Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

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

I am 29 years old. In November of 2007, I started having trouble swallowing. A short time after that, I stared having heartburn. After months of going to the doctors, I was diagnosed with achalasia. I am going to have esophagomyotomy surgery in January of 2009.

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Comment from: Firetiger13, 13-18 Female (Patient) Published: November 29

I'm a teenager who was diagnosed this year in mid-February with achalasia. I had complications of feelings in my throat and began throwing up the third month into the illness without knowing what it was. It was late July when they knew for sure it was achalasia. I couldn't eat, sleep or drink much. I was always light-headed, and losing more weight by the day. I had no joy or energy to do anything.

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Comment from: TT, 55-64 Female (Caregiver) Published: November 29

My mom is 55 years old and was diagnosed with achalasia about two years ago. We have tried various medications (allopathic and homeopathic), but they have not helped. Some of the homeopathic medicines give some relief when swallowing but only marginal. Mom had a balloon dilation performed about 15 months ago. It seemed to resolve the issue for about four months, but then the symptoms were back with a vengeance. She used to throw up regularly (foamy and watery vomits), about three to four times a day. Now the foamy discharge is gone, but it still pains her every time she swallows. And as soon as she has the first couple of bites, the sphincter jams up. She seems to have resigned herself to these symptoms, and we are trying to alter her diet with fluid supplements as she has lost a lot of weight over the last year. We are keeping our fingers crossed that her health improves with these minor adjustments to the diet.

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Comment from: BMAC, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 29

I have had achalasia since I was 7 years old. I had an operation at age 11 to relax the muscles at the entrance to the diaphragm. I found I could then swallow if I forced the food past the constriction by swallowing wind. This can be quite painful, but it works. I am now 62 years of age, and I have had dilatations performed on a number of occasions with varying degrees of success. They only lessen the pain of swallowing; they don't cure it. The lower part of my esophagus collects the food like a second stomach, and then over a period of time, I can force the food into my stomach by swallowing wind and holding the wind under pressure while the food slowly passes through the diaphragm.

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Comment from: laura, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 26

I got achalasia after an infection in my esophagus. I had an endoscopy, and in two days I am going to have balloon dilatation, which hopefully will improve my state. I can't really afford surgery, and can't imagine life without food. I am worried if my condition does not improve.

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

I am going in for my surgery tomorrow. Apparently, I was misdiagnosed for several years. I was finally diagnosed when I aspirated into my left lung and developed pneumonia or something similar to that. I was released from the hospital a month ago. I am really looking forward to being able to eat without choking or vomiting. I am glad I found this site and am feeling better about going in.

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Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: February 19

I have had achalasia for over 25 years. I have had all the various courses of treatment dilatation, balloon dilatation, multiple endoscopies, Heller myotomy 8 years ago. The myotomy helped with the swallowing problems which was great. However, I have severe pain often, and have never been able to trace it to any particular types of foods. The pain mimics a heart attack, and at its worst causes immediate headache and nausea. What I would like is a way to deal with the pain. I can deal with the swallowing difficulty. I had a terrible case of stomach flu two months ago and the repeated vomiting caused such severe chest pain I ended up in the emergency room.

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Comment from: snelson, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: November 14

My esophagus is actually twisted inside, so when I try to drink water you can actually hear sound as if going down a funnel. I am on a liquid and soft food diet now. I was in denial for a while trying to pretend that everyone has pain when having a grape. The reality that I can control my chest pain with simple changes to my diet gave me back some control. I know that sounds weird, but I feel better.

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Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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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