Skip to main content

For Find Out Friday - If Your Food Has Gone Down the Wrong Pipe, Where Is It?

I have and will continue to be writing about food this week and it has me thinking. 

If your food happens to go down the so-called wrong pipe, where is that exactly?

I’ll be honest I do not seem to know much about anatomy. In fact, the more I learn the more questions I seem to have. I can only truly grasp one body part at a time and usually that because something is acting up warranting my full attention.

That being said, the only thing I know about my throat is that once something goes into my pie hole, it is should descend.  

You know; God willing.   

But today I wanted to know more about what happen when that isn’t the path the food I have ingested takes.

Technically there are two “pipes” in your throat. However, only one is for food. That would be your esophagus. The other is your trachea, which is for breathing

When you swallow normally, food travels from your esophagus down to your stomach following your digestive tract. 

But when you accidentally send food down your trachea it can trickle down into your lungs. That is where you can get into trouble. 

Your body automatically sense a problem when something other than air enters your trachea. In order to remove it you will typically begin coughing until what is lodged in there comes up. 

If that does not work, the liquid and whatever else you swallowed can enter your lungs. That process is called aspiration. It can lead to pneumonia, a very serious condition that needs to be treated by a doctor ASAP. 

Luckily for most of us this is not an everyday condition. But for those suffering from dysphagia this is a chronic and dangerous problem. The causes can be neurological, mechanical, or even psychological.  Treatments vary due to cause.

Now that I have the word “aspiration” in my mind I have a strange story (or two) swirling around in my mind. Thankful they are not tales of my own but ones I have read about. 

Years ago I remember reading an online article about a man who had a cough he couldn’t get rid of. Then finally a doctor identified the problem. The man had a pea plant growing in his chest!!

Apparently this man had accidentally (who would do this on purpose) breathed in a seed sometime long ago and it eventually sprouted within his body. Certain seeds, like peas, can grow quite well in a dark, moist environment. It had to be removed surgically but there was no lasting damage. 

It appears this is a phenomenon that is more common than we could ever imagine.

The human body is a funny, quirky, yet brilliantly complex system.

From now on I am going to pay close attention as I chew my food and certainly when I take deep breathes.

For More Information:


Popular posts from this blog

For Find Out Friday - Why Do Emery Boards Make My Skin Crawl?

You know that sound a fingernail makes when it scratches against a chalkboard?  You know that feeling the sound of that action gives you? I, like most people, hate that sound.  I instantly feel like scrunching my shoulders up to my neck and closing my eyes.  I feel the exact same way when I am using an emery board to file my nails. This annoying sensation has a name: “grima” which is Spanish for disgust or uneasiness. This term basically describes any feeling of being displeased, annoyed, or dissatisfied someone or something.  It is a feeling that psychologists are starting to pay more attention to as it relates to our other emotions.  Emery boards are traditionally made with cardboard that has small grains of sand adhered to them. It is the sandpaper that I believe makes me filled with grima.  According to studies that are being done around the world, it is not just the feeling that we associate with certain things like nails on a chalkboard or by using emery boards

For My Madness During Migraine Awareness Month

Last weekend as I sat staring at the blank page in front of me, I was still surprised and elated that I had an entire day to myself and unlike past experiences it was filled with what I wanted when I wanted it. There were a few rough moments but when I consider the previous twelve hours (and the days to come) have been better than the last week. Especially this last week even though I had braced myself ahead of time, I just didn’t know I should have braced for a more serious episode. I am a chronic migraine sufferer for so many years I don’t quite remember when they started exactly which is ironic because I can remember every special event they have ruined. I remember plays or dinners I was at where I don’t remember what happened but I could tell you what I felt minute by minute. It amazing how the mind works, especially when it’s operated by a migraine brain. In the last few years, specifically the last few years since I have been going to the Montefiore Headac

For Find Out Friday - Why is One Foot More Ticklish Than the Other?

As I sit here typing I can’t seem to stop thinking about my nails. Mainly that they REALLY need to get done. They are starting to chip and become unruly. As soon I as think about making an appointment my mind immediately returns to this question: “which of my feet will be ticklish this time?” Because I am a girl that needs her fingernails and toenails to match, I always get a pedicure whenever I get my nails done. And while this should be an activity I enjoy, it often feels like a chore, despite my going only once every three to four weeks. I know; #firstworldproblems.  Anyway, each and every time I get my toes done, as soon as they are done soaking in the bubbly water I wonder, which of my feet will be ticklish today?  Without fail one of them always seems to get the brunt of it and suddenly what was supposed to be a relaxing activity has made me all tense. So, is there a scientific reason for this?  According to most research, yes. While the answer doesn’t