How is Achalasia Dangerous?


How is Achalasia Dangerous?

Typically, Achalasia Cardia is a rather rare and un-unheard of disease that makes only a few people its victims. Adults, generally in the age group of 20 to 50 years, are more prone to become the victim of this disease. Only 2% to 5% of children below 16 are found to develop the symptoms of achalasia cardia. But achalasia symptoms are so severe that you can’t overlook it. The first symptom starts from difficulty swallowing food due to inflammation. Then, the condition of the patients only becomes severe until medical intervention. 

This article maps out what is Achalasia Cardia, its causes, symptoms, and treatments. Keep reading the article to learn about achalasia disorder in a simplified manner. 

What is Achalasia Cardia? 

Achalasia Cardia is an unusual yet severe autoimmune disease. This disease damages nerves in the oesophagus. The oesophagus is a muscular tube that gives a passage to transport food from your mouth to the stomach. The other end of the muscular tube that meets with the stomach forms a ring of muscle. This area is known as the lower oesophagal sphincter (LES). 

In normal conditions, this muscle opens to take the food inside the stomach and closes itself to prevent the food from going back to the oesophagus again.  When the achalasia cardia  occurs, the LES muscle becomes malfunctioned to a great extent. The patient’s condition becomes severe when the LES does not open its mouth to take food inside the stomach. As a result, the food doesn’t reach the stomach and gets trapped in the oesophagus. The disease can take a serious turn when the food comes back to the mouth. Eventually, the patient loses his ability to swallow food/liquids. 

What are Achalasia Symptoms?

Symptoms of oesophagus achalasia disease start with difficulty in swallowing (dysphagia). They become worse with each passing day. Following are some of the achalasia symptoms to be noted: 

  1. Difficulty in swallowing food or liquids (stage of dysphagia)
  2. Regurgitation of food from the passage of the oesophagus into the mouth
  3. Mild or severe chest pain
  4. Sudden weight loss
  5. Excessive cough at night
  6. Food sticking in the muscular tube, i.e. oesophagus
  7. Frequent hiccups 
  8. Dry mouth and eyes

What are Achalasia Cardia Causes?

Medical science has been researching to find out what achalasia cardia causes are, but not many facts have been discovered yet. Some medical experts say that this is an inflammatory auto-immune disease, which means that the low immune system is accountable for the generation of this disease in the body. The low immune system of the body harms the walls of the nerve cells of the oesophagus. As a result, the oesophagus and LES (Lower oesophagal sphincter) gradually stop working. LES will stop opening and closing its mouth to take the food inside the stomach all of a sudden. 

Very less evidence is existed that determines which bacterial infection/virus is responsible for achalasia cause. But it happens, and when it happens, it completely takes away the strength and nutrition from the human body. Certain other studies suggest that this disease can be hereditary. Again, this research is not certain. However, it has been established that it can attack both men and women. 

Achalasia Treatment 

Achalasia treatment often requires surgery, but it is not guaranteed that this would be a permanent solution. It is not very easy to treat Achalasia completely. It is possible that the patient may require repeated surgical treatments. Moreover, there always remains the risk of another disease after achalasia surgery. A number of patients suffered from gastroesophageal reflux condition after the surgery. On the contrary, if the doctor fails to see surgical treatment's positive outcomes, they may advise choosing non-surgical treatment.

The following surgical and non-surgical treatments are often recommended by doctors as the achalasia cardia treatment:

Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy (LTM)

This is often referred to as minimally invasive surgery. In this surgery, the endoscope is inserted into the stomach with the camera. This helps the surgeons to operate the oesophagus. Then, the muscle fibres of the LES are cut. This operation aims to start contraction and expansion in the LES. After this surgery, a minor surgery named partial fundoplication is done to prevent the risk of gastroesophageal reflux. This surgery is typically successful in treating achalasia cardia disease. But, the possibility of developing other issues still persists. 

Peroral Endoscopic Myotomy (POEM)

This is a comparatively minor surgery to Laparoscopic Heller Myotomy. In this surgery, the muscles on the LES, upper part of the stomach, and oesophagus are cut. The purpose of this surgery is to clear the passage of the oesophagus so that the food can go to the stomach without any obstacles. 

Pneumatic Dilation

This is a non-surgical treatment. A balloon is inserted into the muscular tube oesophagus. Then, it is inflated. As a result, the LES is widened. This procedure is found to be less effective than other surgical methods. The need for its repetition is more than other treatments. 

Medications for Achalasia Cardia

Usually doctors use to inject Botulinum toxin injections in the oesophagus tube of the suffering patients to treat the disease. Though this might not be a permanent solution, it can give much relief to the  them. It enables the LES  relax (open) its mouth to take the food inside the stomach. The patient may need this injection several times to keep their condition managed. 

The doctors may also recommend medications like isosorbide and nifedipine to give instant relief in the severe symptoms of the achalasia disorder. These medicines are not effective in curing the disease. They can only lessen the intensity of symptoms. 

To Conclude

In a nutshell, the causes of achalasia disease are still unknown. But it is evident that anyone can be the victim of this disease. While one might not be able to avoid such health issues, one can always be prepared for them with the right kind of health insurance. Buying a health insurance policy will never go wrong. 

Medical treatment is costly, and expenses will only increase. Diseases like achalasia need regular and consistent monitoring by doctors. You can manage doctors’ fees, surgery expenses, and medication costs easily if you have the right health insurance policy. Health insurance policies offered by Care Health Insurance serve as a shield, providing a safety net against unforeseen health challenges. These policies come to ones rescue during the time of hospitalisation due to unavoidable medical conditions such as Achalasia. With comprehensive coverage, it ensures financial security, allowing you to navigate life's uncertainties with confidence.

>> Read More: Stomach Flu: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Disclaimers: The above information is for reference purposes only. Kindly consult your general physician for verified medical advice. The health insurance benefits are subject to policy terms and conditions. Refer to your policy documents for more information.

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