Other Names for this Disease
- Esophageal achalasia
- Primary achalasia
- Achalasia cardia
- Idiopathic achalasia
- Idiopathic achalasia of esophagus
 Achalasia is typically diagnosed in individuals between 25 and 60 years of age. The exact etiology is unknown, however, symptoms are caused by damage to the nerves of the esophagus. Familial studies have shown evidence of a potential genetic influence. When a genetic influence is suspected, achalasia is called familial esophageal achalasia. Treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter and may include Botox, medications, or surgery.Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. 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.
Last updated: 3/15/2016
- Achalasia. International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders. April 28, 2015; http://www.aboutgimotility.org/site/about-gi-motility/disorders-of-the-esophagus/achalasia.
- Stuart J Sechler. Clinical Manifestations and diagnosis of achalasia. UpToDate. February 24, 2016; http://www.uptodate.com/contents/achalasia-beyond-the-basics#H1.
- John E. Pandolfino, Andrew J. Gawron. Achalasia A Systematic Review. JAMA. May 12, 2015; 313(18):1841-1852. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/25965233.
- International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders has an overview of Achalasia as well as more information for patients and their families.
- 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 for patients and caregivers.
- The National Organization for Rare Disorders (NORD) has a report for patients and families about this condition. NORD is a patient advocacy organization for individuals with rare diseases and the organizations that serve them.
- Medscape Reference provides information on this topic. You may need to register to view the medical textbook, but registration is free.
Esophageal Motility Disorders
- The Merck Manual for health care professionals provides information on Achalasia.
- The Monarch Initiative brings together data about this condition from humans and other species to help physicians and biomedical researchers. Monarch’s tools are designed to make it easier to compare the signs and symptoms (phenotypes) of different diseases and discover common features. This initiative is a collaboration between several academic institutions across the world and is funded by the National Institutes of Health. Visit the website to explore the biology of this condition.
- 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.
- UpToDate has an article on Achalasia. Click on UpToDate to view the page.