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Achalasia Cardia

A disorder in the esophagus can obstruct the general flow of food through it. The correction of such treatments therefore needs serious attention. Achalasia cardia is a similar medical condition, wherein the smooth esophageal muscles are affected. The most significant feature of this disorder is the bulge around the lower esophageal portions. This is known as Lower Esophageal Sphincter or LES. During this condition, the LES does not relax all of a sudden. Not many causes are associated with this condition. However, in some cases, this condition can also come secondary to certain infections, lymphoma, chaga's disease, stomach etc. Although the condition is idiopathic, it shows certain symptoms for a period of time. Some of the symptoms are as follows:

  • It becomes difficult for the patient to swallow (dysphagia) both liquids and solids.
  • In some persons, regurgitation and chest pain may also be seen.

Achalasia cardia can equally affect males and females of all ages. An accurate diagnosis is required to diagnose the problem. Some of the diagnostic tests that can be employed include the following:

  • Barium Swallow: This test involves intake of barium solution. As the solution passes through the food pipe, the non-relaxing LES can be identified.
  • Chest X-ray: This test can help in showing the absent gastric air bubbles.
  • Endoscopy: The secondary factors that cause this condition can be diagnosed through this test.
  • Monometric studies: The pressure exerted by LES can be detected through this diagnostic test.
Some of the methods that can be used for treating this condition are as follows:
  • Ballon dilatation: This method is found to be effective in more 85% of patients. In this method, the LES pressure decreases when the smooth muscle fibres are torn in appropriate sites.
  • Heller's myotomy: Excision of a portion of circular muscle fiber is performed in this surgery. The method is very much useful in yielding long-term effects.
  • Medications: Some medicines are also available in the market to reduce this condition. Isosorbide dintrate and nitroglycerin can be beneficial for relieving the chest pain. Calcium channel blockers like nifedipine and nitrates can also decrease this condition. Another medicine known as the Botulinum toxin is also injected in the affected area for decreasing the LES pressure. It is seen that almost 60% patients can find remedies for this problem.