Achalasia is considered to be a rare disease of the muscle of the lower esophageal body and the lower esophageal sphincter. The particular cause of achalasia is unknown. The LES is hypertensive in about 50% of patients. These abnormalities cause a functional obstruction at the gastroesophageal junction (GEJ).
Signs and Symptoms: The main symptoms of achalasia are dysphagia (difficulty in swallowing), regurgitation of undigested food, chest pain behind the sternum, and weight loss. Dysphagia tends to become progressively worse over time and to involve both fluids and solids.In achalasia at least half of the patients, they have the symptoms of lower sphincter resting pressure (which is usually known as the pressure in the lower sphincter when the patient is not swallowing) also is abnormally high.
Disease statistics: Achalasia is an uncommon swallowing disorder that affects about 1 in every 100,000 people. Disease affects mostly adults between ages 30s and 50s. It occurs equally in males and females. It is typically diagnosed in adults, but can occur in children as well.