Probably Achalasia

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For several months I have suffered some significant dysphagia. In the last month I regurgitate almost everything I eat. I went to a GI and with my massive weight loss (40 pounds in the last two months) he did an endoscopy to look for strictures or the possibility of achalasia. One of my good friends is an ER Dr and she was pretty convinced achalasia would be my diagnosis. There were no strictures so next week I am getting a manometry test and a 24 hour PH testing to make completely sure this is the issue.

I'd say the only time I am really successful at eating is when I eat super slowly at my desk while I'm working. Unfortunately when I am out to eat with friends or colleagues it can be really inconvenient. A few weeks ago I went to my first holiday party with my new employer and it was borderline traumatizing because I got up to get sick three times during dinner. Not to mention I had maybe 10 bites of food.

It is a comfort to see all these posts and the different stories.

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5 Replies

  • Posted

    I think the word 'regurgitation' rather than 'vomiting' is important, on the basis that this normally means that food is not reaching your stomach in the first place, and swallowing more food increases the upward pressure for regurgitation.   Trying to relax whilst eating, or even standing up whilst trying to swallow, can be helpful.   Removing stress factors around food (eg whilst at your desk at work) might also help.   Avoid food that sticks, or with difficult texture, and have a think about some form of relaxation therapy (eg mindfulness, yoga).   There is a booklet 'A Patient's Guide to Achalasia' that can be downloaded from the website of the Oesophageal Patients Association under The Oesophagus, and Achalasia.   Meanwhile, consider some form of nutrition drink to keep up your vitamin / mineral / nutrition levels for your general health and well being.   I hope you can get a diagnosis and treatment sorted out soon, and wish you all the best, especially over the Christmas season when not being able to eat well can be extra difficult.

    • Posted

      I really have to work on relaxing. But of course when you're at the table with people I get instant anxiety about what I just appear like. I don't like to bring light to any adverse issues in my life (I hate seeming like a complainer) so most of the time the people I am with have no idea about my struggle. I'm sure once I show up to work next week with a tube sticking out of my nose I will have to let more and more people know about my health problems.

      I have been drinking a meal replacement almost every day. I also drink yogurt smoothies with both fruit and vegetables. Mostly to get something nutritious in. For whatever reason junky food seems to go down and stay down. Which helps with the hunger pangs but I know I need to keep my healthy food intake up now more than ever. I also take a multi vitamin, magnesium and potassium. As I have read these supplements can help muscle and nerve functions.

      For the most part if I can be borderline distracted while I eat the better off I am. Which goes against any other things I've learned growing up.

      Thanks for the reply and I would love to continue conversating.

  • Posted

    Hi Danelle,

    Although I have had Achalasia for 15 years, I have only just joined this group. I have to say everyone seems cool, and there is a ton of info to digest (no pun intended) smile just in the first few topic threads..Although I am sure all of our conditions are related, everyone has there own take on symptom relief. Alans advice looks good..Water Just shy of hot helps for me - relaxes me. I have often thought about what I would do differently if I went back to the time of my initial symptoms; one thing that I suffered from early on was spasms/pain from them. I never took anything for them thinking it was stomach acid, but I have wondered if things may have changed for the better if I had - anti spasmodics and the like. I think there is a fair chance that if spasms Can be stopped early then maybe Achalasia may not develop as far.. One to discuss with the doc of course!!! Meditation helps me too..

    Wishing you good karma,


    • Posted

      I have not tried the warm water. I have read several stories where it works so I will definitely have to give it a try. Something I do find that works for me is carbonated beverages. I don't know if the bubbles help propel things through or what. But it helps and that's all I care about haha.

      Like I told Alan, relaxing is something I have a severe issue with. My anxiety gets unbearable (I am on anti anxiety meds prescribed for heart palpitations). Most people who know me think it's crazy I have anxiety Bc on the outside I am so level headed and calm. It's like my brain can speak volumes in reason but my body functions in a completely different manner.

      After my manometry and PH testing results I am sure my GI and I will discuss in a lot of length what treatments will work best. I am up to try anything!!!

      Thank you so much for the reply and I wish much beautiful karma for you as well.

    • Posted

      All sounds very familiar! Just like a duck. All calm and serine on the surface and paddling like hell underneath!smile if only they

      One thing I take (try to at least) from Buddhist philosophy is that Anxiety is rooted in either the past or the future, and not the present. As things (either positive or negative) very rarely turn out as we expect (most would agree with that); then any current feelings based on anxiety should not be relied upon.. I meditate on that and it has dug me out of a few ruts...

      Yup, sparkling water - after chocolate for me... smile



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