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Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD)

Other Names for this Disease
  • Esophageal achalasia
  • Primary achalasia
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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.
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1 question(s) from the public on Achalasia have been answered. See questions and answers. You can also submit a new question.

Basic Information

  • MedlinePlus was designed by the National Library of Medicine to help you research your health questions, and it provides more information about this topic.
  • The Merck Manuals Online Medical Library provides information on this condition. Click on the link to view the information.
  • The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) is a federation of more than 130 nonprofit voluntary health organizations serving people with rare disorders. Click on the link to view information on this topic.

In Depth Information

  • eMedicine has 2 articles on this topic from the perspective of Gastroenterology and Radiology. You may need to register to view the information online, but registration is free. Click on the links above to view the articles from this medical reference Web site.
  • Orphanet is a European reference portal for information on rare diseases and orphan drugs.  Access to this database is free of charge.
  • PubMed is a searchable database of medical literature and lists journal articles that discuss Achalasia. Click on the link to view a sample search on this topic.