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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Other Names for this Disease
  • Esophageal achalasia
  • Primary achalasia
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What is achalasia?

What is achalasia?

Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach.[1] It is characterized by enlargement of the esophagus, impaired ability of the esophagus to push food down toward the stomach (peristalsis), and failure of the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus (the lower esophageal sphincter) to relax.[2] Achalasia is caused by damage to the nerves of the esophagus. Treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter and may include Botox, medications, or surgery.[1]
Last updated: 7/20/2011

  1. Dugdale DC, Longstreth GF. Achalasia. MedlinePlus. January 10, 2010; Accessed 7/20/2011.
  2. Achalasia. National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD). 2007; Accessed 7/20/2011.