← Return to Achalasia



Digestive Health | Last Active: Jan 7 11:31pm | Replies (58)

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45 year old male. Had 2 heller myotomy surgery and I need another one. My lower LES is closing again. This sickness is breaking me down slowly. Life has change from happy to pain and struggling to eat anything. Been to ER 3 times to remove steak. Than rice now bread. I've tried everything. Had 3 dialations

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Replies to "45 year old male. Had 2 heller myotomy surgery and I need another one. My lower..."

Hello @amoll157,

I'm sorry you are going through so much, but I'm so glad you've found the Connect community. Here is some detailed information about Achalasia, and treatment from Mayo Clinic: http://mayocl.in/2kVYpyf

You may also be interested in connecting with other members in this discussion:
Achalasia of esophagus with reflux: http://mayocl.in/2cfhyny

I'm also tagging past members @dhuffman @ladawki143 @lee28 @sfrigon @klsxoxo @tammyjean @tgirl, with the hope they return with more insight for you.

@amoll157, what foods can you eat comfortably? Has your doctor ever suggested a fundoplication or (according to Mayo Clinic), a newer procedure, called peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM)?

Hi, I'm over 86 and am told no surgery. Eating was always an enjoyable time ... no longer. I can get food into stomach by turning head extreme left to swallow food or liquid. Sounds easy enough. But I have to chew on left, move food to center, get ready to swallow, turn head near shoulder LEFT and turn right back to close the sphinter muscle. Over and over again. Doc suggested I eat alone, not with hubby, no tv, no distractions .... even then my mind wanders ..... but it must not. Who wants to eat like that? Hubby is into 9th year of Alzheimer's and I'm his caretaker. So .... I try.

Hi @amoll157, @jimhd, @bilobabe, @fjg827,

You might be interested in this very recent update from Mayo Clinic about a procedure know as POET (Peroral endoscopic tumor resection), which has been been shown to achieve very successful outcomes in the treatment of esophageal motility disorders such as Achalasia. You can read about it here:

Hope you find this helpful.

I was diagnosed with complete achalasia in 2015. Prior to that, had a gastric blockage in '81, causing me to spend a month in the hospital. Everything was coming back up. Problem solved, but that constant aggravation caused my esophagus to start its slow deterioration. By 2006, I was down to 90 lbs, as my LES was closing up, and achalasia was setting in. Had the Heller myotomy, which literally saved my life, and put on 40 lbs. But I no longer have any motility. Foods need to be liquefied, mostly. I have had my esophagus dilated every two years, as it starts to close up again. At least my gag reflex is still working, when I accidentally eat too fast/too much. This pasta-loving girl is missing out on stuff so much! In private, I can eat almost anything, but need to spit it out. I can't get by without chewing something once in a while. Smoothies, soups and watery mashed potatoes are my staples now. I keep hoping for someone to perfect an esophageal transplant, but that may not happen in my lifetime. I empathize with you others who live with this condition. Bright side: I've lost pounds, and am maintaining at a good, healthy weight.
Have immersion blender, will travel!

Hi there, sorry to hear that. I hope you're alright now? Have you considered dietary changes? After speaking with my naturopath, he advised on foods that I should eat / not eat. I was told to avoid steak at all costs, given that if it get stuck in the esophageal sphincter, it's not easy to pass let alone dissolve. If you have not already done so, I would consider doing more research on what to eat v. not eat, and how best to consume foods. Here is what has worked for me over the past 8 years, note that I have not had the surgery done yet:
-Eat foods that are softer, and more moist
-Avoid foods that are dry: chicken breast, steaks, sticky/doughy breads. Toast your breads so they're less sticky
-Have hot water with meals, this helps to relax the sphincter and break down food
-Eat small portions and eat more frequently throughout the day
-Avoid greasy foods and fast foods; these will only irritate the esophagus causing more damage
-Make sure you're consuming enough calories, I like to have a protein shake everyday, with fruits. I thin it out with oats milk.
-Eat in a relaxed environment where you can take deep breaths to relax the esophagus and sphincter. Eating when I'm stressed is a no-go, I will just have to cough up the food, it won't pass.
-When eating in social environments, eat slower than usual, small bites, lots of hot water between bites to know the previous bite has actually made it down to the stomach
-Avoid cold beverages and ice at all costs. Cold water or cold foods seem to snap shut my esophagus on the spot.
-Start the day with small meals and lots of beverages to the sphincter that has been shut all night can slowly begin to open. Tea and oatmeal is ideal, but whatever you prefer that's aligned with the above. I find having a large lunch without consuming any breakfast or hot beverage in the morning is so difficult because the sphincter has not had time to open (relax) yet.
-Finally, if you're at all stressed, rushed or just anxious, wait to eat. I have had times where I've tried to eat while stressed and it's results in food being lodged in my esophagus to the point where I cannot even have water until the food has passed. This can last up to two full days, it's hell.
-Tip: if you have food lodged in your esophagus, try having hot water or carbonated beverages. This can help accelerate breaking down the food.
-Tip: whenever I can, I eat around social settings, so before I go for drinks/social events. I prefer to not take on the added stress of eating in social environments and risk having to throw up my food to clear out my esophagus. It's a stressful cycle that only amplifies the tightening of the sphincter.

I hope some of my natural practices / habits are helpful for you. It's all trial and error and maybe some of these will help alleviate your issues. All the best and I hope you can avoid another surgery, and if you do end up having it, I wish you a safe and speedy recovery!!!