One type of esophageal motility disorder is achalasia (ak-uh-lā´-zhuh). Achalasia occurs when the nerves in the esophagus degenerate. As a result, the muscles in the esophagus stop working (no peristalsis), and the valve at the bottom of the esophagus doesn’t open. The condition is believed to affect 1-2 people in every 100,000, with about 3,000 new cases diagnosed each year in the United States.
Other less common dysmotility disorders include spastic esophageal motility disorder (nutcracker esophagus and diffuse esophageal spasm), inefficient esophageal motility disorder, and secondary esophageal motility disorders, which are related to other medical conditions like scleroderma, diabetes, and alcohol consumption.
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