Bhupinder Anand, MD
In this Article
- What is achalasia?
- How does the normal esophagus function?
- How is esophageal function abnormal in achalasia?
- What causes achalasia?
- What are the symptoms of achalasia?
- What are the complications of achalasia?
- How is achalasia diagnosed?
- How is achalasia treated?
- Achalasia At A Glance
- Find a local Gastroenterologist in your town
Achalasia At A Glance
- Achalasia is a rare disease of the muscle of the
lower esophageal body and the lower esophageal sphincter.
- The cause of achalasia is unknown; however, there is
degeneration of the esophageal muscles and, more importantly, the nerves that
control the muscles.
- Common symptoms of achalasia include difficulty
in swallowing, chest pain, and regurgitation of food and liquids.
- Complications of achalasia include lung problems and
loss of weight.
- Achalasia may increase the risk of cancer of the
esophagus, but this not well established.
- Achalasia can be diagnosed by X-ray, endoscopy, or
- Treatments for achalasia include oral medications, dilation or stretching of the esophagus, surgery, and injection of muscle-relaxing medicines (botulinum toxin) directly into the esophagus.
REFERENCE: eMedicine.com. Achalasia.
Previous contributing editor: Dennis Lee, MD
Last Editorial Review: 5/17/2010
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