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: molly, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 13

I was diagnosed with vigorous achalasia when I was 27. I had the Heller's myotomy but after 20 years it was like I never had it! Even when I had it I got spasms like knives stabbing me for no reason. I have to have water and saltines 24/7, that is the only thing to stop it. Anyway, I am back to square one again. I became overweight after the surgery. If anyone ever knew what we go through! People act like it's nothing, I would not wish this on my worst enemy! I tried Botox, it worked the opposite and I already had the pneumatic dilatations.

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Comment from: Linda, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: August 02

My first symptom was while eating white rice. I could not get it to go down, and I had terrible pain in the middle of my chest. I went to the restroom and leaned over, and the rice came out and the pain got easier but was still there. It got to the point after about a year that even water would not go down. I lost about 40 pounds. I had some tests done and was told I had achalasia after an upper GI. I then had mobility testing done over 10 times. At that point, I was sent to a surgeon and had the surgery to cut the muscle and make a new opening into the stomach. It has helped me over the years, but I've had to have stretching done about once a year to loosen scar tissue that has formed. Also my stomach does not empty properly and takes longer. Recently, my daughter was diagnosed with achalasia and is waiting to have the same surgery as I did. I did not know that I could pass this onto my children, but I do now!

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