Patient Comments: Achalasia - Causes

What was the cause of your achalasia?

Comment from: Joy, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I was diagnosed with Achalasia in when I was 18 years old. I had a Heller myotomy in 1982 which helped for a while, but I began having issues again in 1993 with chest pains and vomiting for days at a time. A wonderful gastrointestinal doctor found me in the ER at Sarasota Memorial Hospital in Sarasota, FL after I had been vomiting for five days. He saved my life. My stomach was pulled up and attached to the very top of my esophagus. This surgery saved my life. 11 years later I am still doing great. I occasionally have an endoscopy with a dilatation, but after what I went through for so many years, that is a piece of cake!

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Comment from: littlespanish13, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: March 08

I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was 19 but the symptoms started to occur when I was 18. Food would get stuck every meal and eventually it became difficult to drink water. I lost about 30lbs and kept blacking out because I was unable to keep any foods or liquids in my system. I also had severe chest pains along with heart burn and had difficulty breathing so I decided to have surgery and everything has been great so far. Occasionally food will get stuck when I'm stressed out or overwhelmed in a loud environment but overall I have been able to maintain a healthy diet since my surgery.

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Comment from: BikerbabeDi, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 26

I started having trouble swallowing and very bad heartburn when I was 25. The doctor said it was achalasia. I wanted the surgery so later I did not have to have the balloon dilation. I have done great but still get heartburn. I control with meds and aloe vera drink. I am now 64 and for the last few months have had a hard time swallowing. I have had regular testing done with the scope then my doctor retired in 2007. At this time I have no insurance so have not had a test, does this sound normal to have issues in swallowing now after all these years.

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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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