Can I die from esophageal achalasia if I ignore it?

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.
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.
Probably not. You may however get to a point where you can no longer stay nourished, which left alone could cause death from malnutrition.
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).
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.

Related Questions

What do you recommend for esophageal achalasia?

Hard question. Although there is no definite cure, several therapies have been shown to be effective - dilation of the esophagus, certain medications such as nitroglycerine, Nifedipine may be helpful and finally if all fails, especially esophageal dilations, surgery. Read more...
Surgery. For healthy patients, surgery (heller myotomy) is the best and most long-lasting treatment. Alternatives include endoscopic dilation and Botox injection at the lower esophageal sphincter. While these can also work, their effect is typically short-lived. Read more...
Depends. Endoscopic balloon dilation is less invasive, but slightly more risky and less effective than surgical myotomy. There is a new endoscopic method for myotomy called per oral endoscopic myotomy (poem) being done in a few centers in the us. Read more...

What is the definition or description of: esophageal achalasia?

Motility Disorder. Achalasia is an esophageal motility disorder. It is diagnosed by manometry, showing a lack of relaxation of the distal esophagus and decreased peristalsis. Primary achalasia (most common) is due to loss of inhibitory neurons in the distal esophagus. Secondary achalasia is caused by chagas disease. "pseudo-achalasia" is seen with cancers. Surgical treatment remains the gold standard. Read more...
Achalasia. This is a disease that destroys the nerves coordinating esophageal muscle contraction. The normal ability to push food into the stomach is lost, and the valve entering the stomach becomes tight and stiff, allowing food to collect in the esophagus and empty by gravity alone. Solids generally worse than liquids. Onset is gradual. Weight loss & malnutrition common. Treatment directed at opening valve. Read more...

What is the treatment for esophageal achalasia?

Medical/surgical. Medical treatment is with calcium channel blockers. Endoscopic treatment is with balloon dilation of the lower esophageal sphincter, but typically has to be repeated several times. Surgical treatment is a heller myotomy. Your gastroenterologist can help you decide which treatment is best for you. Read more...
Several. The main treatments are 1) medications, 2) endoscopic, and 3) surgical. Which one to choose depends on how severe the symptoms are. Read more...
Multiple options. Currently, there are multiple options for treating achalasia. Medications have limited success. Endoscopic treatment (via a flexible scope passed from the mouth into the esophagus) can be used to dilate (balloon pressure) or temporarily weaken (botox injection) the lower esophageal sphincter. Surgery involving laparoscopic release of the sphincter (myotomy) is a very good option for most patient. Read more...
Surgery. There are alternatives, but surgery (heller myotomy) is the best and most lasting treatment. It can be done with minimally invasive techniques and recovery is fast. Read more...
Opening the valve. All treatment for achalasia is aimed at permanently opening the valve entering the stomach. The most ineffective is Botox injection. Endoscopic dilation is ok, but not as good or permanent as surgically opening the valve, usually done laparoscopically. Endoscopic myotomy (cutting the muscle) is becoming more available. It is called poem - per oral endoscopic myotomy. Read more...

What kind of pills or treatment can somebody get for esophageal achalasia?

Possibly Reglan (metoclopramide) You can speak to your doctor about trying Reglan (metoclopramide) or Metoclopramide but cautiously and in small amounts since you have to worry about side effects. This a motility agent that might help and also there could be a stricture in esophagus that might need to be dilated per upper endoscopy perhaps as well. Read more...
Possibly Reglan (metoclopramide) You can speak to your doctor about trying Reglan (metoclopramide) or Metoclopramide but cautiously and in small amounts since you have to worry about side effects. This a motility agent that might help and also there could be a stricture in esophagus that might need to be dilated per upper endoscopy perhaps as well. Read more...
Possibly Reglan (metoclopramide) You can speak to your doctor about trying Reglan (metoclopramide) or Metoclopramide but cautiously and in small amounts since you have to worry about side effects. This a motility agent that might help and also there could be a stricture in esophagus that might need to be dilated per upper endoscopy perhaps as well. Read more...
No pills. The only effective treatment is to open the lower esophageal valve by balloon dilation or surgically through the abdomen or the mouth (poem). Pills don't work, nor does botox. Read more...

Do you have to have difficulty swallowing if you have esophageal achalasia? What are all the symptoms?

Yes. Achalasia is a when the lower esophageal sphincter muscle incompletely relaxes and doesn't allow food or fluid to pass easily. Achalasia is characterized by difficulty swallowing, regurgitation, and sometimes chest pain. It is diagnosed with esophageal manometry or pressure study or barium swallow test. Treated with dilation, Botox injection or a heller myotomy "cutting of the muscle.". Read more...