10 doctors weighed in:

Can I die from esophageal achalasia if I ignore it?

10 doctors weighed in
Dr. Elizabeth Yen
Pediatrics - Gastroenterology
5 doctors agree

In brief: Maybe

Untreated achalasia can result in accumulation of fluid in the esophagus that can silently enter the lungs while you sleep at night.
Chronic silent aspiration can cause permanent damage to the lungs, asthma, recurrent pneumonia. Any of these conditions can potentially shorten your life if not treated properly. A large aspiration event can be deadly.

In brief: Maybe

Untreated achalasia can result in accumulation of fluid in the esophagus that can silently enter the lungs while you sleep at night.
Chronic silent aspiration can cause permanent damage to the lungs, asthma, recurrent pneumonia. Any of these conditions can potentially shorten your life if not treated properly. A large aspiration event can be deadly.
Dr. Elizabeth Yen
Dr. Elizabeth Yen
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Dr. Frederick Shieh
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology
2 doctors agree

In brief: Yes

It depends on how severe the symptoms are.
If the achalsia is so severe it is impacting your nutritional intake, that can be life threatening and should be fixed.

In brief: Yes

It depends on how severe the symptoms are.
If the achalsia is so severe it is impacting your nutritional intake, that can be life threatening and should be fixed.
Dr. Frederick Shieh
Dr. Frederick Shieh
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Dr. David Earle
Surgery

In brief: Probably not

You may however get to a point where you can no longer stay nourished, which left alone could cause death from malnutrition.

In brief: Probably not

You may however get to a point where you can no longer stay nourished, which left alone could cause death from malnutrition.
Dr. David Earle
Dr. David Earle
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Dr. Thomas Birdas
Surgery - Thoracic

In brief: Yes - but unlikely

If you regurgitate food and it goes down your windpipe ( trachea) you can develop aspiration pneumonia.
Also achalasia is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. Talk to a minimally invasive surgeon about surgery for achalasia (heller myotomy).

In brief: Yes - but unlikely

If you regurgitate food and it goes down your windpipe ( trachea) you can develop aspiration pneumonia.
Also achalasia is a risk factor for esophageal cancer. Talk to a minimally invasive surgeon about surgery for achalasia (heller myotomy).
Dr. Thomas Birdas
Dr. Thomas Birdas
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Dr. Charles Cattano
Internal Medicine - Gastroenterology

In brief: Achalasia can be bad

Yes! achalasia is defined by absent peristalsis in the esophagus & incomplete relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (les).
It may be a "primary" esophageal motility disorder, or "secondary" to cancers invading the les (pseudoachalasia), chagas disease from reduviid bug bites, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, eosinophilic infiltration. Similar motor abnormalities can be seen with diabetes & ciip.

In brief: Achalasia can be bad

Yes! achalasia is defined by absent peristalsis in the esophagus & incomplete relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter (les).
It may be a "primary" esophageal motility disorder, or "secondary" to cancers invading the les (pseudoachalasia), chagas disease from reduviid bug bites, amyloidosis, sarcoidosis, eosinophilic infiltration. Similar motor abnormalities can be seen with diabetes & ciip.
Dr. Charles Cattano
Dr. Charles Cattano
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