Patient Comments: Achalasia - Causes

What was the cause of your achalasia?

Published: March 01

I am a 62 year old woman and have had achalasia since I was 11. Had surgery at 13 to clip the sphincter muscle to allow food to pass into my stomach. I had lost 40 pounds prior to the surgery. I now take Prevacid daily to help control acid reflux. But I still get pain attacks with strong pain in the soft spot just below the breast bone. This pain sometimes radiates to my back and to my lower molars. Chewing gum and using a hot water bottle slowly bring relief.

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Comment from: Becky, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 01

I was officially diagnosed about 10 years ago after years of problems. Before being diagnosed I had a scope done and was on tons of different medications which worked inconsistently. My illness became so bad that I was on a liquid diet for about 6 weeks before having balloon dilation done for the first time. Within that year, my symptoms were back again and I was unable to eat or drink anything for a week. Again I had balloon dilation. It has now been 10 years and I have had issues on and off. I am always aware of my illness and never know when it will surface. I have now been having difficulty swallowing any solids for about a week now, waiting to see a specialist but unsure what they will do for me as I am currently pregnant. I am hoping that this will clear up so I can move on.

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Comment from: ballybrown, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 09

I started having difficulty swallowing food and water about 4 months ago. My primary care doc diagnosed it as Achalasia and referred me to a gastroenterologist. The onset of my problems came on very suddenly. I was involved in a rear end auto accident that caused me to have a very stiff neck for which I had physical therapy and traction. My Achalasia started around the same time. I have lost 18 lbs. and 5 days out of 7 I struggle to get and keep anything down - even water. I suffer with nausea also. My grandson was in the vehicle with me when we were hit from behind and he suffered a broken rib from the seat belt. Is it possible that Achalasia was brought on by the accident? I had no problems before the accident. I have taken 3 different tests but no treatment.

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Comment from: janice, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 16

I was about 27 years when I was told I have achalasia. Doctor told me it was from stress and I should leave me husband before it kills me. I have been stretched twice, the 2nd time I ended up in the hospital for 10 days because I could not swallow water. Every meal is painful; I cannot drink with my meals because I will immediately lose all of food. I feel stupid when eating with other people because my eyes start watering and my food will hang the pain is really bad and I have to leave the table and lose me food. I am now 56 years old and it when I lose my food it makes me exhausted. I am glad some people can relate to this problem because I know of no one else but me with this problem.

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Comment from: Louise, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: August 29

I believe my achalasia started from not eating for 3 days. When I went to eat after the third day my food got stuck in my esophagus and I couldn't push it down. I'm 48 years old and have had achalasia for 12 years now. Still in a lot of chest pain, regurgitation, migraines, nausea, depression, ear aches, and dry mouth.

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Comment from: rwhartmann, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: March 25

At age 67 mine started the day of having foot surgery. Sudden onset with few minutes of sharp pain and then continued problems of regurgitation of mostly solid and some semisolid or liquid foods. Never have had pain, but haven't been able to eat for almost two years. Solids stay in esophagus for days, liquids seem to gradually seep into stomach. Try to live on liquids, ice cream which usually stays down with rare regurgitation. Have just started evaluations and treatments. I am curious if others have had surgery or anesthesia related to sudden onset with no previous problems.

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Comment from: Achalasia226, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: February 08

I had no idea what was going on with me. It started with me choking on a food I had eaten earlier in the day. I brushed it off. About a year later I started having issues when would awake out of sleep choking every night. Then I started having issues swallowing food and then still choking then it came to be that I would then start regurgitating foods/liquids by this time my doctor had me go to gastroenterologist who had me take the usual testing barium swallow, esophageal myotomy and endoscopy. All tests confirmed the same thing I had Achalasia. I am currently scheduled for surgery in March 2011 and I hope this will be the end of the pain and regurgitation. I have lost weight which is good but not the way it was lost. I am happy to have found this site and see that I am not the only one dealing with this. I am scared but know that I will be in good (God's) hands.

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