Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

Comment from: Ruthbug11, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

Around the age of 15, I started having issues swallowing. I felt like I had air bubbles and as time progressed I was increasingly unable to get anything down. Bread was one of the worst things. My small town doctor had no idea what was wrong and my parents were getting more and more concerned. I would have troubles getting even liquids to go down, oftentimes coughing up whatever I had eaten/drank. The doctor told me at that point in time (almost 20 years ago) this was seen most often in teenage girls who had had chicken pox. I started getting Botox injections, but they wore off after 2 to 3 years. I ended up having the surgery for achalasia 12 years ago and have been doing well ever since.

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Comment from: 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 20

My bout of achalasia started about a year ago. I started out by not being able to keep any food down, and vomiting after eating. I also would have a lot of phlegm after eating. After vomiting I would have to blow my nose a lot. I have since had to change my diet, only soft foods, (I would love a steak, salad and chocolate milkshake!) and I've had to stay away from meats, leafy vegetables, and creamy items, i.e., milk, sauces. I have had every test under the sun done, and I have been diagnosed with achalasia. I just found out after my last test I will be able to have the surgery to correct it.

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Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 04

I have suffered for 30 years with achalasia. I've had 4 stretching, a balloon procedure that did nothing, then Heller myotomy. Doctor could not put a flap, so every night I vomit, regardless if I'm sitting straight up. I vomit with soft food or hard food, sometimes water. The past year I stopped all onion or garlic in cooking, those seem to make it really hard at night with heartburn. It is a horrible disease.

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Comment from: Sharon, 45-54 (Patient) Published: October 21

I was diagnosed with achalasia in 1995, after being told it was psychological. I remember being embarrassed when eating; food would frequently have to be regurgitated because it wouldn't go down. Also I had severe stomach pain and such intense heartburn it was felt down my arms, in my neck, and back of head. I had successful laparoscopic Heller myotomy with fundoplication in November 1995. Unfortunately, I'm again experiencing difficulty swallowing, night choking, continued heartburn. I don't want to deal with this again, but in reading your stories I realize that it could be much worse. Good luck to all of you.

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Comment from: np, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 20

I was suffering from achalasia since last 2 and half years. I don't know if that is the side effect of my accident 2.5 years back, as it started giving me swallowing disorder right after my car accident and became worse, day by day. I decided to go for surgery, Heller myotomy, which happened in the end of June. Thanks to the intelligent doctor who brought back my normal life. I have no more reflux symptoms nor acidity after surgery.

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Comment from: Diana, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: July 31

I am 27 years old now and I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was 24, three years back. I was pregnant, and that was the time I started experiencing difficulty in swallowing of anything. All along I thought it's the symptoms of being pregnant. Soon after giving birth in 2012, I lost weight and it has worsened. A barium swallow test said it all, then I went for a balloon dilatation which was a huge failure. I stayed like that for the whole of last year, until this year June when I went to see a specialist in and this doctor did the tests (barium swallow and gastroscopy). Two days after all the tests, I was booked for a laparoscopic Heller's myotomy. It's now a month after my operation and all is going well, I can eat and drink like a normal person. Please, if you are suffering from achalasia remember there is hope for you. Take it very easy and don't stress yourself. If you see any symptoms please ask your doctor for a barium swallow test; good luck.

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Comment from: Achalasia, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: July 07

At 16 I had issues swallowing, drinking and being able to keep my weight in control. My pediatrician told my mother I was focusing myself to do this and needed to see counselor. When I finally turned 18 I went to an adult gastroenterologist who was able to find out what was wrong with me for the past 14 months, in a matter of 28 days. After passing out for the second time and being rushed to the emergency room by my mom, I went in to the operation room weighing 86 lb. Now I am 19 and in college, after almost 2 years later I started getting those chest pains and too familiar swallowing issues. I know nothing was 100% but I was hoping for the best. I have gone back to my doctor and have an x-ray set up, so hopefully medicines can just help me. To all the new people finding out about achalasia, make sure you follow up on your checkups. Be happy and still enjoy eating and drinking. Don't let this corrupt the way you live, remember it's not the end of the world.

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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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