Achalasia is a rare disease, affecting 1 in 100,000 people, characterized by a loss of nerve cells in the esophageal wall and manifested as chest pain during eating, weight loss, and regurgitation of food.
When we swallow, a sphincter in the lower esophagus opens, allowing food to enter the stomach. Nerve cells in the esophageal wall control the opening and closing of this sphincter, but in people with achalasia, these nerve cells gradually disappear. Without these cells, the esophageal sphincter fails to relax, causing food to accumulate in the esophagus. This results in the swallowing problems, regurgitation, vomiting, nighttime coughing, chest pain and weight loss.