Patient Comments: Achalasia - Causes

What was the cause of your achalasia?

Comment from: Determined, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: January 19

My achalasia symptoms started when I was 39 years old. I think it was brought on by stress. I lost 28 pounds in five to six weeks and ended up not being able to swallow my own saliva. I went to the hospital. Before being admitted, I had all the tests they normally do to diagnose achalasia. They did Botox and a month later, I had the dilation. It has been seven years and I still have the chest pains occasionally and I treat myself with Betaine – a digestive enzyme derived from beets. I notice problems when the atmospheric pressure changes with the weather. I take my natural supplement three to four times a week for a preventative. It helps my food to digest faster and there are no side effects like prescription medications.

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Comment from: Joy fr Phils., 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: February 26

I was diagnosed with achalasia when I was 31 years old. I vomited more than 50 times daily and weight loss was significant. When I couldn't even take liquid I decided to undergo surgery (laparoscopic) at age 32. Unfortunately it was a failure after a month; while still in recovery stage nothing changed. I was very disappointed with the result. I suffered another 3 years then I finally decide to undergo balloon dilation. It took 3 consecutive dilations before I got a good result.

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Comment from: Leanne, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 18

I am a 36 year old female. I have for 9 years lived with pain, choking, and vomiting. For years I lived in denial. After 4 years I finally started going to a GI doctor. They did all the tests and told me at the end they didn't know what was wrong with me and to order some medicine from Canada. Recently I started going to different doctors and had the barium test. They diagnosed me with Achalasia. Finally someone can tell me what is wrong with me. I have lived with hiding when I eat, not going out to eat, have extra cups, or bottles in my purse. I have been embarrassed and finally there is a light for me. I actually cried reading others are like me and I am not alone.

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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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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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