Natural Remedies for Achalasia and Dysphagia
Esophageal achalasia is a disorder which inihibits food from passing through the esophagus and also causes the lower esophageal sphincter from relaxing. The most common result of this disorder is difficulty swallowing but it can also cause regurgitation or chest pain.
Dysphagia is the medical term for difficulty swallowing. It is often cited as a symptom of some other condition or disorder (such as esophageal achalasia) but it can also be a condition by itself.
If you have occasional trouble swallowing then you aren’t likely to have dysphagia but if you frequently have difficulties then you may want to seek a diagnosis by a professional - or try some of the remedies below!
Any of the conditions or syndromes that involve difficulty swallowing may be relieved or even healed by using the protocols below. In addition to all the causes listed above, difficulty swallowing can also be caused by a chronic iron deficiency; which can cause webs or little “shelfs” of tissue to develop in your esophagus, where the food gets stuck – this is something that I personally have experienced.
So in addition to utilizing all of the treatments below, I have also experimented with my throat when in a choking/stuck food situation and found that if I dropped my jaw, tilted my head down, and with my intention got the muscles in my throat to open the passage in an oval shape, the food slipped off the ‘shelf’ and down my esophagus. When food was stuck there, I could breathe, and could say a few words with difficulty, but my throat would spasm and go through the choking motions, so it was still pretty traumatic each time it happened.
1. Experiment with related structures: I encourage you to experiment with your own throat – use water during experiments – to see if there’s a position you can hold your head, neck, or jaw in that makes swallowing easier. This will not only be helpful during a choking episode, but it will also give you valuable information about where/how your impediment is occurring. For the solution I discovered above, it does not make swallowing easier with water, it only works when there is food actually stuck there! However, I did discover head and neck positions that made general drinking and eating easier.
2. Start taking Magnesium: If money is tight for you, or if you tend towards constipation, then use Magnesium Citrate – which alone could relax the esophagus enough to make swallowing a whole lot easier. 40% of the population is deficient in magnesium. You can take 250 mg – 1000 mg (to bowel tolerance) of magnesium citrate per day. Stop the dosage at whatever level loosens your stool. You can get it in capsule form and empty the contents into a shake, or add to liquid foods.
If you tend towards diarrhea, or have normal bowel movements then use nano-sized magnesium; which does not require digestion and therefore does not loosen the bowels. This is the nano-sized liquid magnesium that I use (it tastes like water); Mini-Minerals Magnesium
3. Start taking Potassium: Potassium is the other mineral that can result in cramping/spasming if you’re not getting enough. Either eat a banana or 1 cup of raw coconut water per day, or take 100 mg Potassium Citrate. Again, get it in capsule form, so you can empty the contents into your shakes or liquid food.
4. Make sure you’re getting enough cold-pressed fat: Flax or Udo’s oil is ideal and is also anti-inflammatory, but needs to be refrigerated. So you can also use raw coconut oil instead (can be stored at room temperature); which is also fantastic for connective tissues and mucosa and will help to kill yeast/fungus. Or you can alternate both! You can eat or drink 2 tablespoons per day and that too will change your life – especially if you are deficient in good fats, either due to food choices or lack of knowledge.
5. Receive bodywork treatment: Find a craniosacral therapist (Level II or higher), or myofascial release therapist, to work on freeing up your esophageal valve and any adhesions, restrictions etc. in surrounding tissues/structures. If you can’t afford bodywork, then at least do a hot castor oil pack on your throat and sternum.
6. Drink high quality nutrients: When you have difficulty swallowing, the stress of not knowing what to eat, or being afraid to eat can also cause psychological stress that is likely to make you feel worse and trigger your throat even more! The easy way to get a complete, highly nutritious healing shake is to use Absorb Plus with 1 tablespoon of Udo’s oil or flax oil added. Also, here are links to several blog posts where I give you recipes and ideas for liquid foods that are easily tolerated, but also super high in nutrients – that may even improve your overall health:
7. Experimental scar tissue treatment: If you think your difficulty swallowing is caused by scar tissue or adhesions in your esophagus, then you may want to try this experimental treatment I have used to dissolve scar tissue in my rectum. For external throat application, you would use the protocol here, but instead of a 50% DMSO solution, you would prepare a 40% solution (so 40 percent DMSO, 60 percent aloe vera). If you are a blonde or redhead, then use a 30% DMSO solution (30 percent DMSO and 70 percent aloe vera). Then you would follow the DMSO treatment with the hot castor oil pack as shown.