DR. HERAZY, CAN ANY OF PILLS OF YOUR TREATMENT BE CRUSHED AND TAKEN WITH A LITTLE WATER?
Sounds like you have a problem swallowing pills, my friend.
None of the vitamin E products can be crushed because they are soft gelatin capsules, but I do not see why you could not crush any of the others.
When you consider the small size of all these therapy capsules, I am confident that these pills are smaller than most of the food that you swallow with no problem after chewing it for a very short time. Most of us do not chew or food enough, and this represents a large digestion problem to a lot of people who do not realize that poorly chewed food is a major problem for their digestion. I mention this as a way of telling you that you are probably swallowing big pieces of food all the time, and you are making a bigger deal of pill swallowing than you need to do.
It seems a good thing that we are programed to not swallow things whole; that we need to chew them up and make them smaller and softer. It’s sometimes difficult to swallow a solid substance without first chewing it; you feel like you are working against a protective instinct. This is made worse when there are many such solids to swallow when you are taking a lot of different therapies in a Peyronie's treatment plan. Nonetheless, it is often necessary to swallow 4-18 pills several times a day to assist your recovery over PD.
Frustration grows when you can’t easily take many pills in your Peyronie’s disease vitamin plan because you hesitate or gag. There are different useful strategies to get over this hurdle. I have never met anyone who cannot get over this problem if they work at it.
Since pill swallowing will likely remain a required skill until you correct your Peyronie’s disease, approach a pill swallowing problem from several angles using old and new tricks:
1. Practice with common food. Swallow mini candies, or small bites of food, without chewing them very much to simulate pill taking. Deliberately think about and feel the sensation of having chunks of solid food sliding down your throat; get comfortable with that feeling; focus on how easy it is to be relaxed when you swallow pieces of cooked vegetables or meat that are actually larger than the pills that make you feel so uncomfortable.
2. Put 1-4 pills in your mouth. Keep them there while you carefully go through a few small chewing motions – do not actually chew on the pills them to avoid a nasty taste. After you have satisfied the need to “chew before swallowing,” immediately drink some water as you swallow the pills already in your mouth. You will thus fool yourself into the idea that you have chewed what you want to swallow.
3. Take pills one at a time to avoid overloading your gag reflex.
4. Drink a large glass of warm water BEFORE taking your Peyronie’s disease vitamin plan. This will relax your throat muscles and make taking the actual pills easier.
5. Sip a cold, carbonated beverage (sparkling water, lemon-lime soda) straight from the bottle when swallowing a pill.
6. Spray or gargle with an over-the-counter topical anesthetic (normally used for sore throats) before swallowing.
7. Take a deep breath and hold the breath in your lungs before putting the tablet in your mouth; some say that this can suppress the gag reflex.
8. Place the pill on the back of your tongue, drink some water, tilt your chin down toward your chest, and swallow.
9. Put the pill on the tip of your tongue, drink some water, tilt your head back, and swallow.
Combining some of the above ideas could yield a remedy for you, but if none of them help you should really consider some larger issues.
The fact is your throat operates as part of a complex system. While it may seem you have an extraordinarily strong gag reflex or odd throat mannerisms, consider that it may actually be the power of your mind, not the power of your throat. Try to psych yourself out with this pill swallowing mantra — “I can swallow this…I can see the pill going down.”
Or, perhaps not being able to swallow pills has something to do with a past event. If you are unusually tense about pill swallowing from something that happened in your childhood, it makes sense for it to surface when you try to swallow a pill again. Did you choke on a raisin many years ago? Did a school nurse with dirty hands force you to take a pill? You may be subconsciously dealing with issues such as these every time you swallow an aspirin or vitamin. Fear of choking, fear of medicine, or general anxiety may be preventing you from swallowing pills. If you think these mental factors are to blame, you might consider talking with a counselor.
While it seems unlikely, the possibility of a greater medical issue does exist. The medical term for difficulty swallowing is dysphagia, and the term is often used with regard to a disorder of the esophagus. Keep in mind, though, that if you can swallow your food without trouble, your esophagus is probably fine.
This is an important issue to address because you cannot allow trouble swallowing your Peyronie’s treatment pills to prevent you from achieving success over your PD. TRH