Type of disease: Rare conditions
Achalasia is a disorder of the esophagus, the tube that carries food from the mouth to the stomach. It is characterized by enlargement of the esophagus, impaired ability of the esophagus to push food down toward the stomach (peristalsis), and failure of the ring-shaped muscle at the bottom of the esophagus (the lower esophageal sphincter) to relax. Achalasia is caused by damage to the nerves of the esophagus. Treatment is aimed at reducing the pressure at the lower esophageal sphincter and may include Botox, medications, or surgery. Source: Genetic and Rare Diseases Information Center (GARD), supported by ORDR-NCATS and NHGRI.