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

Esophageal Achalasia Home Care

Home care for achalasia includes:

  • Avoid alcohol.
  • Avoid caffeine.
  • Avoid swallowing large pills.
  • Drink plenty of water while eating.
  • Drink a glass of water after eating.
  • Eat 5 small meals per day, rather than 3 large meals.
  • Eat soft food.
  • Chew your food completely.
  • Take prescribed medications as directed:
    • Don't skip doses of your medication. This makes them less effective.
    • Be aware of the common side effects that may be caused by your medication.

Esophageal Achalasia Liquid Diet

Those with severe achalasia symptoms may benefit from a liquid diet for a period of time. Nutritional supplements are usually necessary in this situation.

There are two main types of liquid diets:

Clear Liquid Diet
Clear liquids are liquids you can see through. Clear liquids can also contain some nutrition, but are usually not adequate to support the body's energy needs for more than a few days. Clear liquids are easily absorbed by the intestines. Liquids remove the stress on the intestines.

Clear liquids include:
  • Bouillon soup
  • Coffee
  • Broth
  • Fruit juices without pulp
  • Gelatin
  • Popsicles (no pulp)
  • Soft drinks
  • Sports drinks (e.g. Gatorade)
  • Tea
  • Water

Full Liquid Diet
This type of diet lies between a solid diet and clear liquids. It is often used by someone who is tolerating clear liquids, but cannot tolerate solid food. A full liquid diet can safely sustain the body for long periods of time.

Full liquids include:
  • Cream of wheat
  • Fruit juices
  • Honey
  • Jelly
  • Milk, milkshakes and ice cream
  • Nutrition supplement drinks, such as Ensure or Boost
  • Pureed meats
  • Pureed vegetables
  • Soups without solids
  • Syrups
  • Vegetable juices
  • Yogurt and pudding

Esophageal Achalasia Vomiting

Home care for vomiting in someone with achalasia:

  • Drink clear liquids only, such as water, sports drinks, fruit juice and dilute tea. Sports drinks are best. The absence of food allows the intestines to rest.
  • Drink small quantities of fluids frequently. In general, two tablespoons of fluid every 5 minutes is an effective strategy.
  • Avoid milk and dairy products for 3 days.
  • Avoid liquids that irritate the stomach, such as citrus juice, alcohol and coffee.
  • If nausea or vomiting continues despite the above, consider one of the nonprescription medicines listed below.
  • Once vomiting and nausea resolves, start bland foods first. If you tolerate bland food, then you can resume a normal diet.

Nonprescription medications for vomiting include:

Esophageal Achalasia Warning Signs

Notify your doctor for achalasia and any of the following:

Continue to Esophageal Achalasia Complications

Last Updated: Nov 29, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Esophageal 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]
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