Frequently asked questions

The materials published on this website are of a general nature and have been provided for informational purposes only. Always consult your medical practitioner or a qualified health provider for professional advice in relation to the topics discussed.

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What is Altrix® Ultra Thickener For?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener is for use in the treatment of people with swallowing difficulties / dysphagia.

What are swallowing difficulties/dysphagia?

Dysphagia is the medical term for having difficulty in being able to pass food safely and efficiently from the mouth to the stomach. This can result in food or liquids entering the “wrong tube” and going into the airway.

What are the symptoms of swallowing difficulties/dysphagia?

Symptoms may include;

  • Persistent difficulty in swallowing food and taking a long time to eat
  • Feeling like food is sticking in the throat
  • Coughing/choking while eating food or drinking
  • Drooling or slurred speech
  • Wet or gurgly voice after eating or drinking
  • Recurrent chest infections or unexplained temperatures
  • Pocketing of food in the cheeks, or food spilling from the mouth
  • Loss of appetite and/or weight loss

How is swallowing affected?

Difficulties with swallowing can occur in the mouth, the space at the back of the throat (pharynx), the tube that takes food from the pharynx to the stomach (oesophagus), or the stomach itself. It may be a combination of these things that prevent someone from eating or swallowing normally. Swallowing difficulties can cause the food and drink to enter the windpipe (trachea) and end up in the lungs or airway instead of going into the stomach via the oesophagus.

What are the causes of swallowing difficulties/dysphagia?

Some conditions which can lead to swallowing difficulties/dysphagia

  • Stroke
  • Neurological disease such as Parkinson’s and Alzheimer’s
  • Dementia
  • Head and neck cancers
  • Head injury
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Head and neck surgery patients
  • Persistent Reflux

What can be done for swallowing difficulties/dysphagia?

Anyone with persistent swallowing difficulties should be assessed by a clinician such as a Doctor, Dietitian, or Speech Language Therapist, for correct diagnosis of dysphagia. Depending on the causes of dysphagia the treatment may include

  • Referral to Speech Language Therapist (SLT) for assessment and management plan
  • Evaluation of dietary needs by a Dietitian, in consultation with the medical staff and SLT
  • Potential diet changes and a person may need to follow a texture modified diet and use thickened fluids to help control and aid swallowing

What is Altrix® Ultra Thickener?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener is a starch (potato) and gum (xanthan) based powder that is capable of thickening a variety of foods and liquids, quickly and without lumping. Available in 300g jars and a 3kg bulk pack, Altrix® Ultra Thickener is gluten and lactose free and won’t thicken over time, or be broken down by enzymes in the saliva.

How can Altrix® Ultra Thickener help?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener can be added to a variety of drinks and foods to thicken these products, making them easier to control in the mouth and helping the person to swallow more efficiently and safely.

Can anyone use Altrix® Ultra Thickener?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener is not recommended for anyone under 3 years of age. It is recommended that Altrix® Ultra Thickener be used with the advice of a health professional.

What can Altrix® Ultra Thickener thicken?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener can thicken a variety of liquids including

  • Water
  • Milk Drinks
  • Cordial
  • Juices
  • Hot drinks such as tea and coffee
  • Soft Drinks
  • Beer and wine

Altrix® Ultra Thickener can also be used to thicken pureed foods and help the food to keep shape and form. Bulk fluids can also be prepared and refrigerated for up to 8 hours. For a reference guide to thickening click here

What does Altrix® Ultra Thickener taste like?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener is designed to impart little or no flavour or colour on the food and drink products. It can only just be detected when mixed with water. In addition, it won’t break down due to enzymes in saliva so you can be assured that while feeding the texture of the food and consistency of fluids will remain the same.

How easy is it to use Altrix® Ultra Thickener?

Altrix® Ultra Thickener mixes and dissolves easily into a range of liquid and food products and reaches the desired consistency within 2 minutes. For best results following the mixing instructions here. Altrix® Ultra Thickener can also be used to thicken a variety of supplemental foods that may have been prescribed or indicated by a health care professional.