Discussions By Condition: Gastrointestinal conditions

Achalasia(possible help thread)

Posted In: Gastrointestinal conditions 18 Replies
  • Posted By: Anonymous
  • February 4, 2007
  • 08:43 AM

Hey guys, my name is Ryan and I'm 19 years old. Last July I was diagnosed with having Achalasia. It's a rare disease where the muscles in your esophogus don't work correctly and your LES(lower esophogeal sphincter) tightens and possibly closes. I first started getting symptoms when I was 17, although I didn't know what was going on. When I ate, it felt like food would get stuck in my throat and I would have severe chest pain. It got worse and worse as time went by and eventually I couldn't eat at all. When I tried to eat, food would literally get stuck in my esophogus and would not pass to my stomach because my LES was so tight. I finally let my mom know what was going on with me and we obviously went to the doctor. After explaining to the DR what I was going through, he ordered me a Berrium test. You drink this stuff called Berrium while a doctor films it going down your esophogus, so they can see if there is any problem. They found that my LES was only open 5 mm, which you all know is a very small opening. I then went to a gastro specialist to try to find out what was causing this.

The next step was for my specialist to give me an endoscopy. He put this tube with a camera on it down my mouth, through my esophogus and pushed his way into my stomach. When I woke, he told me that my LES was very tiny and it instantly tightened back up after he pulled the camera out. My next test was a Mynomotry. During a mynomotry, a small pressure sensitive tube is inserted through the nose, through the esophogus and into the stomach. I lay there, taking tiny sips of water in intervals while the specialist slowly removed the tube cm by cm while watching the readings. The mobility of my esophogus was terrible and the results of the mynomotry told the doctors that I had Achalasia.

Now I was to go meet an Upper GI surgeon at IU Medical Center. He performed the same the endoscopy and the mynomotry again, so he knew what exactly was going on. I sat and talked with him and he told me that there were a few options I had about how to take care of my problem. Treatments of this disease are stretching of the esophogus with balloons or a major surgery called a Heller Myotomy. My surgeon told me that the balloon stretch wasnt going to work for me since my LES was only 5mm in diameter, so I was left with no other option but to go through with the surgery.

In August of '06 I went under the knife at IU Medical Center. The Heller Myotomy is a chest procedure, where the LES of my esophogus was cut on one side to open it up some and allow food to pass. The lung has to be collapsed for the surger. I woke up with a chest tube in my lung and barely able to breathe. I sat in the hospital for 6 days before I was released. Recovery for me was a couple months, but I'm young. Everything was going good again, I was able to eat normal after nearly 2 years of eating and regurgitating my food. I don't refer to it as vomitting because the food never made it to my stomach. All was well for awhile, but about 2 1/2 to 3 months after I just had the Heller Myotomy, I felt my problems coming back again. Again I was unable to eat properly and was regurgitating my food and drink. I went back to my surgeon at IU and he performed yet another endoscopy. He found that indeed my LES was tight again. He said that it probably tightened back up due to excessive scar tissue from the surgery. Now I was left with 2 options.

1. Try to live with it.
2. Re-do the Heller Myotomy and possibly remove the lower 1/3 of my esophogus.

Of course I was going to do the surgery again, because without it I wouldn't be eating. So on November 6, 2006 I yet again went under the knife. Before the surgery I told my doctor to do what he thought best(cut the other side of the esophogus or remove the lower 1/3) because I trusted him. After waking up from the surgery, I was again in severe pain(mostly in the lung). This time I had the chest tube again, and another tube going through my nose to stomach, sucking out all the stomach contents. I was released 4 days later.

Since that 2nd surgery I've been completely fine with eating and drinking. My only problems now are extreme acid reflux from having a cut open LES that constantly stays open. I have a footlong scar extending from under my shoulderblade to the front/side of my ribs, along with 4 other tiny scars and one where the chest tube was at. I hate the fact that I just turned 19 two months ago and I'm going to have to deal with this disease and possible repracussions for the rest of my life, but thats how it goes I guess.

If anyone has any questions about Achalasia or anything in my post, go ahead and ask away. I'd like to help other people get through the ***t because I never had anyone to relate to about it.

P.S. Sorry the post was so long.

Reply Flag this Discussion

18 Replies:

  • Hello there Ryan. My name is Jen and I am 27 and we have the same problem. Sort of. Mine started 3 years ago when I was 24. And I still haven't had any resolution. I have the same symptoms (dysphagia, severe chest pain, regurgitating and not vomiting ) But my doctors are not convinced I have Achalasia. I have had all the same tests but my Manometry test came back inconclusive. And when I had my endoscopy my doctor stretched the LES but I still have a choking feeling when I swallow. The food does not "back up" anymore so I don't regurgitate as much, but it is hard to move the food past the first swallow. It sticks right at my windpipe so I can't breathe when it is stuck. I have to chug water to move it past but even then it doesn't always work and I regurgitate the food. It is very embarassing when I choke but my friends and family know what is going on now when I make a dash for the bathroom. But out in public is another story. I think maybe I have Achalasia and possibly another upper esophagus problem. Do you know of any? I have an appointment with a new doctor coming up and he is the Cheif of GI at UCSF so hopefully he will shed some light on the situation. On another note. I almost had the same surgery. But the surgeon didn't want to do it because he didn't feel I was correctly diagnosed. Hope all is going good for you. Take care. Jen
    kerrazygirl 3 Replies
    • February 24, 2007
    • 07:11 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi! Ive had acalasia for 12 years since i was 19. Ive had 2 fairly successful balloon dilatations but still suffer from intensely painful chest attacks. I dont take medication, get a little acid reflux from time to time but cannot eat without the help of water to help push my food down. Ive become accustomed to it and compared to other peoples problems and pain, i feel extremely lucky. What i want to know, if you have any info, is what exactly are the painful chest attacks i get? They can come on any time but mainly during the mornings. I can expect an attack if ive eaten late or been drinking alcohol but sometimes for no apparent reason. Ive tried different remedies such as drinking iced water, eating something bland like a sponge cake, meditation!! but always end up taking the strongest painkillers i have! But then have to wait while the drugs kick in. Attacks can last up to 2 hours. What exactly are they ?? What causes them ??? Can you prevent them? and how do you stop them quick !! Hope your feeling good today!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 18, 2007
    • 09:51 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • My doctor said the attacks are spasms of the esophagus caused, usually by acid. Try a few Tums next time and see if that helps. Mine have never lasted longer then a few horrible minutes and I grab Tums and room temperature water and sip until it stops. (I can't drink cold water because it closes my throat.) Good luck. Hope this helps.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 19, 2007
    • 08:05 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Thankyou so much! I just hope i can purchase tums here in Spain :)
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 20, 2007
    • 05:51 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Hi all.Did you know that there is a support website?It's http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/achalasia/ I suffer horrific pain worse than childbirth every single time I eat, drink or swallow saliva. All I found to ease my pain was a combination of Morphine and Medazalam. But the Medaz you can only have in hospital. I am on no pain medication anymore after an implant for pain control. I cant tell you much about it until my Professor finish's and makes public to the Medical establishment his victory over my pain and just how well it worked. To get off of 300mg of Morphine a day (deadly doses) and all the extras is amazing. And now I take nothing!It is caused be oesphageal spasm. My LES dosn't open at all and I have no acid reflux. Mine is caused by just the pressure of stuff trying to move along but can't.I have also lost my gag reflex. Nothing enters my stomach automatically so I manually move it in. I can not vomit at all. And now my stomach is failing to digest. Wonderful.I have had 40 balloon dilitations which I am assured is a World record, in 6 years.I have had Botox 3 times.2 PEG tubes, which allow me to bypass my oesphagus when my weight is an issue again. I have lost a total of 55kg's.I have had difficulty swallowing and inco-ordination for just over 6.5 years. I do not have the true form of Achalasia so they don't really know how to treat me. I got mine from an opps in anti-reflux surgery. Twice! So it's nerve damage.:eek: So I can not be fixed apart from removing my oesphagus altogether.Wendy
    redrecks 2 Replies
    • September 24, 2007
    • 01:56 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • What happened to my other post?
    redrecks 2 Replies
    • September 24, 2007
    • 02:24 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • ..I'm quite teary-eyed now.. I felt like I have that sickness.. man.. I'm too young.. .. we're part of the so called less-fortunate, we don't have enough money to send me to the hospital.. even for everyday food.. I had every single one of the symptoms.. every single one.. My dad is already dead.. and my mom is retired.. she was once INTEL employee..I don't want you to have pity on me.. I would just like to ask if is there any self-medication out there? I know it's achalasia.. I felt like it is.. I have had 4 x-rays.. and that's the diagnostic of the doctors checking my x-ray.. though I still hadn't tried out the other tests.. I know it is achalasia.. Man.. man o man.. I'm depressed right now after knowing all your stories.. by the way.. I'm 19 years old from the Philippines.. I'm a male.. my full name is John Darwin Y. Perillo.. and I don't know what to do.. yes.. it's kinda sad that no one else can relate to this.. but yes.. out here, on this site.. I felt like you know.. butterflies.. but still, It's kinda worrying.. I'm sad.. yes, oh so sad..One problem with me is that I'm very secretive.. I didn't tell about this to my mom.. not even to my closest friends.. it's hard to cope with.. very hard.. anyway.. we don't have money to do the tests.. actually, I was the one who payed for those x-rays.. (Last 3 weeks ago, though I have had this illness for about 6years now, And I'm just enduring it.. how long will I be enduring? I am thinking maybe, I would just get the proper tests and medications after having to earn for myself... and that's that.. )First, I thought I just had lung illness so I earn about 8dollars(350 pesos) to have a CHEST PA x-ray.. then it says, I should take additional x-rays.. like Apicolordotic(about 12dollars - 495pesos) and so on.. after that, It was just then that cleared my mind.. i have it.. Achalasia.. it's the diagnosis of the radiology.. and so.. i researched about it.. and i ended up here.. The doctor who is attending to my case is just a university doctor.. i take pity to myself.. man.. I'm very sad.. I hope you guys will take notice of this entry.. i would like you to reach me through YM's and through my E-mail.. it's d_dark2065@yahoo.com ...please do reach me.. I would just like to make little inquiries.. please reply to this.. please do.. I'm not asking for your money anyone.. I'm just asking for your help.. and you know, little support.. I love you guys.. we can make it..
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 22, 2007
    • 11:12 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • It is strange to see so many young people with this affliction. It is traditionally a condition that affects us when we get older.I am 63 and was diagnosed with achalasia in late 2003. I was moving to France after the first of the year and did not have time for the Heller Myotomy, so my doctor administered a botox injection to the sphincter and told me that it was good for 6 - 9 months, tops. I am just now having to deal with the problem again... almost 4 years after the botox shot. The symptoms resumed about 9 months ago.I was involved in the nutritional supplement industry for many years before my retirement. Naturally I began looking at objective causal factors and alternative, natural cures. I didn't have much luck, other than theories, until recently.Achalasia is a neurological problem. Having spent the 20 years previous to the onset of symptoms living in coastal Orange County, California, in a soup of electronic RF and electromagnetic radiation from massive military radar installations, cell phone towers on almost every block and microwave communication towers on every bit of high ground, I naturally assumed that this was partially responsible... and still consider electromagnetic radiation a distinct causal possibility, or at least an aggravating factor. After moving to the rural French countryside I certainly did not have symptoms return as quickly as the doctor claimed. But then, they began blanketing France with the cell phone towers and, Voila!, here came the symptoms again.Two months ago, an associate in the states, and alternative health products executive, informed me of his recent favorable self experiments with a Korean detox product called Chi Foot Pads. These pads are attached to the bottoms of the feet before bed each night. In the morning you remove them and throw them away. The white pads are nearly black with the toxic metals that they have removed, through the soles of the feet, during the night. I was naturally skeptical, but accepted my friend's offer to send me some for a trial. They arrived a little over a week ago.On the 19th of December I went into the hospital for the entire usual 'oscopies and 'onomys preliminary to the Heller Myotomy procedure. I am slated for another round on the 4th of January (today is 12-27-07).Here is where it gets interesting. Five nights ago I began applying the patches before bedtime. Yesterday I noted that the night before I did not wake up choking on and throwing up that foamy mucus any time during the night. Last night was the same - and today I ate an entire crunchy crust pizza without any esophageal blockage or regurg. I was so amazed that I ate an orange. Citrus always caused problems, but today... nothing.I started thinking that if achalasia is a neurological problem (meaning that it is essentially electrical), accumulations of heavy metals in the body could conceivably short out the body's neurological (electrical) circuitry causing any number of problems that medical science has no clue about.I would never profess to claim that these pads have cured me, but they have, after only 5 days, brought the achalasia into the realm of being able to live with it without surgery... and to be able to eat normally again. I will continue to use these, as I have a 30 day supply and the manufacturer claims that a 30 day detox once a year should keep you clean and healthy. If the next 5 nights continue as progressively as the last 5 nights, I think I may have stumbled onto the actual cause of this affliction, as well as the cure.I remain guardedly hopeful. The very last thing that I want is an allopathic doctor working on me with a knife. I will probably be canceling my hospital appointment next week if the improvement continues.Anyone who wants to learn more about this therapy can just google "Chi Foot Pads". These are not the only brand of this type of product available. Google "de-tox foot pads" for a whole array of heavy metal removing products.I am beginning to think that heavy metal toxicity is a very big part of the problem with achalasia. What used to take several decades to build up in our bodies is now condensed into a much shorter time frame due to our increasingly contaminated, air, food and water, so that younger and younger people are now presenting symptoms that used to be the ailment of us geezers.I hope this info helps someone. I think it may have just changed my life's immediate direction. The next 5 nights ought to tell the whole achalasia story… and heck, by the end of 30 days I may re-grow a full head of hair;-)Hope springs eternal, but if these products can knock out achalasia, I will be overjoyed.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • December 27, 2007
    • 10:40 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • It is strange to see so many young people with this affliction. It is traditionally a condition that affects us when we get older.I am 63 and was diagnosed with achalasia in late 2003. I was moving to France after the first of the year and did not have time for the Heller Myotomy, so my doctor administered a botox injection to the sphincter and told me that it was good for 6 - 9 months, tops. I am just now having to deal with the problem again... almost 4 years after the botox shot. The symptoms resumed about 9 months ago.I was involved in the nutritional supplement industry for many years before my retirement. Naturally I began looking at objective causal factors and alternative, natural cures. I didn't have much luck, other than theories, until recently.Achalasia is a neurological problem. Having spent the 20 years previous to the onset of symptoms living in coastal Orange County, California, in a soup of electronic RF and electromagnetic radiation from massive military radar installations, cell phone towers on almost every block and microwave communication towers on every bit of high ground, I naturally assumed that this was partially responsible... and still consider electromagnetic radiation a distinct causal possibility, or at least an aggravating factor. After moving to the rural French countryside I certainly did not have symptoms return as quickly as the doctor claimed. But then, they began blanketing France with the cell phone towers and, Voila!, here came the symptoms again.Two months ago, an associate in the states, and alternative health products executive, informed me of his recent favorable self experiments with a Korean detox product called Chi Foot Pads. These pads are attached to the bottoms of the feet before bed each night. In the morning you remove them and throw them away. The white pads are nearly black with the toxic metals that they have removed, through the soles of the feet, during the night. I was naturally skeptical, but accepted my friend's offer to send me some for a trial. They arrived a little over a week ago.On the 19th of December I went into the hospital for the entire usual 'oscopies and 'onomys preliminary to the Heller Myotomy procedure. I am slated for another round on the 4th of January (today is 12-27-07).Here is where it gets interesting. Five nights ago I began applying the patches before bedtime. Yesterday I noted that the night before I did not wake up choking on and throwing up that foamy mucus any time during the night. Last night was the same - and today I ate an entire crunchy crust pizza without any esophageal blockage or regurg. I was so amazed that I ate an orange. Citrus always caused problems, but today... nothing.I started thinking that if achalasia is a neurological problem (meaning that it is essentially electrical), accumulations of heavy metals in the body could conceivably short out the body's neurological (electrical) circuitry causing any number of problems that medical science has no clue about.I would never profess to claim that these pads have cured me, but they have, after only 5 days, brought the achalasia into the realm of being able to live with it without surgery... and to be able to eat normally again. I will continue to use these, as I have a 30 day supply and the manufacturer claims that a 30 day detox once a year should keep you clean and healthy. If the next 5 nights continue as progressively as the last 5 nights, I think I may have stumbled onto the actual cause of this affliction, as well as the cure.I remain guardedly hopeful. The very last thing that I want is an allopathic doctor working on me with a knife. I will probably be canceling my hospital appointment next week if the improvement continues.Anyone who wants to learn more about this therapy can just google "Chi Foot Pads". These are not the only brand of this type of product available. Google "de-tox foot pads" for a whole array of heavy metal removing products.I am beginning to think that heavy metal toxicity is a very big part of the problem with achalasia. What used to take several decades to build up in our bodies is now condensed into a much shorter time frame due to our increasingly contaminated, air, food and water, so that younger and younger people are now presenting symptoms that used to be the ailment of us geezers.I hope this info helps someone. I think it may have just changed my life's immediate direction. The next 5 nights ought to tell the whole achalasia story… and heck, by the end of 30 days I may re-grow a full head of hair;-)Hope springs eternal, but if these products can knock out achalasia, I will be overjoyed.wow sir.. you are very helpful and i'm not at all skeptical.. what i have to do now is to just raise money and buy that stuffs you were talking about sir.. thanks for that very helpful info.. and hopefully, i could just.. yeah.. wear those chi pads you were talking about sir.. thank you again..
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 12, 2008
    • 08:03 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I'm 25 and was diagnosed with Achalasia at 22. My problems started when i was around 20 when i had a hard time swallowing certain foods and then liquids about a year later. I had all the test done on me and that's when they told me i had Achalasia. They gave me the options of expansion, botox injection, or cutting away at the lower esophagus. I chose the botox since it was the easiest and it wasn't permanent. It seemed to be work well at first. After around 3 weeks swallowing got tougher and didn't ease up until around the 6 month period of me getting the injection. Since the botox didn't work well for me i decided to make some life changes to ease swallowing & regurgitation. I don't think i was doing a good job at first because i had issues with aspiration which gave me bronchitis and walking pneumonia. I eventually developed asthma do to all of my respiratory problems. Luckily I've been in control of these issues with the help of a couple of good doctors.I'm doing pretty well now. I've learned that drinking lots ( and i do mean alot) of room temp water while eating, eating slower, and swallowing smaller chunks of food does the trick to aid swallowing. To stop regurgitation i don't eat anything if it's less than 3hrs before i lay down for sleep and i try and sleep on an incline. Regurgitation seems more likely when the last thing i eat has chocolate, citric acid, or coffee in it. Sometimes i screw up and eat something i shouldn't so i try and sleep sitting straight up which works some of the time.But for the most part Achalasia has become manageable.... i just home i can rid myself of this pesky asthma!
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • January 5, 2009
    • 04:39 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • This is exactly what I have and have been suffering with for the past 2 years. I am used to it now but like a thread above people in public or friends I have not seen in a while really think I am about to die when an attack comes on or I have to make a mad dash for the bathroom in a restaurant. When outside I just go off to the side and let it come up and that is such a relief. My GI doc mentioned this to me but has never offered any solutions for me. At least I know that I am not a rare case.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 28, 2009
    • 03:47 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Complications of Crohn’s Disease

    Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.

    8 Surprising Facts About Cholesterol

    Did you know that one in six US adults has high cholesterol?

  • Greetings everyone.Like everyone else here, I also was diagnosed with Achalasia at a very young age. I believe I was around the age of 17, close to 18 possibly. Currently I'm 24 years old so please forgive me if my memory isn't 100% spot on.I guess you should consider me lucky as after my operation I've never really had problems swallowing or eating. Here is my story...In High School, it came pretty much out of nowhere. I would order a taco for example and with all that cheese (yes, dairy products will usually come up the worst, be warned!) would just shoot up like a science-project valcano project. It was very humiliating to be driving around as a passenger with my buddies and would be forced to open a window to puke. My friends were so worried about me but thought I was just sick all the time. Which, of course, I wasn't -- I was very healthy just losing a lot of weight.Besides accidentally spewing in front of witnesses, I kept my problem entirely a secret (even from my family).I've always considered myself a strong individual (if not reckless). I figured it best to out-live this problem and just make-do. Oh man, was I ever so wrong...I couldn't even eat small stuff anymore without instantly puking. I decided to go ahead and confront my mother and confess exactly what my problems were (Please people, if you have this problem quickly confess your problems, this disease is life-threatening!). We went to a doctor and he wasn't too familiar with these symptoms. He prescribed me the 'Purple pill' for acid reflux while diagnosing my problem. Confused, the doctor sent me a specialist in Amarillo, TX. Dr. Rodriquez was his name and from my recollection he was from New York. Apparently, he was a pretty good specialist and has done this surgery to a handful of patients with a pretty good success rate. I had all those mind numbing tests that seem like torture. The camera going down your nose to your stomach while awake was probably the worst. Even worse for the poor nurse who I kept sneezing on (sorta like the Bronchiasaurus in the Jurassic Park film sneezing on those kids in the tree.)My operation was conducted and from my understanding here's what they did. They made (5) insertions around my stomach area and lower Esophagus. Inside they opened up my stomach permanently using pins, that of course I still have today. You can still see my scars, but they're very small (all 5 holes). My case might be different than most though. Mostly because my problem area (lower esophagus area was closed tight at around 3-5mm) was right next to my stomach. So permanently opening that area somehow resolved my issues, for now.It's been 6 years since my operation now. Thankfully, I can still eat to my hearts desires. However, I have to drink a lot of liquids or just doesn't 'feel right'. It doesn't hurt, but I can feel the food kinda resting in my eshopagus waiting to be washed down. It's not uncommon to see me eat a massive meal, larger than anyone sitting next to me as fast as they eat. The only difference being I will usually have 2-3 refills of my refreshment to get it down comfortably. The only other problems I still continue to have is the rare occurrence of 'horrible' acid reflux. And it usually happens when I first wake up. What I do is quickly elevate my body to let gravity do its work. Take medicine if you have any, Tums will work fine. Drink coffee if you like coffee, that helps me sooth my eshopagus to a comfortable level. Usually by the afternoon the burn symptoms usually vanish. Take note that this only happens to maybe once a month or twice. It's not very bad and is probably because I eat very unhealthy food.Currently I'm 6 foot 4 inches tall and weight 185bls. I'm pretty thin, but very healthy looking compared to my image 6 years ago.Good luck to all and reply to this if you have any questions for me!-ClayTexas
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • November 28, 2009
    • 03:50 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • wow sir.. you are very helpful and i'm not at all skeptical.. what i have to do now is to just raise money and buy that stuffs you were talking about sir.. thanks for that very helpful info.. and hopefully, i could just.. yeah.. wear those chi pads you were talking about sir.. thank you again..DO NOT LISTEN TO THIS GUY. This affliction has to do with the narrowing of the esophageal sphincter. The pads that he speaks of have been dis proven and are a gimmick. Do proper research before wasting your money.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a 29 year old female. I have been vomiting, severe heart burn which they thought was gerd, and lots of general ill-feeling.I have recently learned that I may have esophogeal achalasia. It came out of nowhere it seems in the last 2 years; though thinking back, I do remember that I easily vomited after eating starting in my teens. We always just thought I was sensitive. In the last year or so though, it got really bad. I tried everything, including not eating after 5 or 6pm and all liquid diets to not eating at all for days at a time. When there was no food to vomit up, it would be water or my own saliva. I wake up every night choking and gagging and because of that, I have gotten aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is not contagious like regular pneumonia, but just as deadly. It comes from inhaling foreign materials into your lungs like food, stomach acid, vomit, saliva. I thought this was something only drug overdose victims dealt with but it is not. You get high fever, chills, painful breathing, coughing and weezing, and extreme fatigue. I even ended up with a partially collapsed lung twice because of it. It is really embarrassing to go out to eat. I usually make several trips to vomit and have learned the signal that I am about to, so that I dont have to run. I am a female, 6' tall, and was very overweight. I have gone from a size 24 tightly fitting to a size 18 mostly in the last 4 months since they discovered what they think I have. I have done the barium swallow and it was stopped because the barium wasnt even going down. They could see a trickle through the bottom of my esophagus about the width of the passage through a coffee stirrer. I think thats about 3mm. I stopped eating 30 hours before the endoscopy and the food was still in my esophagus. They stopped the test because they were scared I was going to inhale the food debris but said that they didnt see any cancerous scar tissue or tumors. I also did the test where they stick a tube through your nose down into your stomach to test your swallow strength. This test was cut short as well. Achalasia stops things from doing down and the nurse had my swallowing water while the tube was down my throat and well lets just say it didnt end so well for her, lol.I do not want surgery! I am happy because I am losing weight which was darn near impossible before, even with going to the gym 4+ times a week and eating healthy due to another condition I have called PCOS(polycystic ovarian syndrome). I would much rather prefer to manage it as naturally as possible. It is very rare that any food goes down at all, and if it does, I can always feel when it pushes through the opening. I have been supplementing my diet with lots of liquids like soup, ensure, slimfast, juices, and a great drink that I found which is very expensive but tastes better than the others, ORGAIN. Out of all those above beverages the Orgain comes back up the least followed by the fruit juice and ensure. I also continue to go to the gym because it makes me feel stronger and healthier.I am not offering medical advice nor am I telling you not to seek medical attention. I am simply stating my opinion that surgery is not always the only option, and I prefer not to have it unless I am on deaths bed. Maybe when I get down to a manageble weight and size like say under 200 lbs (which I am pretty far from), I may consider it, but for right now...I am content shedding all the excess weight I have been carrying around since childhood. I hope you start feeling better to anyone experiencing the same thing.-Nikki Theplussizedbarbie
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • I am a 29 year old female. I have been vomiting, severe heart burn which they thought was gerd, and lots of general ill-feeling.I have recently learned that I may have esophogeal achalasia. It came out of nowhere it seems in the last 2 years; though thinking back, I do remember that I easily vomited after eating starting in my teens. We always just thought I was sensitive. In the last year or so though, it got really bad. I tried everything, including not eating after 5 or 6pm and all liquid diets to not eating at all for days at a time. When there was no food to vomit up, it would be water or my own saliva. I wake up every night choking and gagging and because of that, I have gotten aspiration pneumonia. Aspiration pneumonia is not contagious like regular pneumonia, but just as deadly. It comes from inhaling foreign materials into your lungs like food, stomach acid, vomit, saliva. I thought this was something only drug overdose victims dealt with but it is not. You get high fever, chills, painful breathing, coughing and weezing, and extreme fatigue. I even ended up with a partially collapsed lung twice because of it. It is really embarrassing to go out to eat. I usually make several trips to vomit and have learned the signal that I am about to, so that I dont have to run. I am a female, 6' tall, and was very overweight. I have gone from a size 24 tightly fitting to a size 18 mostly in the last 4 months since they discovered what they think I have. I have done the barium swallow and it was stopped because the barium wasnt even going down. They could see a trickle through the bottom of my esophagus about the width of the passage through a coffee stirrer. I think thats about 3mm. I stopped eating 30 hours before the endoscopy and the food was still in my esophagus. They stopped the test because they were scared I was going to inhale the food debris but said that they didnt see any cancerous scar tissue or tumors. I also did the test where they stick a tube through your nose down into your stomach to test your swallow strength. This test was cut short as well. Achalasia stops things from doing down and the nurse had my swallowing water while the tube was down my throat and well lets just say it didnt end so well for her, lol.I do not want surgery! I am happy because I am losing weight which was darn near impossible before, even with going to the gym 4+ times a week and eating healthy due to another condition I have called PCOS(polycystic ovarian syndrome). I would much rather prefer to manage it as naturally as possible. It is very rare that any food goes down at all, and if it does, I can always feel when it pushes through the opening. I have been supplementing my diet with lots of liquids like soup, ensure, slimfast, juices, and a great drink that I found which is very expensive but tastes better than the others, ORGAIN. Out of all those above beverages the Orgain comes back up the least followed by the fruit juice and ensure. I also continue to go to the gym because it makes me feel stronger and healthier.I am not offering medical advice nor am I telling you not to seek medical attention. I am simply stating my opinion that surgery is not always the only option, and I prefer not to have it unless I am on deaths bed. Maybe when I get down to a manageble weight and size like say under 200 lbs (which I am pretty far from), I may consider it, but for right now...I am content shedding all the excess weight I have been carrying around since childhood. I hope you start feeling better to anyone experiencing the same thing.-Nikki TheplussizedbarbieOh Nikki sweetie, you can't not have the surgery just because you're grateful that you're able to lose weight :(Here's my story: I was diagnosed with Achalasia 12 years ago, at the age of 27 (I'm now 39). I too, like you, had trouble with my weight, and at the point that I got sick was hovering just about at 225. My serious troubles with regurgitation came on rather suddenly, and it was just shy of 4 months from the time that I had concern about my ability to keep things down until I was severely dehydrated and admitted to the hospital with nurses squeezing bags of IV fluid into me, and down to 174lbs (my family doctor had weighed me the month before I was admitted and I was at 216... that's 40lbs lost in ONE month). My Heller Myotomy was performed two weeks after I was admitted and I immediately was able to eat again. Within a year, I was back to have a balloon dilatation, and those have been yearly occurences, along with instant-onset dibilitating chest pain, nocturnal coughing, sleeping elevated, and the regular dysphagia.Friends and family couldn't understand how I could keep eating, and yet "throwing up" (hate that everyone still thinks that, when that is so far from the case) constantly, when I always figured that at least I had to have been keeping something down, because I hadn't fallen over dead yet :P I was also "supplementing" my diet with liquid beverages, and that does nothing either, if you can't consistently keep it down. I worry for your health, and your future weight issues if you're thinking this is any way to lose weight... it's NOT. Your body is starving for nutrition, and you're living off the weight that you're carrying. The inevitability is some sort of treatment that enables you to eat normally (whether you choose to have the surgery, as I did, or botox or just regular stretching) will have to happen, and when that does, you're going to gain weight back, because your poor body is starving :( I feel your fear about the surgery (that honestly was the last thing in the world that I wanted to have happen) and the desire to do things naturally and under your own control. Please know that there are others who have walked the path that you're on, and the signs in front of you need to be heeded. Take care of yourself Nikki, I hope you read this.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • September 28, 2010
    • 10:25 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • Oh Nikki sweetie, you can't not have the surgery just because you're grateful that you're able to lose weight :(Here's my story: I was diagnosed with Achalasia 12 years ago, at the age of 27 (I'm now 39). I too, like you, had trouble with my weight, and at the point that I got sick was hovering just about at 225. My serious troubles with regurgitation came on rather suddenly, and it was just shy of 4 months from the time that I had concern about my ability to keep things down until I was severely dehydrated and admitted to the hospital with nurses squeezing bags of IV fluid into me, and down to 174lbs (my family doctor had weighed me the month before I was admitted and I was at 216... that's 40lbs lost in ONE month). My Heller Myotomy was performed two weeks after I was admitted and I immediately was able to eat again. Within a year, I was back to have a balloon dilatation, and those have been yearly occurences, along with instant-onset dibilitating chest pain, nocturnal coughing, sleeping elevated, and the regular dysphagia.Friends and family couldn't understand how I could keep eating, and yet "throwing up" (hate that everyone still thinks that, when that is so far from the case) constantly, when I always figured that at least I had to have been keeping something down, because I hadn't fallen over dead yet :P I was also "supplementing" my diet with liquid beverages, and that does nothing either, if you can't consistently keep it down. I worry for your health, and your future weight issues if you're thinking this is any way to lose weight... it's NOT. Your body is starving for nutrition, and you're living off the weight that you're carrying. The inevitability is some sort of treatment that enables you to eat normally (whether you choose to have the surgery, as I did, or botox or just regular stretching) will have to happen, and when that does, you're going to gain weight back, because your poor body is starving :( I feel your fear about the surgery (that honestly was the last thing in the world that I wanted to have happen) and the desire to do things naturally and under your own control. Please know that there are others who have walked the path that you're on, and the signs in front of you need to be heeded. Take care of yourself Nikki, I hope you read this.I did read and feel that I will be needing to get something done. I just want to wait a while and see if it kind of levels out. Im teetering now around a size 16/18 for the last few months and my hair has stopped falling out...I know that my levels are not where they need to be nutrition wise but it feels s good for people to not look at you like a whale...I will take your advise and think on it very thoughtfully and I appreciate your concern and advise....Im too young to be fat or sick....
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies
    • February 4, 2011
    • 04:27 PM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
  • I've been dealing with Achalasia as well.My issues started about 7 or 8 years ago when I was around 18. At first it was just a little difficulty swallowing, but there was no pain or regurgitation. More like a subtle "this isn't quite right" feel. I obviously didn't have it too bad, as I was still putting on weight like I was heading towards hibernation. Over the years it slowly morphed into something more unpleasant. I noticed that I needed to drink a lot of fluids in order to push food down easily, but there still wasn't too much pain or regurgitation.Then about 2 years ago is started progressively worsening, with the last year being especially bad. I dropped 50lbs within 8-12 months. I don't work out enough, I work a sedentary job, and I eat fairly poorly (not a straight diet of Cheetos and Mountain Dew mind you, but not consistently healthy either). I am now completely unable to drink anything carbonated in the slightest (100% certainty of an episode). I also have to steer clear of anything "foamy" or full of air. Puffed chips, frothy drinks, regular loaf bread, etc. I seem to do best if I don't chew my food fully and eat things that have a bit of "heft" to them. I assume it's because it helps push it past the LES instead of just sitting in my esophagus. Eating late and going to bed is also usually a poor idea, as it eating a lot of chocolate or milk. Citrus doesn't seem to affect me, but spicy food can (which is a shame, because I love it). Also some random items, such as unsweetened tea (sweet tea is fine?).I was even admitted into the ICU last February due to severe dehydration. My fiance came home to find me having a particularly nasty episode, where I had been reduced to laying in a fetal position in the shower, unable to even move from the pain. I was rushed to the Baylor emergency room, where they proceeded to keep me waiting for 4 hours to see someone due to being busy. There was even a point where the rest of the waiting room was trying to plead with the nurses to take a look at me. Up to this point, I still didn't know what was wrong with me. I felt like I was dying. I'm usually very medical-resistant (in that I hate taking medication that I don't 100% need, especially pain medication -- I'll battle a miserable flu for a week instead of taking some medication to have it over in a few days. Stubborn or stupid, you be the judge. :) ), but at that moment I would have gladly had a gallon of morphine direct injected into my gut if they said it would help the pain.Eventually my fiance and her mother decided we had had enough waiting and took me to the nearby Plano Medical Center, who took one look at me and rushed me into a room. I had a pulse of somewhere North of 200 and very low blood pressure. They gave me a shot of morphine which helped dull the pain a bit, and 5 liters of saline due to how dehydrated I was. They also did a CT scan and urine/blood tests, which came back clear. They eventually released me the next day with a "Well, we're not really sure what happened. Here is your $16,000 bill ($5000 after insurance). Make sure to pay on your way out." Beautiful.I think what happened was I was drinking way too little fluids, as I was having issues keeping anything down. Maybe a gradual trend towards dehydration, and then an episode flared up and pushed me over the edge. I try to be more mindful now of how much water I've had and force down a glass or two at the end of the day for good measure.I finally succumbed to my fiances pleading that I see a doctor about it last fall, since I had already maxed my yearly deductible with the emergency room visit in February. I had seen 2 other general family doctors prior, but both had said I likely just have acid reflux and to take some antacids. This time I went directly to a GI doctor (Dr. Thomas Van Dinter, for those of you in the North Texas area -- excellent doctor!!). He listened to all of my symptoms, looked me over, and said he thinks that there is a very good chance that I have Achalasia. I thought I had some sort of dysphagia, or possibly a Hiatal Hernia. I had never even heard of Achalasia before, but as he described it a huge light bulb went off. I fit the list to a T.The next several months were test after test to rule out other issues such as tumors and cancer, and to confirm that I did indeed have Achalasia. I had 2 CT scans (one with some kind of barium drink I believe, one with a contrast dye), 2 x-rays, a series of barium swallow tests where you're on a moving table, a motility test with the tube down the throat, blood/urine tests, and an upper endoscopy. I had enough medical test to make up for my lack of doctors visits in the past and more than enough radiation to either morph me into the hulk or at least allow me to light my way through the house at night. Everything came back positive for Achalasia. The doctor said he had never seen an esophagus as dilated as mine, and was astounded that I hadn't come to a GI earlier due to the symptoms. My esophagus was about 5-6 times the usual size, and I was having nearly daily painful episodes, regurgitating nearly every time I ate or drank, rapidly losing weight, and pain every single time I ate or drink anything. When he did the endoscopy he said I had quite of bit of food still resting on my LES. I even had food that hadn't made it to my stomach that I had eaten 2 days prior! No wonder I get sick if I have food rotting in my throat for days until it eventually gets regurgitated. Sexy.He suggested a Heller Myotomy due to the severity of my condition, stating that the botox and balloon stretching are usually temporary solutions, and can cause scar tissue that makes a Heller Myotomy more difficult to perform in the future. It supposedly has a 90% success rate of eliminating or at least drastically lessening the symptoms of Achalasia. There isn't a cure as they aren't sure what causes it. It is a disorder of the nerves that control your involuntary muscles that deal with swallowing. You can only treat the symptoms.I had the 6 incision (with one in the belly button!) laparoscopic version of the surgery performed by Dr. Christopher Bell and Dr. Thomas Van Dinter at the Medical City of Dallas. It was scheduled to take 2 hours I believe, but it ran past 4. I remember waking up afterward in the recovery room in incredible pain, but unable to speak above a tiny whisper, and I couldn't dare move. A nurse noticed me awake and put me back out. I woke up again in my hospital room, and was in and out for the first night. I was told prior to the surgery by the anesthesiologist that I would have a morphine pump after the surgery, which ended up not being the case. That poor nurse was run ragged my first night, as they would give me a shot of morphine which would put me out for about 30 minutes, then I would be waiting in pain for another 30 minutes until they could give me the next scheduled dose. And the first time I had to get up to go to the bathroom... The second day was a little better, with quite a bit less morphine needed. The third I only needed a small dose in the morning to get me over the hump, and I was discharged the 4th day in the evening.By the second day I had some of my appetite back, and by the third I was inhaling as much liquids as I could get my hands on. 4-5 bowls of broth at a time, jello by the mountains, etc. The last day they put me on a soft food diet for my last meal, which I chose a pork chop with mashed potatoes and macaroni. Not sure how a pork chop is a soft food meal, but it was amazing to be able to eat and drink normally again after so many years. The entire stay in the hospital I had ZERO issues with that. I never had a pain episode, nor any feelings of food or water being stuck or regurgitated. I was thrilled. I went home to recuperate for a few more days before heading back to work (desk job, nothing strenuous), and was finally able to have a soda in years. Everything seemed to be perfect... for about 2 weeks.I slowly started having the same old issues creep up. First it was mild difficulty swallowing. Then it was a little pain. Finally it regressed all the way back to intense pain episodes and daily regurgitation. It has now been 3 months since the surgery, and I'm no better off than before. At first I was telling myself it was just the healing period and it would reverse again, but I no longer think that is the case. At least I have an interesting set of scars to look at in the mirror?I've been told that only about 1 out of 200,000 people have this disorder. It's usually mild, and strikes older men in their late 60's or 70's. The Heller Myotomy has a 90% success rate... somehow I've fallen through all of the statistics and landed on my face.I'm not quite sure what to do now. The only reason I was able to afford all of the testing and surgery last year is because I hit my deductible limit, so everything else was 100% covered through my insurance. Being a new year, I have another $5000 until the insurance begins paying for my treatments. I can't afford that again anytime soon.I guess I'll eventually have to undergo further treatments, maybe even having the lower portion of my esophagus removed. In the end I'm at least happy that I know what is wrong with me, and I hope that those of you with this condition are able to find relief. I know how much this can affect your social life, your energy, your health, and your happiness. I really hit you hard sometimes.Oh, and one last note: *PLEASE* ignore that guy above talking about "chi foot pads". They have been proven to be a simple scam product with wood vinegar in them.
    Anonymous 42,789 Replies Flag this Response
  • Hello Ryan. My name is Robie, a media practitioner. I came across your post today when I researched about Achalasia cases in the Philippines. I am interested about your story. Can I contact you to discuss this further? You can reach me via email at foxshane@gmail.com. I'd appreciate it very much if you can reply to my query.
    Anonymous 1 Replies
    • February 16, 2014
    • 11:57 AM
    • 0
    Flag this Response
Thanks! A moderator will review your post and it will be live within the next 24 hours.
Advertisement

8 Health Dangers of Depression

Unmanaged depression can take a toll on your physical health.

Best Cough & Cold Meds for Kids

Help your child feel better, faster.

What HIV Positive Women Should Know About Sex

You can have sex after an HIV diagnosis.

Food Choices for Diabetes

What, when and how much you eat affects your blood sugar.

6 Exercises for Multiple Sclerosis

Ease your way into these stretching and strengthening moves,

Advertisement