Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

Comment from: mohammad, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: January 08

I suffered from achalasia for more than two years. At first I was not diagnosed correctly and I took the wrong treatment for about 3 months. Then I started to lose a lot of weight. After that I decided to go to a specialized hospital where I was diagnosed of having achalasia and the best choice for me was Heller myotomy and fundoplication. Anyway, I am much better now but I still suffer when I have dinner. I only gained 10 kg after 8 months of the surgery. Before the surgery I lost more than 25 kg. I am much better than before, I can eat and swallow now but I am not feeling well especially with some kinds of drinks and food.

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Comment from: Quarlinda, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

I was 25 when I was first diagnosed with achalasia. It began with difficulty swallowing and progressed to migraine headaches. My initial doctors knew right away what was happening in my esophagus and said I would be a good candidate for a Heller Myotomy with a fundoplication wrap which is a surgery to slice the sphincter muscle and wrap it around my stomach so that the sphincter remains open to allow the passage of food. While the surgery is costly, the effects are phenominal. I was a good candidate for the Heller Myotomy with fundoplication wrap because of my age, health, and active lifestyle. After three years of passing out, loosing considerable amounts of weight (down from 120 to 80 pounds and very unhealthy) and awful migraines, a gastroenterologist began with a Botox treatment that allowed me to last for two weeks. (I was too far gone for balloon dilation.) Then, I had the surgery. This surgery saved my life. I am a certified teacher, a mother, and a survivor of achalasia. While I still have the achalasia, I can now swallow and digest food because my sphincter is permanently open. I have a whole new respect for food and healthy living!

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Comment from: cforester, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 19

I have had all the classic symptoms of achalasia for three years. I have lost 50 lbs in those 3 years. I have been through clinic for every test under the sun on stomach, pancreas, gallbladder, liver, including EGD, HIDA scan, Upper gastrointestinal, CT Scan, even an ERCP because I had a Roux-En-Y gastric bypass in 2004. My symptoms did not start till 2011 and are still present. It wasn"t until recently that I discovered this disorder, from a TV show and I about flipped out when I listened to these symptoms. No one has ever suggested that I have this problem, but every single symptom on here, I have. I now live in Nashville TN and have seen a gastrointestinal specialist who was supposed to be very reputable, for three months. He did the EGD which he said was normal. He was led to believe that my issue was stress induced. Well, if it wasn"t stress reduced at the initial onset, I"m convinced it is worsened by stress after not being able to eat for three years. He referred me to another gastrointestinal specialist and I have been waiting three months to get in to him, my appointment is on 3/25/14. I am so frustrated.

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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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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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