time you try to swallow, you just cannot get even your own saliva down. You're spitting it up. You think to yourself, "I've got to go to the ER and get this out."

Before you go, try this instead. Get a soda, drink it down, let it sit there. It's probably going to work. It's going to relax the esophagus. It helps to dissolve that meat a little bit, gets it down into the stomach, and you avoid going to the ER.

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