Patient Comments: Achalasia - Symptoms

What symptoms did you experience with your achalasia?

Comment from: Jojo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 03

I have only got diagnosed yesterday with achalasia so haven't quite got my head round it. Two or three times a week I wake after acid has gone down my windpipe. The burn is horrendous but what scares me the most is the worry I will choke to death. I can't eat at all and even liquid feels like a brick in my stomach. I had barium meal x-ray on Wednesday and have just been referred to a gastroenterologist. I am not sure what first treatment will be. Doctor said my gullet hardly contracted at all and was one of the worst he has seen, which has scared me.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

My first symptom was while eating white rice. I could not get it to go down, and I had terrible pain in the middle of my chest. I went to the restroom and leaned over, and the rice came out and the pain got easier but was still there. It got to the point after about a year that even water would not go down. I lost about 40 pounds. I had some tests done and was told I had achalasia after an upper GI. I then had mobility testing done over 10 times. At that point, I was sent to a surgeon and had the surgery to cut the muscle and make a new opening into the stomach. It has helped me over the years, but I've had to have stretching done about once a year to loosen scar tissue that has formed. Also my stomach does not empty properly and takes longer. Recently, my daughter was diagnosed with achalasia and is waiting to have the same surgery as I did. I did not know that I could pass this onto my children, but I do now!

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Zanica, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 07

I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was 18, 30 years ago and was only offered surgery as treatment because I would have had to have dilation repeated every few years. Prior to surgery I was only having liquids. Since the surgery I eat a normal diet. I do get heartburn from reflux periodically but I know which foods to avoid (oranges, green peppers) and just use an over the counter antacid. I still have to drink water with every meal to push the food down but this is fine and feels normal now. I am just about to start taking omeprazole (an inhibitor) due to the risk of Bartlett's esophagus. I would have the surgery again in a heartbeat if necessary.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: molly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I was diagnosed with vigorous achalasia when I was 27. I had the Heller's myotomy but after 20 years it was like I never had it! Even when I had it I got spasms like knives stabbing me for no reason. I have to have water and saltines 24/7, that is the only thing to stop it. Anyway, I am back to square one again. I became overweight after the surgery. If anyone ever knew what we go through! People act like it's nothing, I would not wish this on my worst enemy! I tried Botox, it worked the opposite and I already had the pneumatic dilatations.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Deanna, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: August 19

For many years I had problems regurgitating food soon after I had eaten. What came up didn't look like vomit but rather just like chewed food. It was odd then I started to have odd abdominal pain occasionally after I ate when I went to the doctor to figure out what was going on they had me do a barium swallow and I was diagnosed with Achalasia when the barium didn't enter my stomach after 5 minutes.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Janed, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 05

I had pain in my back and chest after eating. I had been treated for GERD for many years before going to a different gastroenterologist who ordered a barium swallow which showed achalasia. I found a surgeon who did a myotomy with fund implication. It has been 5 weeks since surgery and am able to eat more and do not have the pain. Best thing I ever did was have this surgery. Make sure you find a good surgeon who will do it laparoscopically.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Wilma Henre, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 09

Seven months ago I had the surgery for achalasia. I am doing very good with eating, but still am getting chest pain when I walk very far. I have lots of muscle cramps and joint pain in my arms, hands, and legs. They are so bad sometimes that I can't walk very well. Sometimes my hands are so painful that I wake up at night or can't sleep because of it. I don't know if this is from the achalasia or just muscle spasms. I have to take meds for the pain, but rest is the only thing that helps. Then if I clean house, or walk too much, or even go online to type, I get muscle spasms. I also can't do repetitive movements.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

Achalasia - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with achalasia.
Achalasia - Causes Question: What was the cause of your achalasia?
Achalasia - Treatment Question: What treatment was effective for your achalasia?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.