Achalasia is a condition in which food and liquids have difficulty passing through the esophagus, the tube that connects the mouth to the stomach.
For more information about this condition, you can contact Doral Health and Wellness Gastroenterology Center.
When nerves in the esophagus are injured, achalasia ensues. To put it another way, over time, as the esophagus becomes more dilapidated it becomes paralyzed and unable to squeeze food into the stomach. In the esophagus, food can rot and wash back up, making for an unpleasant taste. This has been misdiagnosed as gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD). Achalasia, on the other hand, is caused by a blockage in the esophagus, whereas GERD is caused by a blockage in the stomach.
Achalasia is a disease that has no cure. The muscle in the esophagus cannot function correctly again once it has been paralyzed. Endoscopy, minimally invasive therapy, and surgery are all effective treatments for most complaints.
In most cases, the symptoms of achalasia begin to manifest gradually and then deteriorate over time. Symptoms and signs include:
- When food or liquid becomes trapped in your throat, you have dysphagia (inability to swallow).
- Regurgitating food or saliva
- Chest pain that comes and goes
- Coughing at night
- A chest infection called pneumonitis (from aspiration of food into the lungs)
- Weight loss
Achalasia’s specific cause is unknown. It’s possible that nerve cells in the esophagus have been damaged. Viruses and autoimmune reactions have been suggested as possible causes of this. A genetic disease or infection is the most unlikely causes of achalasia.
Many patients prefer the POEM procedure over other treatments for achalasia, such as pneumatic dilation, Heller myotomy, or peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEMS).
Health issues of Achalasia
Achalasia can lead to a number of major health issues if left untreated, including:
- Megaesophagus. The esophagus has become big and weak as a result of this condition.
- Esophagitis. Your esophagus may be inflamed and irritated.
- Esophageal perforation. If the walls of your esophagus become too weak from accumulated food. In the case that this occurs, you’ll require immediate medical attention to avoid infection.
- Aspiration pneumonia. When food and liquid debris from your esophagus enter your lungs, you’ll experience coughing and wheezing.
Esophageal cancer is more likely to develop into esophageal cancer.
We treat a wide range of ailments at the Doral Health & Wellness Gastroenterology Center, from indigestion to throat cancer. Additionally, we have a skilled support staff that can provide additional care as necessary and offers advice on what to eat. Call 1-347-384-5690 to reach us.