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 the Perfect Appetizer Dinner: “Morgan’s Brooklyn Barbecue”

Have you ever gone out to eat and wished that you just ordered a bunch of appetizers?  I have.  It is actually my preferred way to eat. I like to get a taste of a bunch of different things rather than one big plate. I am much more interested in the kinds of foods we eat as appetizers versus lunch or dinner. Desserts hardly ever register on my radar. At the beginning of this year, right before I was set to release my annual to do list , I stumbled upon a photo of the most beautiful plate of brisket nachos I have ever seen. I instantly wanted them. Naturally the establishment behind said nachos, Morgans Brooklyn Barbecue, earned a spot on my list. The week leading up to my visit all I could think about was “would those nachos be my entire meal or just my appetizer”? Sure I love all kinds of barbecue food: the ribs, the brisket, pulled pork, and don’t even get me started on those sides!! Any restaurant that serves mac and cheese, corn bread, and creamed spinach us

For Find Out Friday - How Do You Milk An Almond?

Despite my affinity for cheese and other dairy products, occasionally (actually a few times a week) I like to go dairy-free.  During those times I rely heavily on my favorite brand of almond milk, as seen in the picture above.  Though I know there is no dairy in this product, I constantly wonder: “how does one milk an almond”? Logically I am aware that no actually “milking” is taking place.  I also know that almond milk can be made at home, although I have zero interest in attempting to make it despite my love of spending time in my kitchen. So, what is the actual process?  How long does it take?  When / where / who was the first to successful develop this product? When talking about this kind of “milk” what we are really talking about is plant juices that resemble and can be used in the same ways as dairy milk. Plant like juice has been described as milk since about 1200 A.D. The first mentions can be found in a Baghdadi cookbook in the thirteenth