Patient Comments: Achalasia - Causes

What was the cause of your achalasia?

Comment from: Joyce, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: May 03

In 1974, 8 months of being unable to eat, I was told it was in my mind, I had anorexia, bulimia, even Munchausen´┐Żsyndrome. Finally I was operated on; my esophagus was strangled. They removed the sphincter. I have had 42 years of continued pain because of achalasia. Now I am 88 and it is getting worse, I have vile pain in my back, and am going for another endoscopy. Almost hoping news will be bad as I simply cannot cope with this pain anymore. In 1984 the pain of it caused me to have a heart attack and then by-pass surgery. I am worried it could happen again and also could be cancer. Funny no one seems to understand what achalasia is; they say that is just reflux. I go to bed hoping I do not wake up again.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: Dawn, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: November 02

When my daughter was 11 months old she was very sick. I went to the doctors 3 times within 2 days, before they sent me to the hospital. When I arrived there they initially told me she had croup and dehydrated. She was in an oxygen tent, and after a couple of days the doctor told me that she was seriously ill. He said she had strep in the blood system and had to have IV antibiotics. My grand-daughter who is 2 years seems to have the same and has been to the doctors 3 times and went to the hospital as she was having trouble breathing and unable to keep her temperature down. They told my daughter that it is croup and gave her oxygen and antibiotics and watched her for a couple of hours before sending her home. My daughter did mention to the doctors what happened to her but nothing was done about it. No blood or urine was taken. I have tried to read up on it and only can find it happens to newborns or up to 3 months.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: attaboy, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: September 02

I was 23 when I first discovered I had achalasia. I don't remember any symptoms before it happened, though I'm sure there were some. I was out in the field, trying to eat a sandwich one day and it just wouldn't go down. I tried water, and it wouldn't either. After 2 days of not eating or drinking I went to the hospital. They performed a stretch on my esophagus and it lasted 2 or 3 days. I went back about a month later and had the same results. Finally I had a laparoscopic Heller myotomy on my 24th birthday. Between the time of my first symptoms and surgery I lost almost 50 lb. I dropped from 170 to almost 120. That's been almost 12 years now. I can eat about anything I wish, but I have to have lots of water to wash it down. I also take Prilosec almost every day to help deal with occasional heartburn. I avoid some foods that I know will set it off, but I can sometimes sneeze or cough too hard and get heartburn as well.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: diane, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: November 25

I first experienced the difficulty in swallowing about two years ago. It happens infrequently but is of concern. I suspect the achalasia is related to some medications I take, specifically niacin. I wonder if anyone else has experienced a relationship with achalasia and medications. When I stop taking medications for a while, it doesn't seem to happen. It seems related to eating meat and usually occurs at dinner time.

Was this comment helpful?Yes
Comment from: zaini, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: November 18

Two years back I had a procedure to enlarge my esophagus using surgical balloons. So far my eating and swallowing is fine. After much searching for the cause, I think is possible because of my late night eating habit. Usually l eat and sleep soon after. My thinking is that after eating and sleep, the food is not digested and still has not flown into the lower stomach, thus when we lie down the food tends to flow back to our mouth. The natural tendency of the esophagus muscle is to close and prevent the outflow. As the habit before sleep food continues over the years, our esophagus muscle tends to get overworked and undergoes stress, thus cannot relax properly when eating, to allow food to go through. Some cultures have a saying not to eat before sleep.

Was this comment helpful?Yes

Patient Comments

Viewers share their comments

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?

Patient Comments are not a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Never delay or disregard seeking professional medical advice from your physician or other qualified health provider because of something you have read on MedicineNet. The opinions expressed in the comments section are of the author and the author alone. MedicineNet does not endorse any specific product, service or treatment.

Alert If you think you have a medical emergency, call your doctor or 911 immediately.

Report Problems to the Food and Drug Administration

You are encouraged to report negative side effects of prescription drugs to the FDA. Visit the FDA MedWatch website or call 1-800-FDA-1088.

Health Solutions From Our Sponsors