Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Overview Incidence Symptoms Evaluation Treatment questions for doctor specialist Home Care liquid diet vomiting warning signs Complications Underlying Cause Anatomy

Achalasia Underlying Cause

Nerves stimulate muscles in the wall of the esophagus, in order to propel food and liquids down the esophagus and into the stomach. A muscular ring at the bottom of the esophagus, called the lower esophageal sphincter, prevents food from leaking from the stomach, back into the esophagus. For reasons that are unclear, the nerves that control this process do not function correctly.

The abnormal nerve function causes two problems:

  • Muscles in the wall of the esophagus do not propel food down the esophagus correctly.
  • The lower esophageal sphincter does not open correctly, obstructing the flow of food into the stomach.

Continue to Achalasia Anatomy

Last Updated: Sep 18, 2008 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
Copyright DSHI Systems, Inc. Powered by: FreeMD - Your Virtual Doctor

PubMed Achalasia References
  1. Garofalo JH, Pofahl WE. Achalasia: a brief review of treatment options and efficacy. Curr Surg. 2002 Nov-Dec;59(6):549-53. [1609319]
  2. Nguyen NQ, Holloway RH. Recent developments in esophageal motor disorders. Curr Opin Gastroenterol. 2005 Jul;21(4):478-84. [15930992]
  3. Woltman TA, Pellegrini CA, Oelschlager BK. Achalasia. Surg Clin North Am. 2005 Jun;85(3):483-93. [15927645]
FreeMD is provided for information purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for evaluation and treatment by a physician. Please review our terms of use.