Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

Comment from: Vonne, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 10

I was diagnosed with achalasia after the birth of my daughter who is now 31. I realized that I could no longer eat late at night, it would be very painful. I did have balloon dilatation. I eat very slow. And I cannot eat steak. I drink a lot of water to ensure that the food goes down. It's an annoying way to live however I suppose there are worse things to deal with.

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Comment from: gus, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I was 30 years old when I was diagnosed with achalasia. I had just given birth to my first child and after a few weeks I began to have trouble swallowing and thought it was related to giving birth. After I realized the weight I was losing was not just birth weight it was due to me not being able to get my food down. Once I could not even get water down I knew there was something wrong. I was tested for different reflux and gastro problems, I was given a heart medicine that relaxed my muscle to eat but that soon no longer worked and made my skin rash. Finally, I was given a balloon dilation the first one was not large enough so I was back in. It was the 3rd dilation when a larger size was used that finally relieved me. It has now been 14 years and once in a while the symptoms occur. I drink only room temperature water because cold drinks tense up my esophagus muscle. It tends to happen with certain foods so I have my water ready at all times that I eat something. It also occurs when the kids are arguing when I am eating because it tenses my esophagus muscle.

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Comment from: bri1, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I started experiencing difficulty with swallowing about 9 years ago. I was eating a turkey sandwich and the food just got stuck in my throat. I tried swallowing water to help push the food down, but the water would come back up and I had to spit the water out. Then I would get up and walk around trying to physically move or massage the food down inside my throat. I had my esophagus stretched and I've had the 24-hour motility study done, but nothing helps. My symptoms may disappear for a few days, but they are always back. Last month, I was rushed to the ER because my food was stuck, but now I can't breathe properly when the food is stuck. There is a pain that radiates from my chest to arms and neck. It feels like a heart attack. I only felt better after I threw up about 4 times and I could breathe again. I've had a gallbladder ultrasound, and there were no gallstones. I'm waiting to find out the result of the HIDA tests where the doctors checked to see if my gallbladder is functioning or not.

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Comment from: Rzbuddz24, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I have been suffering from achalasia for two years. It started about two weeks after having my daughter. When it was triggered, I have gone days without eating or drinking anything. I went though the tests about nine months ago after being seen in the emergency room for food impaction in my esophagus. For more than a year they treated me for acid reflux, heartburn, and nausea. No one seemed to understand what I was saying. I found a great doctor at University of California, Irvine. They redid the test and recommended a Heller myotomy. I had the procedure last week. I am still in recovery with liquid diet, then pureed food, then soft foods. I am having severe heart burn about every other day, which had gone away for about eight months before the surgery.

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Comment from: 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was 8 or 9 years old after suffering symptoms for a couple years. It started with difficulty swallowing and progressed to regurgitation, chest pain, and eventually food coming back up through my nose at night. I had two Botox injections, which helped for a year or two then finally had the Heller myotomy. I am now 23, and my food stays down, but I absolutely depend on water to swallow anything. I frequently get chest pains, which seem to be stress-induced.

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Comment from: Judog from london, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I just left the hospital this evening after having an endoscopy. I had a barium swallow also last week. The doctor that did the endoscopy really thinks I have achalasia and the bill fits because I have had this serious swallowing condition for 11 years now. I find it horribly difficult to swallow both liquids and solids. I feel an acute pain in my chest and back and I only get relief after I have taken a few sips of water. When I eat, (every single time I do) I feel the food is stuck in my throat and sometimes it feels like I can't breathe. I need mouthfuls of water to forcefully push the food down and it takes over 20 seconds of me pushing hard, swallowing repeatedly before the food now feel likes its gone down and most times I actually hear the food drop with a thud into my stomach. Its harrowing, it feel like I am abnormal and I wonder if I can go on like this but I am glad now that a diagnosis has been made and we'd see what method of treatment and management they are willing to give me. I am sure I will get something done before January is over. Thank you for this opportunity to share my story

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Patient Comments

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Achalasia - Causes Question: What was the cause of your achalasia?
Achalasia - Symptoms Question: What symptoms did you experience with your achalasia?
Achalasia - Treatment Question: What treatment was effective for your achalasia?

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