What is achalasia?
Achalasia, the term refers to the medical disorder of esophagus (tube which passes on the food from your mouth to the stomach). Achalsia is characterized by
- The lack of usual oesophageal peristalsis- the contracting movements that push the food down the stomach.
- Failure relaxation of the lower oesophageal sphincter. Hence precluding the food from entering into the patient’s stomach.
All in all, achalasia tends to affects your esophagus’s ability to move the swallowed food towards your stomach.
What causes achalasia?
Generally, the lower esophagus sphincter-the muscular ring which is positioned at a point where your esophagus and stomach meets together tends to relaxes while swallowing. However individuals suffering from the conditions, such muscular ring actually does not tend to relax. Furthermore, the usual esophagus muscle activity (peristalsis) is decreased. Basically, the possible cause of such problems is the damage of the esophagus nerves.
In addition to this, abnormal immune system, heredity and infection are also the causations invoked that tend to cause your body to actually damage the esophagus itself, as per the theories.
Who is more likely to develop achalasia?
The rare disorder achalasia can occur in individual regardless of his/her age; however it is more common in older adults or middle-aged individuals. In few people, the disorder can also be inherited. Individuals with autoimmune disorders, are at a greater risk to develop achalasia.
What are the noticeable symptoms of achlasia?
The symptoms of achalasia are normally noticeable and therefore include regurgitation (backflow) of food, heartburn, cough, considerable weight loss, difficulty while swallowing solids and liquids (dysphagia), chest pain that tends to increase right after eating (it can also be felt in the arms, neck and back).
How can achalsia be prevented?
Sadly, most of the achalasia causes are unpreventable. Though, treatments may greatly help to avoid complications in the future.
What are the possible complications?
- Regurgitation (backflow) of food or acid from your stomach into your esophagus (reflux).
- Perforation (tearing) of esophagus.
- Aspiration pneumonia and weight loss.
High time to see a doctor:
You need to consult a health care provider incase:
- You are experiencing painful swallowing or difficulty swallowing.
- Chest pain or excessive weight loss.
How is achalasia diagnosed?
In order to diagnose the disorder, the doctor may advice esophageal manometry. The procedure involves a tube which is placed in the patient’s esophagus while he swallows. Muscle activity is recorded by the tube in order to assure that everything is accurately working.
X-ray of the esophagus can also be conducted in order to diagnose achalasia. The procedure of endoscopy is also useful to diagnose achalasia which involves a tiny camera that is place into your esophagus in order to seek problems.
What are the treatments of achalasia?
- The purpose of the treatment of achalasia is to lessen the pressure at your lower your lower esophageal sphincter. Thus, the therapy tends to involve:
Botox- can help relax sphincter muscles (however may take weeks or even months).
- Medications which may include calcium channel blockers or long-acting nitrates.
- Dilation of esophagus.
- Surgery known as esophagomyotomy that can be needed in order to reduce pressure in your lower sphincter.
One must always consult his doctor regarding the suitable treatment in his case!
By : Natural Health News