Filter Glossary


  • Overview


    Achalasia is a rare condition that causes difficulty passing food and liquid from the esophagus, the tube connecting the mouth and stomach, into the stomach.

    This condition occurs when the nerves in the esophagus become damaged, resulting in paralysis and dilation of the esophagus over time. As a result, it loses its ability to squeeze food into the stomach, accumulating food in the esophagus. This can sometimes ferment and flow back into the mouth, giving a bitter taste. Some people may mistake this for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), but the key difference is that the material in achalasia comes from the esophagus, not the stomach.

    Unfortunately, there is no cure for achalasia, as the esophagus muscles cannot function again once they are paralysed. However, symptoms can be managed through endoscopy, minimally invasive therapy, or surgery.

  • Symptoms


    The symptoms of Achalasia usually develop slowly and become more severe as time goes on. Signs and indications may consist of:
    Inability to swallow (dysphagia). Sometimes, you feel like food or drink is stuck in your throat.
    Regurgitating food or saliva
    Chest pain that comes and goes
    Coughing at night
    Pneumonia (from aspiration of food into the lungs)
    Weight loss

  • When to see a doctor

  • Causes


    The root cause of achalasia is yet to be understood. It is believed that a loss of nerve cells in the esophagus may be responsible. Viral infections and autoimmune responses are among them.

  • Risk factors



  • Prevention



  • *Please note that the information provided in the article is for reference purposes only. It is essential to consult a doctor before applying any of the suggestions mentioned.

Content Details

Medical info from Mayo Clinic, for reference only. Visit Hoan My for better advice.

Last updated on: 07/08/2023