Patient Comments: Achalasia - Causes

What was the cause of your achalasia?

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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Comment from: kingkong, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 19

I am not 100% sure what the cause of my achalasia was. I started having problems keeping food down when I was 21 I am 50 now. I think it was related to my stiffness in my neck which I attribute to a rear end car accident. But after being diagnosed as bulimic by one doctor I almost gave up hope. I was fortunate to find a doctor in NY who diagnosed me correctly. He dilated me and I have had great results for 25 years. The last 4 years I have regressed and I am in treatment with a new doctor. I am now considering surgery for longer term relief.

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Comment from: Kim, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 15

I was diagnosed with Achalasia when I was 27. I had been suffering for about 18 months before hand. However being treated for GERD. I had two dilations; the first one worked for about a month, the second one failed to help at all and was stretched to the largest width. I had manometry testing to confirm achalasia and then had a dor fundiplication with myotomy surgery. This worked very well. I have gone on to have 3 successful pregnancies. However my symptoms have never been gone entirely. I do worry about esophageal cancer, as it still takes me some time to get food into my stomach. I have to sleep quite propped up also. It was encouraging to read the post on the mother who was diagnosed in her 30's and now is in her 70's from memory. Fabulous news.

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Comment from: Vanessa, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: March 29

My achalasia came on quite suddenly at the age of 26 which is very young for the condition. I remember stopping at a Deli on the way home from an airport and being unable to swallow what I'd bought. From then on the problem was so consistent I went to the doctor quite early. I was almost 7 months before I was diagnosed. I have very persistent and severe trouble swallowing even liquid. I also have the problem of saliva backing up into my windpipe at night which is quite disturbing. I felt a lot during the process of tests for my diagnosis that I was being accused of having an eating disorder. If the doctors had known me beforehand they would've known how much I love food! But I pursued my case with the help of my family who were just as frustrated as I was. I am booked in to have the surgery for it. I can't wait to get my life back!

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Comment from: 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: March 23

It took 9 years to diagnose my achalasia. My first symptoms mimicked GERD. After having difficulty swallowing for 2 years I finally was diagnosed. I had botox injected into the muscle but that did not last. I finally had surgery and after 5 months I am mostly symptom free. Do not give up. It took a long time and many specialists but I am so much better!

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Comment from: DL48, 75 or over Female (Caregiver) Published: March 11

My mom is now 77 and will be 78 in July. She has achalasia since she was 36. It started in the afternoon when she was eating a hot dog she choked it up. She determined it was brought on by stress. Back then they had no answer to what she had and there was one other lady in Europe with the same symptoms (later to be Achalasia). My mom had dilations and botox that worked well. She refused a plastic esophagus because the other lady got one and only lasted 1 year before she died. My mom has sat by the restroom in restaurants for many years but she made it through. They gave her a pill for the pain in her chest which were called spasms.

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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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