Achalasia - Symptoms

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What are the symptoms of achalasia?

The symptoms of achalasia include:

  • Difficulty swallowing food
  • Difficulty swallowing both solid and liquid food
  • Regurgitation of food that is retained in the esophagus. If this happens at night, food may be aspirated into the lungs, a serious medical problem
  • Chest discomfort from esophageal dilation and/or retained food
  • Sharp chest pain usually of unclear cause
  • Heartburn; however, the heartburn is not characteristic of heartburn and is not helped by treatment for heartburn
  • Loss of weight due to reduced intake of food
Return to Achalasia

See what others are saying

Comment from: Jojo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: November 03

I have only got diagnosed yesterday with achalasia so haven't quite got my head round it. Two or three times a week I wake after acid has gone down my windpipe. The burn is horrendous but what scares me the most is the worry I will choke to death. I can't eat at all and even liquid feels like a brick in my stomach. I had barium meal x-ray on Wednesday and have just been referred to a gastroenterologist. I am not sure what first treatment will be. Doctor said my gullet hardly contracted at all and was one of the worst he has seen, which has scared me.

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Comment from: joan, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: December 01

For years I was diagnosed with acid reflux but everything I ate came back up tasting the same as it did going down, and I could only eat a little at a time. I would get horrific pains in my chest. I finally figured out that the pain was in my chest. It was from gas building up in my stomach and not being able to be expelled through my esophagus. I found out that instead of acid reflux I had achalasia. They had me do a barium swallow and the barium went down to about my breast bone and no further. I also have trouble with constipation, which aggregates the chest pains. I have been prescribed omeprazole. I had an operation where they made 5 inch long incisions around my belly button and did something to my stomach. That was about 8 years ago.

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