When food and drink are unable to flow through the esophageal tube that connects your mouth to your stomach, achalasia occurs. When nerves in the esophagus are injured, achalasia ensues.
There are only around 10,000 cases of achalasia every year, and it is the most severe form of esophageal cancer.
Swallowed food can’t get through because of an obstruction in the LES which is the lowest part of your digestive tract that closes when you’re eating. Most of the time, this muscular ring keeps your esophagus and stomach separate, but when you swallow, it opens to allow food to pass through. Your esophagus can become blocked if the valve doesn’t open.
As the illness progresses, so do the symptoms, and they might worsen with time. Treating a condition that makes it difficult to eat or drink can help.
The specific cause of achalasia is unknown, but a number of experts believe it is caused by a combination of events, including:
It is possible to have an autoimmune disorder, in which your body’s immune system assaults healthy cells. Achalasia’s advanced symptoms are generally caused by nerve degeneration in the esophagus.
In addition, nerve injury in the esophageal lining or the LES can occur.
There are only a few cases of achalasia in the general population.
- According to research, around one in every 100,000 people is diagnosed with achalasia each year.
- The illness affects between 0.1 and 1 in every 100,000 people worldwide each year.
- People of both sexes appear to be affected at nearly the same rate by this illness. In children, it’s less common
- While adults of any age can get achalasia, it most commonly develops after age 30 and before age 60.
How dangerous is achalasia?
These health problems are possible side effects of achalasia if it is left untreated:
The esophagus has become big and weak as a result of this condition.
- Esophagitis Your esophagus may be inflamed and irritated.
- Perforation of the esophagus.
If the lining of your esophagus weakens due to a buildup of food, a hole may emerge. In the case that this occurs, you’ll require immediate medical attention to avoid infection.
- Pneumonia as a result of aspiration.
This happens when food and drink get stuck in your esophagus and are then breathed in.
The risk of acquiring esophageal cancer can be increased by having achalasia.
Achalasia has no known cure, so even if you receive treatment, your symptoms may not completely go away. You may have to undergo many operations and adopt long-term lifestyle adjustments, such as:
It’s best to stay away from meals that make you sick. Stop smoking if you are a smoker and sleep with your head elevated instead of flat.
People in Mexico, South America, and Central America who have Chagas disease are at an increased risk of developing achalasia.
Achalasia can be treated in a number of ways. It is possible to treat achalasia with oral drugs, dilation, surgery, and injections of botulinum toxin (Botox) into the lower esophageal sphincter (esophageal dilation).
At Doral Health and Wellness Multispecialty clinic, the gastroenterologist experts will help you to prevent, diagnose and treat gastroenterological diseases. Please call us at 347-868-1016.