07 October 2009

Medical Word of the Day: achalasia

achalasia: a disorder of the esophagus, which affects the ability of the esophagus to move food toward the stomach; a rare disease of the muscle of the esophagus, the term achalasia means "failure to relax" and refers to the inability of the lower esophageal sphincter (a ring of muscle between the lower esophagus and the stomach) to open and let food pass into the stomach. As a result, patients with achalasia have difficulty swallowing food.

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