Archive for the ‘Achalasia’ Category

Tips for coping with Achalasia

Tuesday, March 24th, 2015

Tips for coping

1 Eat smaller meals more frequently.

2 Eat slowly and chew well

3 Don’t eat too late

4 Beware of eating when feeling stressed

5 Eat fairly moist food

6 Lifting the chest and taking a deep breath also helps.

7 Keep a small bottle of water handy in case one’s oesophageal muscles go into spasm when out and about

8 Don’t have drinks too cold

9 Eat early in the evening

10 Don’t drink before bedtime

11 Don’t eat too many nibbles such as crisps and nuts or drink too many glasses of wine before a meal in the evening.

12 A good start to the day is a fruit smoothie using a wide variety of fruit liquidised with a live yoghurt and probiotic (actimel) and a good teaspoon of manuka honey.

13 Multigrain toast with Somerset brie is also a favourite, helped down with hot water.

14 With a good variety of nutrients early in the day.

15 Always have a drink with the meals: sparkling types can be beneficial, and gulps between every few mouthfuls help

16 Most important factor in managing eating has been drinking hot water (temperature is important – half cold and half boiling).  The technique involves judging how much food I can eat before I have to gulp down some water.

17 Soups are a good way of eating a variety of nutrients as they can be liquidised.Include all vegetables and pulses and experiment to get something I really like, sometimes topped with cheddar cheese.

18 Avoid eating skins on fruit and veg, but do churn them up in smoothies and soups

19 Avoid fatty meat and eat mostly chicken, fish or vegetarian dishes.

20 Also avoid spicy food and drinking alcohol with food is very difficult.

21 Salads are best eaten with lots of dressing and in small quantities.

22 Be aware of the types of food you personally need to avoid, and what can be digested easily.

23 Avoid the following:-

a) Large lumps of meat.

b) Dry chicken can be a problem. Meat in a sauce or casserole is usually better than anything else.

c) Pasta of any sort.

d) Too much bread.

e) Potatoes can be a problem if boiled but thin french fries are not too bad.

f) Rice. Fried rice is better than fluffy stuff.

g) Spotted dick or similar dry sponge puddings are avoided.

24 Food that gives little trouble:-

i) Soup

ii) Fish – salmon or battered cod seem good.

iii) Salads

iv) Stir-fry food is usually fine

v) Funnily enough quiche or similar is usually not a problem

vi) Cheese with crackers

vii) For dessert ice cream is best.

25 Basically it seems it is the consistency of the food which has more influence than anything.

26 Don’t eat too much bread in one sitting and eat good quality bread rather than soft white bread which is particularly bad for blocking the oesophagus

27 Avoid very dry food like falafels, raw cauliflower, raw carrot

28 Best foods were weetabix, readybrek, custard, sponge puddings and mashed potato.

Fortisip milkshakes which were a lifesaver as they are full of vitamins and nutrients.

29 Probiotic pills/Acidophilus powder as a major part of immune system is in one’s gut

30 Echinacea and Manuka honey to boost immune system

31 Sleep propped up with lots of pillows (before the operation) to help stop food and drink coming back up at night

32 A bed wedge is a useful alternative to lots of pillows to keep you propped up at night.

33 Finish the day with a good teaspoon of manuka honey and lemon juice in hot water.

34 Relaxation helps to avoid spasms and pain with the sphincter.

35 Yoga helps as does drinking hot water to relieve the pain.

36 Pain from the sphincter can be avoided by warming up cold food and drink in the mouth first before allowing it to go down. Avoid letting the chest get cold. Cold wind can set up pain.

37 Talk to other Achalasia sufferers. It helps so much to know you’re not alone!!



Symptoms and Prevent Achalasia

Saturday, November 23rd, 2013

Achalasia, literally ‘failure to relax’, is characterized by uncoordinated, non-progressive contraction within the esophageal body. There is derangement of the neuromuscular mechanism responsible for the normal working of the cardiac sphincter which fails to relax when food reaches it. Achalasia presents with Dysphagia as the primary symptom. As the disease progresses the esophagus dilates proximal to the obstructing LOS, and can harbor large volumes of food, which may be regurgitated or even aspirated if it doesn’t pass distally. Patients often lose weight as the symptoms progress. Dysphagia in Achalasia is variable and can occur to solids and liquids. Patients may be able to assist esophageal emptying by employing manoeuvres such as straightening up or lifting their arms.
Treatment of achalasia is aimed at decreasing the resting pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter to a level at which the sphincter no longer impedes the passage of ingested material. This can be accomplished by mechanical disruption of the muscle fibers of the LES (eg, pneumatic dilation or surgical myotomy) or by biochemical reduction in LES pressure (eg, injection of botulinum toxin, oral nitrates, or calcium channel blockers)