Was Achalasia the reason for my Stroke?

I’m starting to think that my Achalasia is somehow linked to all my health issues over the last few years. Starting with the persistent chest infections I had when I was training for the London Marathon in 2010, the minor Stroke I had in August 2015 and the Atrial Fibrillation I was diagnosed with last week! It all seems like a bit of a coincidence!.


Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke

Through my training as a volunteer with the Stroke Association, I know there is a well established link between Atrial Fibrillation and Stroke – read more here.

Achalasia and Atrial Fibrillation

Take it a step further and do some research on the Internet and you will find that people are investigating the links between Achalasia and Atrial Fibrillation. Therefore, it might be reasonable to conclude that there is an indirect link between Achalasia and Stroke via Atrial Fibrillation.

Achalasia and Stroke – are they linked?

I’ve had Achalasia for at least 6 years but didn’t know it until recently. A CT scan on my lungs in 2010 showed that I already had an enlarged oesophagus. However, the first time anyone suggested I had Achalasia was in September 2016. The Radiologist who conducted the Barium Swallow test explained that the most likely cause of my swallowing difficulties was Achalasia. The diagnosis was confirmed a few weeks later by the Manometry test, the “Gold Standard” test for Achalasia.

Since I’ve been taking Gaviscon Advance, and more recently Peptac, after meals to settle the contents of my oesophagus, my asthma has settled down and I’m not coughing or wheezing at nights. I’m now only taking one puff at night and another first thing in the morning as a preventative measure. I haven’t felt the need for an extra puff of my inhaler at night for a while. So was Achalasia responsible for the chest infections I was experiencing back in 2010?

Moving forward to 2015, Achalasia was probably well established by then but I hadn’t picked up on the symptoms. My Lower Oesophageal Sphincter (LOS) was obviously delaying the passage of food into my stomach – hence the size of my oesophagus – but it was still managing to clear most things down by the time I went to bed at night. However, did my enlarged Oesophagus when full, immediately after a large meal, cause Atrial Fibrillation. If so, could this have led to me having the Stroke? I’ll let a medical professional make a call on that!


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