Try These Hacks If You Have Trouble Swallowing Pills

It may be a hard pill to swallow, but we all have to swallow a pill every once in a while, no matter how hard it may be. For some of us, swallowing pills is a really difficult or even seemingly impossible task. If you're one of these people, you probably feel as though you're the only one who's incapable of doing what seems so simple for others, and you're probably confused as to why you find it so difficult. In reality, though, many children and adults struggle with swallowing pills (via Good RX). In fact, according to a study at the University of Queensland, nearly 50% of adults have difficulty with pill-swallowing.

While struggling to swallow pills likely feels like it often gets in the way of life and can even become anxiety-inducing, there are quite a few ways to ease the struggle and, as Mary Poppins once said, they can help "the medicine go down." Even if you feel like you've tried every trick in the book, there are a few methods that you've probably never heard of that just may be the answer to your pesky pill-swallowing problems. 

Hacks to help you swallow pills

Often, issues with pill-swallowing really are psychological, even if they don't feel that way. In this case, there are lots of ways to help yourself get that pill down. The first way to try to get around a psychological block is to have water in your mouth before you put the pill in (via Self). This way, you won't even feel the pill hit your tongue before it's swallowed. You can also hide the pill in applesauce or another similarly-textured food. In reality, you likely often swallow bits of food while eating that are bigger than many pills. When it comes time to swallow a pill, though, it feels very different. Many people find burying the pill in applesauce to be a great way to help the pill go down without having to think about what it is that you're swallowing. 

If you've been doing pill-swallowing research, you may have heard of the "pop-bottle method" (via Harvard Health). This method entails putting the pill in your mouth before closing your lips around the opening of a water bottle. Sucking the water straight down without allowing air to get into the bottle is a very successful method for getting the pill down quickly. In fact, studies show that this method caused a 60% boost in the ability to get the pill down compared to normal drinking. Simply leaning forward and positioning your chin close to your chest can also be helpful.

How to talk to your doctor

If you really have tried every trick in the book, and you still can't get comfortable with getting your pills down, you're not out of options. If you're feeling discouraged or unable to take a pill you've been prescribed, talk to your doctor (via Self). Certain pills can be crushed or mixed with things, and some can be cut in half to make smaller pieces (via Harvard Health). Your doctor will be able to recommend whether this is an option, and may even be able to prescribe a smaller, easier-to-swallow capsule or even a liquid alternative to your pill. They will also be able to determine if your difficulty may be a result of something physical rather than a psychological issue. If they believe this is the case, they'll be able to connect you with a specialist who can help.

We've all heard that practice makes perfect, and this can be true even when it comes to taking pills. No matter what method you're trying, overtime, it's likely to get easier. Try practicing with a mini M&M, a Tic Tac, or even a sprinkle to see if any of these methods can work for you. Ultimately, you'll likely be able to graduate to small pills and will eventually be able to take any medicine you need.