Esophogeal Achalasia Problems

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I have been suffering with Achalasia for years already. I started when I was 14 years old and I am now 20 years old. Things have been pretty tough trying to keep up with eating and going to school and then college. I never had enough time to eat ever because I always take more than an hour at least to get food down and most times the food comes back up. Now I am looking for a job but I don't even know how I am going to make it. If im working I think I definitely won't have time to eat which means I will end up losing a lot of weight and I cant affor that right now. Any advice? How do other s with achalasia survive?

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  • Posted

    Have you had any treatment for your condition, e.g. surgery?
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    • Posted

      Yes I had my esophagus stretched out but it hasn't lasted long enough for the surgery to be worth it.
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  • Posted

    Hi Kayla, Sorry to hear of you troubles.  I have had achalasia for over 20 years now.  Is you job going to be an office setting ?  If so, I used to nibble all day.  I became a grazer rather than trying to eat meals.  I nibbled on things that were high calorie to keep weight on.  Sweet cereals like fruit loops, things like chex mix or other such things.  I would truly eat one fruit loop at a time, but all day long.  I kept a stack of coffee machine filters on my desk to use like a bowl.  Then just remove the top one each day and the clean ones are underneath.  May I ask if you have had any treatment yet, so that eating becomes easier for you ?
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    • Posted

      Yes I had my esophagus streched and also tried taking other meds recommended to me but nothing ever lasted that long. Any recomendations?
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  • Posted

    My heart goes out to you because working and trying to keep hydrated as well as getting enough food down. I think its quite imossible to be honest. I spend my days drinking being sick a few times nibbling on a bit of cheese and crackers being sick try again. I have kept my weight on by living on sugary things. I know it is  unhealthy and I have been rushed into hospital with severe kidney pains 2 weeks ago rushed in with life threatening Asthma attack because can affect the lungs if you dont keep your esophugas clean or Acid reflux. Are you british there must be benefits to help you out. 7 years I have had this and there hasnt been one week where i could say i been feeling fine. If it isn't one thing its another. I do wish you all the luck in the World though. Manual labour is out of the question but everyone is different.What about surgery ?
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  • Posted

    I feel for you. One approach that I have found very helpful is the following. Each morning I swallow a Phenergen 25mg tablet (promethazine hydrochloride). I do not know in which country you live so it may go under different brand names. In Australia it is available over the pharmacy counter. It may make you drowsy so don't drive. However, over the years my system has become accustomed to it so it doesn't effect me that way. The phenergen relaxes the osephageal sphincter muscle, allowing solid food and liquids to pass into your stomach. It is not a panacea and may not be effective every time but it works for me by far the majority of time. Allow about two hours agter taking the tablet before you eat and eat slowly and use room temperature water to assist (not cold water, that will only make the sphincter spasm and possibly close).

    Also, before my evening meal I take a spoonful of sodium bicarbonate in a glass of water. This has an effervescent action that makes your stomach burp and forces gas up into your esophageous and as a by product allows the passage of food and liquids back down into your stomach.

    Meals are always better of small, readily digestible foods more frequently than large coarse food, like steaks. Avoid white starchy bread too, it will expand with liquid and is the perfect plug for the esophageal sphincter - just what you don't want.

    Having said all this, everyone is different and such conditions can vary somewhat. However, I would experiment along these lines using the same objective though of opening that sphincter muscle as easily and as often as possible. It allows me to lead as near normal life as is possible under the circumstances. Do not be put off by the odd failure when you have periods of regurgitation or vomiting. You will make it. Although I have had a few balloon dilations and botox injections over the years, I have also avoided the other surgical options, as they have mixed results and I have been able to manage the condition reasonably.

    Good luck.

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  • Posted

    Thank you I take omeprazole and a tablet called Domperidone which i hardly take because I think it irritated the lining of my esophugus but thank you I will try what you said. I find ice water breaks up the gunky stuff and i can feel the water pass down which is nice warm water thickens aand blocks but like you said everyone is different..
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  • Posted

    Acupuncture has been a key role for myself. I have gone from not being able to keep anyhing down , including water, to now living an almost normal life. I am now able to eat out with my family. While I still eat slow i leave fulfilled and not left with a feeling of inconvienience or even an eating disorder.(we all know it feels that way when it doesnt go down)  I avoid trigger foods. and while spitting up is still a daily occurance its completely managable. 
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    • Posted

      I actually did do acupuncture for a few months and it did help me a bit as well but only for a while and I had to try different stuff out.
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    • Posted

      I i have stuck with it, my acupucturist almost made it her mission to help. I gave her my barium swallow video and i think that helped her really  understand. I have had no other procedures. Please understand that i was lucky to even get fluids in i was pretty much dying of thirst. It took almost 3 years to get the actual diagnosis. I thought i was dying, i was not getting anything in. Now I manage daily and go to acupuncture roughly once every 3 months more if needed. I an even able to workout now and rebuild what i lost.  This wont be cured, but atleast managed so that you can live an almost normal life. 
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  • Posted

    Have you considered a more permanent procedure than having the balloon stretch?  The POEM procedure or Heller Myotomy are considered as the gold standard treatment for Achalasia, and typically last many years, or permanently.
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  • Posted

    Since my Achalasia began 24 years ago, most of my career has been in the Education sector (college lecturer and school teacher) and like you suggest there are definite complications that can affect you in the workplace.

    However, I have found that with a bit of concerted planning these issues can be resolved without too much difficulty.  My advice would be to begin your day with something substantive like porridge or muesli, which will have the benefit of being a 'slow release' energy source that can sustain you throughout the working day.  Furthermore, I find that by having this type of breakfast, I generally don't need to have anything to eat during the day - which in my case removes the greatest concern; namely, dealing with regurgitated food when I'm in mid-sentence (delivering a lesson).

    On the few occasions when I have some sort of snack at lunchtime, I try to incoprorate a brief walk into my itinerary - as I find walking after eating always improves the digestive process.

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  • Posted

    Is Phenergen a type of ant-acid ?
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    • Posted

      No it is not. You should Google it. You need to take the 25mg dose about 1-2 hours before a main meal. One per day is enough.

      Phenergen in a mild dose is the ingredient in the Travel Calm product given to children.

      Also try to keep up vitamins anf protein. The best way of doing this is via protein shakes sipping these if you cant drink it. If you can't keep these down perhaps you need a stay in hospital on a drip until your system stabilises.

      Good luck and let me know how it turns out please.

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    • Posted

      Btw phenergen is an anti histamine and may be helpful for your asthma. It shoud also help you sleep more soundly.
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