Patient Comments: Achalasia - Causes

What was the cause of your achalasia?

Comment from: Barb, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 16

I have had achalasia for 12 years. I have had several dilations and they did work for a while. I had the surgery in 2000. I still need the dilation every 6 months to a year. Two years ago I passed out and stopped breathing. My husband brought me back. Now I get the Botox and it seems to work much better than the dilation. Don't put off getting the dilation.

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Comment from: denise_656, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I am 42 and was diagnosed with achalasia over a year ago. Everything I would eat and drink would get stuck in my esophagus. At first I thought it was the way I was sitting when I ate or I didn't chew up whatever it was. After numerous tests my gastroenterologist suggested I see a thoracic surgeon to have a heller myotomy with nissen fundoplication. A year after the surgery I can now eat and drink at the same time and swallow. This surgery saved my life.

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Comment from: Celeste, 7-12 Female (Patient) Published: August 21

I have a nine year old son who has been diagnosed with achalasia after a barium swallow, chest CT, and endoscope. Now they want to do the mobility study and I really don't want him to go thru that. It's an awful test and he has to be awake to swallow with a scope in his nose. My entire family has achalasia. There are 6 of us. It is hereditary as i had a grandma and great grandma that suffered with it. We now have 3 generations living with it; my mom, aunt, cousin, cousin's daughter and me and my son. My son is the first boy with it and the only one who vomits from it. They are pushing for this mobility test because my son has thickening of the esophagus that they say is not associated with achalasia. He only vomits about 3-4 times a month.

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Comment from: bannanas, 45-54 Female Published: September 13

I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was 21. I had been having difficulty swallowing food and drinks. I was regurgitating after every meal. I lost a great deal of weight very quickly and started having dental problems caused by acid when regurgitating. I was given the balloon dilation treatment, which relieved the symptoms, but 30 years later, I still cannot eat without drinking a large amount of water to force the food down. I also have chest pains. I have found that if I eat a banana, this stops it. Therefore, I always make sure I have bananas handy.

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Comment from: eric m, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: November 21

I'm a 40 year old male diagnosed with achalasia. I've had 2 balloon treatments and it's helped. Every time I eat it's an adventure with lots of water. I have no insurance and can't afford the operation yet. I started having problems eating about three years ago. It's tough as you all know. I'm still trying to figure out what to eat. Ironically I'm a chef. I've gone from 270 lbs to 180 lbs but I feel ok. I think I need the operation. I'm scared and wish someone would help me. I'm a proud person and don't think of my own health much.

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Comment from: Craig C, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 16

I just had my second Esophagomyotomy last week for Achalasia. I am a 49 year old man and have had Achalasia since my middle 20s. I have had five balloon inflations in the past till they decided to operate. Had my first Esophagomyotomy 17 years ago and was single wrapped at the sphincter and in another two places. This time they double wrapped the sphincter so hopefully when heals everything will be ok and will never need a third operation. I was told I obtained Achalasia from being stressed out and stopped eating during the stressful periods. Funny enough the only thing that took the reflux pain away before the operations was eating bananas and forcing them down. Must have left some type of lining and stopped the reflux.

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Comment from: essy, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 22

I found I had this problem after not being able to swallow food for seven weeks. Doctors thought it was a bowel obstruction. I finally went to the U of W In Seattle where I had the diagnosis and subsequent surgery -- that was almost 5 years ago. I still have to eat in small portions and watch my diet. I hope that my experience can play a small part in helping others who may have this and don't realize it, maybe there will be more research in the future because we need to learn more and I think education and knowledge is the important part to finding out more.

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Patient Comments

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Achalasia - Describe Your Experience Question: Please describe your experience with 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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