Achalasia, often referred to as esophageal achalasia, is a disorder of the esophagus. The esophagus is a long tube that carries food from your mouth to the stomach. The lower esophageal sphincter (LES) fails to relax in achalasia. This happens because of the degeneration of inhibitory neurons within the esophageal wall.
Achalasia. . . .+
Achalasia is a rare disorder of the esophagus. It becomes difficult to swallow any type of solid or liquid food if a person has achalasia. It is observed that the nerves in the esophagus become damaged and the muscular valve between the esophagus and lower esophageal sphincter (LES) or the stomach is not relaxed.
New inventions in treating achalasia are considered as a boon. Achalasia can be well treated with Per-oral endoscopic myotomy which involves no cut or incision on the chest or abdomen. High-resolution manometry (HRM) is very helpful in the diagnosis of achalasia.
Achalasia and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) may show similar symptoms and therefore in many cases they are wrongly diagnosed and mistreated. GERD results in acidic reflux but sometimes reflux can occur in achalasia too.
Achalasia involves retention of food which can cause certain bacterial infections that result in chronic esophagitis which makes the epithelium more sensitive to carcinogens. This increases the chances of developing esophageal cancer. Read more in this article to understand the link between achalasia and cancer of the esophagus.
There is no cure for achalasia but treatments are available to manage the symptoms. The goal of these treatments is to reduce the difficulty in swallowing by opening the lower esophageal sphincter. Patients are treated on the basis of the types of achalasia they suffer with as different types of the disease may need different treatment.