Aphagia refers to the loss of the ability to swallow. It's often used to refer specifically to an inability to eat; adipsia is used for people who cannot drink. Aphagia can result from lesions to lateral regions of the hypothalamus, damage to the cranial nerves (particularly the glossopharyngeal, hypoglossal, and vagus), or blockage or constriction of the esophagus. It is obviously fatal if left untreated; patients who suffer from it must be treated or intubated. In some cases, aphagic patients who try to eat may inhale food into the trachea and choke or end up with aspiration pneumonia.

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