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!

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