Achalasia

Also known as: esophageal achalasia.

What is achalasia?

When food does not move easily from the esophagus into the stomach, one potential cause of this situation is a medical condition known as achalasia. The lower esophageal sphincter, which is a ring between the esophagus and stomach, does not relax when achalasia is present, which leads to the condition.
 

What causes achalasia?

Damage to the nerves of the esophagus is the typical reason for achalasia occurring. This can be hereditary, occur due to an autoimmune disorder (when the immune system mistakenly attacks the body’s own organs and tissues), or secondary to infection.
 

What are the symptoms of achalasia?

When food can’t pass easily from the esophagus into the stomach, it can lead to heartburn, difficulty swallowing, chest pain, food regurgitation and weight loss, among other symptoms.
 

What are achalasia care options?

Certain medications, including botox injections, can relax the lower esophageal sphincter and allow food to pass through more easily. Surgery can also help treat achalasia.

Reviewed by: Shifra A Koyfman, MD

This page was last updated on: 5/29/2018 8:27:28 PM

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