The uncommon condition known as achalasia cardia makes it difficult for food and drink to flow down the tube that connects your mouth and stomach (your esophagus) and into your stomach. Achalasia damage to the nerves in the esophagus might lead to cardiac symptoms.
Consequently, the esophagus gradually becomes paralyzed and dilated, and it lacks the capacity to push food down into the stomach. The food particles then accumulate in the esophagus, where they may undergo fermentation before being brought back into the mouth, leaving a bitter aftertaste.
Some individuals misdiagnose this condition as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). On the other hand, in achalasia, the material being swallowed originates in the esophagus, while in GERD, it originates in the stomach.
There is currently no treatment available for achalasia cardia. When the esophageal muscle is paralyzed, it can never return to its normal state of function. Endoscopy, minimally invasive therapy, or surgery are common treatment options for managing symptoms.
Achalasia Cardia: What are the Symptoms?
It is common for symptoms of achalasia to start mildly and then progress slowly over some time until they become severe. Among the signs and symptoms that may indicate the presence of this disease are the following:
- The inability to swallow (swallowing disorders), which may appear as if you are choking on food or liquid. It may be food or saliva that is regurgitated.
- Intermittent and fluctuating chest discomfort
- Pneumonia (from aspiration of food into the lungs)
- Weight reduction
- Throwing up
Achalasia Cardia Causes
There is a lack of consensus on the precise origin of achalasia cardia. Some specialists strongly suspect that a deficiency of nerve cells in the esophagus brings it on. Some scholarly studies discuss what causes this, although a viral infection or autoimmune reactions have been considered possible explanations.
Some achalasia symptoms are caused by food piling up in the esophagus and being unable to pass into the stomach. In very unusual cases, achalasia cardia may be brought on by a hereditary condition passed down through generations or an infection.
How to Diagnose Achalasia Cardia
Since its symptoms are similar to those of other digestive problems, achalasia cardia is often missed or given the wrong diagnosis. To diagnose achalasia cardia, we suggest the following tests:
- Esophageal manometry measures the rhythmic muscle contractions in your esophagus when you swallow. Esophageal manometry is used to diagnose and treat esophageal disorders. This test is the most beneficial when figuring out what kind of motility issue you could deal with.
- Esophagrams are X-rays of your upper digestive system. X-rays of the interior lining of your digestive tract are taken after consuming a chalky substance. This covering will allow your doctor to see your esophagus, stomach, and upper intestine outline. A barium pill could also be administered to determine if an esophageal blockage exists.
- Gastroenterologists perform upper endoscopies on patients by inserting endoscopes, thin, flexible tubes with lights and cameras on their ends, down the patient’s throat. The tubes are then inserted down the patient’s throat to examine the lining of the patient’s esophagus and stomach. It’s called an upper digestive tract endoscopy.
- Endoscopy may also be used to take a biopsy sample of tissue. This tissue sample may then be evaluated to establish whether or not reflux-related issues, such as Barrett’s esophagus, are present in the patient. Endoscopy may also be used to diagnose and treat esophageal cancer.
Achalasia Cardia Treatment Options
The medical treatment for Achalasia Cardia focuses on relaxing or stretching out the lower esophageal sphincter to make it easier for food and fluids to flow through the digestive system.
The kind of treatment you get is determined by factors such as age, the current state of health, and the severity of the achalasia.
Before beginning treatment with medication, a gastroenterologist may recommend using a muscle relaxant. These drugs have low therapeutic efficacy and a high risk of serious adverse effects. Medication is usually only explored if pneumatic dilation or surgery is not an option for the patient and if other drugs have not been helpful in treating the condition. This kind of treatment is only recommended sometimes.
Surgical Treatment Options
In a Heller myotomy, the surgeon makes an incision in the muscle located at the lower end of the esophageal sphincter. This makes it possible for food to enter the stomach more readily. It is possible to do the surgery without making any incisions (Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy). People who have had a Heller myotomy risk developing gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) in the future (GERD).
Together with a Heller myotomy, a treatment called fundoplication may be carried out to forestall the development of GERD complications in the future. The fundoplication procedure involves the surgeon wrapping the top of the patient’s stomach around the lower esophagus to form an anti-reflux valve. This valve prevents acid from flowing back into the esophagus, referred to as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Laparoscopic surgery, less intrusive than traditional methods, is often used to perform fundoplication treatment. Peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) is a surgery in which an incision is made in the esophagus lining by using an endoscope that is passed via the mouth and down the patient’s throat.
A gastroenterologist performs this treatment. After that, the surgeon performs a procedure known as a Heller myotomy, which involves cutting the muscle that is located at the lower end of the esophageal sphincter.
POEM may also be paired with subsequent fundoplication, or it may be followed by fundoplication thereafter to assist in the prevention of GERD. Patients who get a POEM and develop GERD as a result of the surgery are given medicine to take orally daily in certain cases.
Do you suffer from Achalasia Cardia? If so, you have a disease that can be extremely debilitating and uncomfortable.
Cura4U is a wellness clinic providing care for patients who want to improve. They offer a variety of different services. Because of this diversity in their services, they can help people with all sorts of conditions recover from their ailment or injury faster than traditional medical care could ever hope to.