Achalasia is a rare disease of the muscle of the lower part of the food pipe or esophagus and the lower esophageal sphincter. The muscles and the sphincter is unable to relax which interferes with the contractions or peristalsis of the esophagus. The exact cause of achalasia is unknown; but there is degeneration of the esophageal muscles and, the nerves that control the muscles. The annual incidence of achalasia is only 1.6 cases per 100,000 individuals
The disease progression is very slow in achlasia. The most frequent symptoms are difficulty swallowing with solids and liquids and regurgitation of bland undigested food or saliva . You might also experience retrosternal burning discomfort similar to heartburn , or may have hiccups .
Special X ray with Barium called Barium esophagram will help to assess esophageal emptying and Esophageal gastric Junction morphology . Upper GI endoscopy is highly recommended on patients suspected to have achalasia to exclude cancer at the Esophageal gastric junction , which can mimic achalasia.
If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms frequently you might need to be evaluated by a gastroenterologist.
Do you need treatment for acid reflux? Call Gastroenterology Institute of Orlando, FL at 407-201-3686 to learn more about treatment!