How to teach a lazy esophagus to work
Like a lump in the throat – it’s about food. Why it suddenly becomes difficult to swallow, you have to keep a glass of water at the ready while eating and constantly drink food. And then there’s burping, nausea, burning and bad breath. All these are symptoms of achalasia – changes in the motor activity of the esophagus. What to do, how to avoid and how to deal with this scourge?
Food rots and lingers
The esophagus, the cylindrical tube that connects the pharynx to the stomach, has a very important mission: to move food into the stomach through successive muscle contractions. And he does it pretty well: dense food reaches its destination in 6-8 seconds, liquid food in 2-3. But in patients with achalasia, muscle contractions weaken sharply.
At a later stage, it is difficult to swallow even liquid. The upper section of the esophagus expands significantly, sometimes to a huge size, and the lower, before entering the stomach, narrows (spasms) in the form of a beak. Due to this imbalance, food hardly enters the stomach. It lingers and rots in the esophagus.
From point A to point B and … back
Another symptom characteristic of achalasia is the throwing of food debris back into the oral cavity, in medical language – regurgitation. This happens due to the fact that, having gone from point A (mouth) to point B (stomach), food on the finish line falls into a kind of “narrowing of the road” (do not forget – the lower section of the esophagus is conically narrowed). And she had no choice but to return back to point A. Moreover, in undigested form: without bile and gastric juice.
If such “returns” occur frequently and in large quantities, a person loses weight greatly, up to exhaustion. Worst of all, the food asks back at the most inopportune moments. For example, when you fasten a zipper on a boot, wash the floor, take out a fallen document, that is, you are in an inclined position. However, this can happen in a horizontal position, for example during sleep, then a person wakes up due to a sharp continuous cough.
Another problem is pain
Later, another problem joins the problems with swallowing and regurgitation – pain. Approximately 40% of patients with achalasia of the esophagus complain of pain behind the sternum, which can be felt in the upper back and neck. Some people think that their heart is naughty, although the true reason is in the “unbridled” esophagus. Such pains, unlike heartaches, are not associated with physical activity: walking, running, climbing stairs. They occur spontaneously or are provoked by swallowing. The pain can hold in its grip from several minutes to an hour or longer, and when it finally releases, often discomfort remains behind the sternum.
But in general, esophageal achalasia is an unpredictable thing. Someone even in the early stages has serious problems with swallowing, while someone has practically no this symptom.
The intensity of pain can also be different: from subtle to cramping, constricting, constricting, accompanied by a sense of anxiety and fear. In mild cases, the patient does not even think to see a doctor, believing that this is a temporary violation. The disease, meanwhile, is slowly but surely progressing further.
Achalasia can attack at any age, but is usually diagnosed at 20-40 years old, affecting both sexes. Achalasia of the esophagus not only delivers a lot of torment, but also is fraught with numerous complications: varicose veins of the esophagus, exfoliation of the submucosal layer, ruptures, and lung damage.
How to be treated?
At an early stage, you can try to get by with a sparing diet. In any case, it is necessary:
– To exclude products that can damage the mucous membrane, as well as alcohol.
– Give preference to soups and mashed dishes.
– Eat slowly, chewing food thoroughly, and at least 4-5 times a day.
– Refuse snacks before bedtime, especially plentiful, otherwise there will be prolonged stagnation and decomposition of food in the esophagus.
– Take note of special exercises that facilitate the evacuation of food. For example, sipping with arms raised, strong arching of the chest and neck back.
– Consult a doctor about the use of antispasmodics (relieving spasm, they improve the passage of food through the esophagus).
– In advanced cases, do not give up radical methods of treatment: pneumatic expansion of the lower esophageal sphincter with the help of special devices and surgical dissection of muscles.
By the way, the sensation of a coma in the throat is not always associated with achalasia of the esophagus. There are other reasons: on nerve soil, thyroid disease, on the background of a cold, due to a tumor.