Also known as a swallowing disorder, achalasia makes it difficult for food and liquid to pass into your stomach and being a very rare disorder it affects 1 out of 100,000 people. This involves difficulty in the ability to squeeze food down, and the muscular valve between the oesophagus and stomach (lower oesophagal sphincter) does not relax fully thus, making it difficult for food to pass into your stomach. Being a motility disorder of the oesophagus, it occurs when nerves in the oesophagus become damaged. However, according to the research, there is no cure of the disorder yet but symptoms can usually be managed with minimally invasive therapy or surgery.
What causes achalasia?
Causes of Achalasia can are very common like the people whose family members are currently suffering or have suffered are more prone to it. It can also be the result of an autoimmune condition in which your body’s immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells in your body. Also, the degeneration of nerves in your oesophagus often contributes to the advanced symptoms of achalasia.
When to see a doctor?
8 symptoms of achalasia;
- Severe pain or discomfort in eating
- Oesophageal muscle spasms
- Chest pain like heart attack
- Difficulty in swallowing and tightening of the jaws
- Weight Loss and tingling sensation in hands and feet
- Heart Burn
How is achalasia diagnosed?
The achalasia is often diagnosed after examining the patient’s history. Patients usually describe a progressive (worsening) of swallowing (dysphagia) for solid and liquid food over a period of many months to years and a regular occurring of chest pain, or loss of weight. However, it is often advised by the doctor to not delay in the diagnosis of achalasia and immediately should consult a doctor when experiencing such symptoms.
This can lead to worsening of the situation as it is believed that early treatment before marked dilation of the oesophagus can prevent oesophagal dilation and its complications.
The patient has to go through some physical examination and medical test in order to know whether he/she is suffering from the disorder or not.
- X-ray studies
What is the treatment of achalasia?
Achalasia can be treated by oral medications, stretching of the lower oesophagal sphincter i.e. dilation, surgery to cut the sphincter known as esophagostomy, and the injection of botulinum toxin (Botox) into the sphincter. These treatments help in reducing the pressure within the lower oesophagal sphincter to allow easier passage of food from the oesophagus into the stomach. So if you are planning to opt for the surgical procedure then can go for achalasia surgery in Greater Kailash, Delhi as the region offers some good options.
- Managing diet with Achalasia
Dietary alterations are often made by patients suffering from the disorder. This involves careful selection of food items that could pass more easily. Usually, the consumption of liquid foods pass easily, and patients sometimes drink more water with their meals. This may cause loss of weight then can have a liquid diet containing all nutrients and vitamins.
- Oral medications and achalasia
Oral medications that relax the lower oesophagal sphincter include groups of drugs called nitrates (isosorbidedinitrate (Isordil) and calcium) channel blockers (CCBs) ( nifedipine (Procardia) and verapamil (Calan)).
- Botulinum toxin and achalasia
Another way of treating achalasia is through endoscopic injection of botulinum toxin into the lower sphincter to weaken it. An injection is quick, nonsurgical procedure involving no hospitalization. Treatment with botulinum toxin is safe and very effective for the patient, but the effects on the sphincter often last only for months, and additional injections with botulinum toxin may be necessary.
Achalasia not to be taken casually is a serious disorder if not treated properly would lead to the worsening of the situation. So, here it becomes imperative to treat the disorder by the best achalasia treatment surgeon in Delhi as post-treatment involves proper care and diet.