Achalasia (ack-uh-LAY-zia) is a rare swallowing disorder caused by the loss of nerve cells in the esophagus, the tube that carries food from your mouth to your stomach.

Common symptoms include the sensation that food and liquids get stuck in the chest. Some people compensate by eating more slowly and by lifting the neck or throwing the shoulders back, to improve emptying of the esophagus.

Early diagnosis and treatment are important because people with achalasia have an increased risk of developing esophageal cancer. Please consult with your physician.