What is achalasia?
Oesophagus is the food pipe that carries food from the throat to the stomach. There is a lower oesophageal sphincter present at the junction of the end of oesophagus and the stomach which opens for the food and liquid to pass down into the stomach. Achalasia is a rare condition which affects the muscles of the oesophagus, making it difficult to swallow any food or liquid.
In Achalasia the nerves of the oesophagus get damaged resulting into paralysis of the oesophageal muscles, which causes dilation of the oesophagus over time, making it difficult to push down food and liquid into the stomach. Achalasia may also develop because of the damage in the lower oesophageal sphincter, which may fail to open when food or liquid has to be passed into the stomach.
In this condition food remains in the oesophagus for a long time and become fermented, with occasional regurgitation into mouth, which tastes very bitter.
People often confuse gastroesophageal reflux disease(GERD) with Achalasia. However, it needs to be understood that in GERD the bitter contents that come into the mouth are brought on from the stomach, while in Achalasia food comes from the oesophagus, itself.
It is a difficult condition to cure, but this condition can be very well managed and relieved to very extent by consulting in the best homeo clinic. Homeopathic medicines are very effective in symptomatic relief and cure of Achalasia.
There are various theories to explain the causes of Achalasia. Doctor may find it difficult to specify any reason for developing this condition.
Some of the probable causes of Achalasia may be-
- This disease has be seen to be hereditary in some cases
- It may be the result of autoimmune condition, in which the body’s immune system starts attaching its own well of the oesophagus, damaging the nerves and contributing to the advanced stages of Achalasia.
- Other medical conditions that cause symptoms similar to Achalasia are cancer of the oesophagus and chaga’s disease.
Sign and symptoms
Achalasia is a slow developing condition, which increase the symptoms gradually. People having Achalasia experience symptoms like-
- Difficulty in swallowing or sense of food stuck in the food pipe, this condition is known as dysphasia
- Regurgitation of food and saliva
- Pain or discomfort in the chest
- Coughing at night
- Pain and discomfort after eating
- Weight loss
Achalasia usually happens in the later decades of life, but can affect people from all ages, even the children, though middle aged and older people are more at risk. Achalasia has been found more common in the patients, who are already suffering from any autoimmune disease.
Achalasia is often misdiagnosed or overlooked because of the symptoms very similar to other digestive tract diseases. Some of the tests that the doctor may advice to confirm the diagnosis are-
- Oesophageal manometer- to test the rhythmic muscle contraction of the oesophagus while swallowing. It also tests the coordination and the force exerted by the muscles and the opening of the oesophageal sphincter while swallowing.
- X-Ray of upper digestive tract(oesophagram)- x-rays are done after giving patient chalky liquid that coats and fills the inner lining of the tract to see any structural abnormalities.
- Upper endoscopy- to examine the inside of the oesophagus and stomach. Endoscopy can reveal any blockage and also help in collecting the sample for biopsy.
Achalasia is a rare and difficult condition to cure. Reviving the nerves back to their normal functioning could be a long process, with no guarantee of 100% recovery. Homeopathy proves to be very helpful in such difficult cases.
Homeopathic approach in such cases are mostly individualistic, where the best homeo clinic will provide the best suited medicine for that particular case.
Homeopathic medicines prove to be very helpful in giving symptomatic relief in Achalasia, improving the functioning of the muscles and oesophageal sphincter.