Patient Comments: Achalasia - Describe Your Experience

Please describe your experience with achalasia.

Comment from: Ollie72, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: October 09

I began experiencing achalasia symptoms in late 2012, first with breads and grains, so I attributed my symptoms to celiac disease or some new found food allergy. I sought medical attention through my primary care physician, and was only prescribed PPIs (proton pump inhibitors). This did little to help my overall condition. Over the course of the next 6 to 12 months I began to experience regurgitation and a complete inability to take in liquids, and I subsequently dropped 75 pounds. I again sought medical attention and was finally referred to a gastrointestinal (GI) specialist. By that time I had already self-diagnosed myself with achalasia, the GI specialist disagreed and subsequently preformed two EGDs but with no diagnosis or treatment plan. I then moved to another clinic, they listened to me and I finally got the testing I need, EGD, manometry, and then an esophogram. I am now scheduled for a Heller myotomy with partial fundoplication in a week. I urge anyone who begins experiencing these symptoms to seek a GI consult immediately, over the last 5 years my esophagus has stretched out immensely, I now risk an esophagectomy if the myotomy doesn't work. Don't go this route, be proactive and persistent.

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Comment from: Nanny, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: July 13

I had the Heller procedure in 2006 for my achalasia. The surgery was successful in as much as I am now able to eat normally. I just still take care to avoid dry foods such as popcorn, and dehydrated fruits. Water must accompany all my meals. It took eight months of gagging up undigested food, also debilitating chest pain before I received a correct diagnosis. I'm thankful to an excellent surgeon who performed the surgery and gave me back a normal life.

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Comment from: Toma, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: June 06

I was diagnosed with achalasia at an early age. Unable to keep anything solid down for years, it was finally diagnosed. I went to the children's hospital where they performed the balloon in an attempt to stretch my esophagus to correct the problem. This procedure did not work. My parents found doctors who were familiar with this condition and they did surgery to cut the muscle. The surgery did work and I have not have had any problems since. The only thing is I must just chew my food real good and always have something to drink while eating. I did wind up getting GERD but that is a small issue compared to not being able to eat. It has been about 38 years since my surgery and all has been good. The achalasia did not come back and I do not foresee it coming back. I highly recommend anyone to get this surgery if any of the options do not work for them.

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Comment from: JP, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 23

I have had achalasia for the past 20 years, I have had several barium meals, balloon dilations manometry tests and also had a myotomy. I have my second feeding tube back as the myotomy did not work. For the past 3 months I have struggled badly to keep food down and have it constantly sticking as soon as I swallow. I am going back to see my consultant in June to see if there is anything new I can try. It is very upsetting.

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Comment from: DrLarry098, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

I have just been diagnosed with this awful disorder achalasia. It has been a nightmare experience, not being able to keep anything of a solid nature down and regurgitating solids all the time, especially at dinner time. My extensive surgery esophagomyotomy is scheduled in two weeks. The surgeon told me to expect 2 months for recovery, needless to say, I'm not looking forward to the surgery. I hope it helps, although the surgery will not cure my problem. It will be with me for life.

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Comment from: dmurrell61, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: April 25

I have read the experiences posted by others here and they fairly well mirror my own. Diagnosed with achalasia in December 2014, I could barely pass solids or liquids into my stomach (although whiskey went down fairly easily). I was treated at the hospital. The first treatment was a Botox injection into the esophageal sphincter. This resulted in immediate relief. I was able to eat a decent meal that very evening. This was only a temporary measure though, as it only lasted a few months. In December of 2015 I had a balloon dilation procedure which also was effective; this time for several months. After about 9 months though, symptoms began to return. Two weeks ago (April 7, 2017) I had a new procedure performed called POEM or peroral endoscopic myotomy. As I heal I can feel myself swallowing much better and with much greater ease. I am prone to gastric reflux now however, but it is easily controlled with proton pump inhibitors such as omeprazole.

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Achalasia - Causes Question: What was the cause of your 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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