Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

Comment from: ukkate, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 17

I was first diagnosed about 3 years ago. My symptoms were pain and a feeling of 'blockage' in my throat when swallowing and regurgitation of food and liquids, especially at night when asleep. I had a Botox injection treatment which worked wonderfully for about a year. It was painless, an outpatient procedure and I was home in 2 hours. When my symptoms reappeared I called the doctor and was scheduled for a second treatment, which also was problem-free. That was 2 years ago and unfortunately I am experiencing symptoms again. I have difficulty swallowing, pain and discomfort and occasional throwing up. The most scary is the regurgitation at night when I wake up choking, even when I haven't eaten or had anything for a few hours before bed. I have scheduled a treatment for next week. The only symptom I don't share with other correspondents is weight loss. I am overweight and really need to lose, but obviously I must be getting through enough high calorie stuff to maintain my bulk! It doesn't seem to matter what food I eat, sometimes I can eat anything, other times a lettuce leaf or even a sip of water will set it off for hours.

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Comment from: Anali, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 04

I suffered from achalasia for the last 25 years. It took me a year to find a surgeon who could perform the surgery to treat it. It has been almost four years after my surgery, and I can now eat without pain, choking or vomiting. My only problem now is mild acid reflux that I did not have before my surgery.

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Comment from: Ringle, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 10

I was diagnosed with a acalasha at the age of 13. I remember my younger years with many stomach aches and vomiting. By the time I was 12 my mum knew their was something really wrong. I was losing weight fast and so tired all the time. I would get lot of pain I'm my chest with pain shooting out my shoulders. Sometimes I would pass out from the pain. So many tests later and being wrongly diagnosed with anorexia I was finally operated on as by this stage I could not swallow water and all I did was sleep. I was great for six months then the symptoms started again. So I had to be operated on again twelve months later. I am now 40 and happily married with two beautiful children. The last five years I have been suffering with a lot of pain again and chocking In my sleep. So the tests start again. Looks like I have formed a hernia which is starting to interfere with my food going to my stomach. Looks like a operation is going to be done again. Hoping after this lot of surgery that my energy for my life will return. So here we go again!

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Comment from: coco34, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 05

I was about 14 or 15 years old when I was diagnosed with achalasia. I started having pains in my rib cage area when I was about 10 or so. The vomiting started when I got to high school. My treatments started with balloon dilations. Then, I had part of the esophageal sphincter cut and removed. That lasted for about two years. I got really sick when I was in college. A doctor told me that my esophagus had enlarged. He said it looked like I had two stomachs sitting on top of each other. I developed aspirating pneumonia because I was inhaling what was in my esophagus into my lungs. My next surgery (I don't know what it's called) removed the enlarged part of my esophagus, pushed my stomach up so it was more in my chest cavity, and stretched and reattached it to my throat. I'm doing much better now. I watch what I eat so that I don't get acid reflux or heart burn, but other than that all is right with me. I am a survivor.

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Comment from: ferret4073, 13-18 Male (Patient) Published: January 30

I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was around 7 years old, but since I was born, my parents have been telling me I was always throwing up. When I was 4, I told them that I had these pains in my chest. After about three years of being tested to figure out what I had, they finally said it was achalasia. They held off doing surgery to me since I was only a kid, but by the time I was 13, I had not been able to even complete a full meal. I had surgery, and it worked for about a year. Then I started having problems again. It's not as bad as it used to be, but it keeps on getting worse over the months. I recently had a test performed about a month ago, and they told me the food was getting stuck on the uppermost part of my esophagus. They said they could do nothing for me at the moment with the technology and treatment options available.

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Comment from: wood57, Published: January 30

I am a 52 year old male and had a myotomy procedure performed 24 years ago. It took 10 or more years of symptoms for my doctors to diagnose it correctly. The surgery has been very successful. Be careful of your weight gain; it's your biggest enemy. I have been following up with endoscopies every three to four years since the surgery. The surgery was very difficult to go through, even at a young age. It can be very frustrating.

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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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