This week we will discuss Achalasia of the Esophagus
Achalasia occurs when nerves in the esophagus become damaged. As a result, the esophagus becomes paralyzed and dilated over time and eventually loses the ability to squeeze food down into the stomach. Food then collects in the esophagus, sometimes fermenting and washing back up into the mouth, which can taste bitter. Some people mistake this for gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). However, in achalasia the food is coming from the esophagus, whereas in GERD the material comes from the stomach.
There's no cure for achalasia. Once the esophagus is paralyzed, the muscle cannot work properly again. But symptoms can usually be managed with endoscopy, minimally invasive therapy or surgery. (Credits: Mayo Clinic)
Our guest on this episode is Bridget Oyen, known in the TikTok world as @LiveSickDieslowly.
Bridget is 30 years old and has been struggling with Achalasia since the age of 15. In addition to that, she has Gastroparesis, Fibromyalgia, and is Autistic and ADHD. She is an advocate for the disabled community, and loves to help educate others on how to be mindful in regards to disability and chronic illness, and aims to break down stigma surrounding these topics.