Hiatal hernia Archives

What Are The Effects Of A Hiatal Hernia?

A hiatal hernia is an abnormality of anatomy where a section of your stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and into the chest. This condition affects an estimated 15% of the population, though most people don’t experience any side effects. Often you won’t realize you have one until it shows up in a test a doctor runs for a different reason. For some people, though, hiatal hernias can cause digestive problems such as heartburn. Though in severe cases surgery may need to be performed, most problems associated with a mild hiatal hernia can be resolved through a healthy diet that uses food combining.

In normal conditions, your diaphragm has a small opening, the hiatus, which your esophagus runs through on the way to join with the stomach. Hiatal hernias form when the stomach muscles are weakened and push up through this opening. Although small hiatal hernias normally do not cause any symptoms, large ones can cause a backup of food and acid in the esophagus that results in heartburn.

The exact cause of a hiatal hernia is unknown, but it is believed that pressure on the stomach may contribute to the formation of one. An abnormally large esophageal hiatus is also a potential cause. A shortened esophagus and abnormally loose attachment between the esophagus and diaphragm can also result in hiatal hernias.

The biggest effect a hiatal hernia has on the body is frequent, painful heartburn. Other effects are belching, difficulty swallowing, and fatigue. Although these effects are not fatal, they are painful, embarrassing and can cause problems with eating and digestion. Frequent heartburn can cause a backlash of acid in the esophagus and stomach. When the pressure that is generated by the sphincter overlaying with the diaphragm and the pressure the sphincter normally generates no longer overlap, the result is a decrease in overall pressure. This change causes a reflux of acid which leads to GERD and acid reflux disease.

To treat the symptoms caused by a large hiatal hernia, doctor often suggest surgery in the patient is unresponsive to medication. The stomach is lowered into the abdomen and the esophagus is attached to the diaphragm. However, there is an alternative way to deal with the acid reflux and heartburn associated with a hiatal hernia. It’s called food combining, and it has helped millions of people suffering from a wide range of digestive disorders to get their lives back and be healthier than ever.

Tom was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia after suffering from heartburn for several months. His doctor recommended a proton pump inhibiting medication for treatment. Tom wanted to try a more natural approach that didn’t involve medication first to see if that could help. He did research on food and digestion and found out about food combining. Within just a few weeks of practicing food combining, his heartburn and nausea were gone and he did not experience any more hiatal hernia symptoms.

Food combining is not a fad diet or gimmick. It is a solid system with a strong dietary foundation that promotes healthy eating and easier digestion. In food combining, foods that need different types of enzymes to digest and not eaten together. This promotes healthier digestion that does not strain the stomach and cause heartburn, gas, or bloating. For example, proteins from meat and dairy require hydrochloric acid and pepcid to properly digest. If you eat protein, you should eat it with non-starchy foods such as broccoli or green beans to prevent your digestive enzymes from neutralizing each other and inhibiting digestion.

A hiatal hernia can be painful and cause heartburn, but it doesn’t have to require surgery or make you experience nausea and fatigue all the time. A healthy diet of fresh produce and no or few processed foods, eaten with food combining, will help keep you healthy and acid-free.

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Ways To Cure A Hiatal Hernia

There are a number of different ways to cure a hiatal hernia. From natural methods to medication, usually something will help anyone suffering from a hiatal hernia. Many of the symptoms that one experiences from having a hiatal hernia can easily be cured by some simple measures. If you smoke, quitting can be a cure for hiatal hernia. It’s also better for your overall health. It does tend to aggravate your condition.

Next on the list of cures for hiatal hernias is avoiding caffeine, or at the very least limiting it. Coffee and tea are full of acid and this is not conducive to helping your condition. It will no doubt make it far worse than it needs to be. It’s also wise to avoid any alcohol especially liquor that classified as hard liquor. Wearing loose clothing that is comfortable will help manage your condition although it’s not considered a cure for hiatal hernias.

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A hiatal hernia cure is possible by other natural methods too. One method is to massage the upper area of your abdominal cavity. Using your fingers, find where your breast bone, also known as the sternum, ends. This is usually at the bottom rib on either side of your chest. Putting the tips of your fingers slightly underneath this area and gently press down, moving toward your stomach area. Then repeat this massage technique. It is recommended to do this while lying down and while relaxed. Keep repeating this until you start to get some relief from your symptoms. This method is very effective after meals or any time that you experience discomfort.

Another hiatal hernia cure is to lie down for a period of 5-10 minutes and practice relaxing. When you get up drink a large glass of water and follow this by jumping off an object, to the ground. For instance, it could simply be from the bottom of the stairs. The glass of water adds weight to your stomach and jumping will help to move the area of your stomach that is herniated to slip downward.

Your digestive tract is associated with stress and your nervous system. An important part of a cure for your hiatus hernia is to work on relaxing and controlling your emotional levels. If you are dealing with anger or frustration then this can lead to problems in your digestive area.

Many people will turn to doctors who practice alternative medicine, looking for a hiatal hernia cure, when conventional doctors and medications do not work. In most cases a hiatal hernia is caused by the foods you eat. One natural cure for a hiatal hernia, that many have had success with, is following the Great Taste No Pain Program by Sherry Brescia. After going on this diet plan many have experienced a complete remission of their symptoms. Within a week most people usually notice a marked difference in their symptoms.

Most people don’t realize that what you put into your system will be the determining factor in how your digestive system works. Once you learn what things are good for you to eat, and in turn good for your digestive track, and what foods are not good, it won’t be long before you are on a course to curing your hiatal hernia.

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What Is Hiatal Hernia Repair?

Hiatal hernia repair is the processes of correcting the breathing muscle in the stomach better know as the diaphragm, this repair is also referred to as Foundoplication or Anti-reflux surgery.

The question is: will you need to have this type of surgery to take any pain away you may be experiencing due to a hiatal hernia. For most people the answer is no, some people may have hiatal hernia but the case is so mild, that they do not even have any symptoms. For the majority of people who do experience symptoms chances are they will not have to have surgery. Instead some medication and a couple of life style changes would be more appropriate.

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But for the unfortunate people how have to deal with the very serious symptoms a hiatal hernia repair is in order. The surgery is not a real extensive process which might help ease the mind of people who have to have it done. The surgery consists of having about five small little incisions in which a laparascopic instrument will be inserted with a camera on the end of it and the camera will transmit the images on to a monitor. This process makes it possible for the surgery to only require small cuts instead of being opened all the way up. Each incision is about ten millimeters long and will cut down on healing time, recovery time, cut down on the chance of infection and will leave less visible scares.

Some indication that you need to have hiatal hernia repair could include but are not limited to severe esophagus damage caused by the backup of gastric and acid fluids in the system which is usually caused by chronic heartburn. Narrowing of the esophagus due to acid damage and chronic inflammation of the lungs due to breathing in gastric fluids which in extreme cases can lead to pneumonia. All of these are good reasons you should attend to your chronic heartburn.

If you need to have hiatal hernia repair but try to avoid it, serious complications may start setting in. Complications could include the stomach and other abdominal contents bulging into the chest cavity and causing chronic heart burn which will eventually lead to esophagus damages. Also you could require immediate treatment if your intestines become twisted in your stomach. This is a life threatening situation.

The risks of the hiatal hernia repair being done are low but like with anything, there are still some draw backs. You may have trouble swallowing which is common and will start to slowly go way. You could also end up with a gas and bloating which will leave you with complication burping, passing gas, vomiting, and may give you bloating after meals.

For the most part hiatal hernia repair is a simple surgery, some side effects may occur but will eventually go away. Unfortunately the surgery does not always fix the problem permanently but that is a risk you have to take. With the percentage in your advantage, it can be in your best interest to have the surgery done.

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What To Expect When Going For Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Usually before a doctor will consider doing hiatal hernia surgery they will first try to treat it using other methods. For those who do not have any symptoms the doctor is likely to take a wait and see approach, then consider the options if problems arise at a later date. Hiatal hernia surgery will be needed is the hernia becomes strangled. Hiatal hernia surgery will become necessary if the hernia becomes constricted and cuts off the blood supply. Hiatal hernia surgery will also be needed to reduce the size of the hernia and possibly put it back into the correct position.

This surgery is not nearly as serious as it was years ago. Nowadays it can easily be performed using a laparoscope. The surgeon will start by making approximately 6 very small incisions, anywhere from 5 – 10 millimeters, in different areas of the abdomen. Then he simply takes the laparoscope and any surgical instruments that he may need and will insert them into the incisions.

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The surgeon then uses the laparoscope to guide what he does and pictures are then transmitted to a screen showing all the internal organs. At this point the surgeon finds the stomach and then looks for the defect in the diaphragm. In rare cases he may have to pull the stomach down through the diaphragm, removing it from the chest cavity and putting it back into the abdominal cavity.

The surgeon then moves on to taking the stomach and wrapping it around the end of the esophagus. It will then be stitched and stapled in the right area. A large defect in the diaphragm may mean, that it too, will have to be stapled and stitched or in rare cases it can be closed with a graft made of mesh.

There are numerous advantages to using a laparoscopic technique. First, and most important, there is much less chance of infection. Recovery is much faster and the patient will most likely experience a lot less pain and have very little scaring compared to the older methods.

This type of surgery is usually done using a general anesthesia and in some cases may even be performed on an out-patient basis. This type of surgery can be performed by a general surgeon but more often it is performed by a specialist.

It is not unusual for patients to be up and walking around within 24 hours of the surgery. Patients are also likely to have no restrictions when it comes to their diet and depending on the health of the patient, and the strength of their abdominal muscles, they can be back doing normal activities within a week of hiatal hernia surgery.

For a complete recovery you usually wait 2-3 weeks after having the surgery, although heavy lifting or intense labor in not recommended for at least 3 months. Hiatal Hernia surgery is no guarantee that in time there will not be a return of the hernia, but in a large number of cases the surgery will usually be a one time occurrence.

If you have to face this surgery it is comforting to know that hiatal hernia surgery is not nearly as serious as it used to be and has a lot fewer complications that the older methods.

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What Is A Good Hiatal Hernia Diet?

How Diet Can Eliminate Your Pain

hiatal hernia dietOne of the least known facts about hiatal hernias is that this ailment does not have to be symptomatic. In fact, of the millions of people who suffer from hiatal hernias, over 50% do not show any signs at all. This is normally because they are eating the right foods, at the right pace and in the right increments. If you are on the other side of this percentage, it is very simple to eliminate your suffering altogether by implementing and sticking to a hiatal hernia diet.

The Basics of Eating with a Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach protrudes (or “herniates”) into your chest or thorax through a tear or weakness in the esophagus. Because of the nature of this herniation, acid reflux is the most common symptom that you will need to address. Commonly known as “heartburn,” this mildly to extremely painful ailment can become very serious if left unchecked, due to corrosion of the esophageal lining. For this reason, it is important to keep a few basic tenets in mind when eating on a diet for hiatal hernia.

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• Eat slowly and chew well. When you eat quickly, you are doing two things that increase your risk for hiatal hernia symptoms: First, you are gulping air down as you swallow which increases the amount of air in your stomach. This leads to further herniation due to the expansion of the stomach. Second, your stomach has to work harder on larger chunks of food.
• Eat 5 to 6 smaller meals a day. This will help you to not overeat, a key factor in avoiding acid reflux. The brain takes 20 minutes to know that it is full so reducing the amount of larger meals and splitting them up into smaller ones will allow the brain to register fullness and self-adjust the food cravings it sends to you.
• Eat the right combination of foods. Proteins should never be combined with complex carbohydrates. Fruits should always be eaten separately, etc.
• Post-meal posture. Sit up for at least one hour after eating and never bend over or lie down. This promotes proper digestion.
• Leave the night for sleeping. Avoid meals and snacks from at least two to three hours before bedtime. Your body doesn’t digest in the healthiest manner at night and especially during sleep. That’s just the way we are wired from an evolutionary standpoint.

Managing Your Diet

Foods to Avoid

It should go without saying that each individual reacts differently to any number of foods with regards to the causation of heartburn. While it seems simple enough to think that staying away from spicy or acidic foods would completely solve the problem, this is not often the case. Your diet will have to be tailored towards your body’s reactions. With that said, here is a list of foods that will give you a good idea of what to avoid:

• High-fat sweets and snacks. Brownies, cookies, chocolate (the serotonin in chocolate relaxes the lower esophageal sphincter), donuts, corn chips, potato chips, etc.
• Citruses. Oranges, grapefruits, lemons, cranberries and the juices that are made from them.
• Tomato-based foods. This includes spaghetti sauce, chili, pizza, salsa and tomato juice.
• Dairy products. Milk, ice cream and creamed foods like cheeses. Try substituting soy milk and mild cheeses, like feta or goat.
• Cooking additives. Garlic, oil, butter, onions, peppers, vinegar, wine.
• Fatty and fried foods. French fries, fried chicken, fatty cuts of meat (marbled steak for example).
• Vices. Coffee, tea, caffeinated drinks, alcohol, wine, beer, cigarettes.

Foods to Enjoy

Now that we got the depressing part of the hiatus hernia diet out of the way, let’s take a look at the many wonderful and tasty foods you can have. In most cases, it’s not about cutting out a particular food altogether, but rather switching to the low-fat or lean version and using healthier cooking methods. This is not only helpful for your hernia, but also healthier for you all around.

• Lean meats. Look for the lean cuts at your local butcher and enjoy the same steak, London Broil, skinless chicken breast, ground beef, fish and pork that you always have.
• Greens are great! Broccoli, cabbage, beans, peas, salads, etc.
• Low-fat products. As I mentioned, simply switching to low-fat products can be enough. Skim milk, yogurt, sweets with no mint or chocolate, salad dressings and cheeses can all be found in low-fat varieties.
• Fruits. Bananas and apples are tasty and good for you, too.
• Substitutes. Baked potato chips, egg whites/substitutes, pretzels, rice cakes and graham crackers.
• Grains. Cereal, oatmeal, bran, bread, rice, crackers and pasta.

Your Hiatal Hernia is Telling You Something

Don’t ignore it! With simple management and attention, you can utilize a proper diet combined with healthier living to combat the symptoms of your hiatal hernia. Bake instead of fry, steam your veggies, use cooking spray instead of butter and go easy on the seasoning. Not only will you feel better, but these lifestyle changes will leave you looking better as well. Don’t think of your diet as a restriction, but rather an exciting new path to a healthier you!

In most cases the right combination of foods will greatly alleviate hiatal hernia symptoms and will help you in getting better quickly. With the right combination of foods you might be able to enjoy foods that are on the ‘to avoid list’ every once in a while without having to suffer another attack. To find out if this works for you click the link below for a 4 day test drive of a program that will teach you how you to combine foods the right way and you might even be able to get rid of your hiatal hernia.

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The Correct Hiatal Hernia Treatment

There are two different types of hiatal hernia and you should know the difference between the two, so you can get the correct hiatal hernia treatment.

A hiatal hernia, that for the most part has no symptoms, causes and no discomfort usually requires no treatment. There are a number of hiatal hernia treatments for those who do suffer from discomfort and pain that is associated with a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia treatment program will depend on what your symptoms are, and how serious they may be.

A hiatal hernia treatment for people who experience mild symptoms can usually be treated at home with medicines that are nonprescription and with a change in lifestyle. This is where people usually begin when trying to treat their problem.

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One of the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia is heartburn and lifestyle changes will help to a certain extent, but there are other hiatal hernia treatments that you can use at home. One thing that is usually recommended first is to increase your meals from 3 a day to 5-6 smaller meals, with smaller portions. Also, snacking at night is not a good idea, as it can take hours for a meal to pass through your system. Lying down or going to sleep will inhibit digestion and you will normally find yourself waking up in the middle of the night with heartburn.

One of the most recommended hiatal hernia treatments is a change in your diet. What you eat can play a big part in how bad your symptoms will become. It is not recommended to eat foods that are spicy or food that have a high acid content. Coffee and tea can also aggravate your symptoms as they are loaded with acids. One good rule of thumb is, if the food you just ate gives you problems, eliminate that food from your diet. If your symptoms improve then you know that food was part of the problem.

Another popular hiatal hernia treatment for people who suffer at night, is to raise the head of your bed. This can be done by using a foam wedge and putting it underneath the head of your mattress.

The best hiatal hernia treatment is making changes to your lifestyle. One of the first things to do, and one that may bring a lot of relief, is to go on a recommended diet and lose some weight. Even losing 10-15 pounds can make a significant difference. Another lifestyle change is to try and reduce the amount of stress in your life. Practice yoga or meditation to bring your stress levels down. Be careful in the clothing you choose. Wearing clothing that is tight will help to aggravate your symptoms. Clothing that fits loosely around your middle will help a lot by not causing any pressure on your stomach or abdominal area.

Last but not least, the first hiatal hernia treatment that most people start out with is taking and using non-prescription medicines that they can buy over the counter. These are good for controlling mild bouts of indigestion and occasional heartburn symptoms. They usually are acid blockers and they help to reduce the acid in your stomach. They are commonly known as antacids. They will help to some extent but as your symptoms progress they are not recommended for long term use.

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What Are The Hiatal Hernia Symptoms?

It is not unusual for a person with a hiatal hernia to have absolutely no hiatal hernia symptoms at all. Close to 25% of the population have a hiatal hernia and don’t even notice it. Often it will show up when tests are being done for another condition.

Hiatal hernia symptoms can be also be very varied. From simple symptoms such as hiccups to belching, may be an indication that you have a hiatal hernia. Other hiatal hernia symptoms can be more serious and can send you to a doctor immediately. Feeling pressure in your chest or having it escalate to chest pains, can have you thinking you are having a heart attack. Further examination often shows that it is really a hiatal hernia symptom. One of the most common hiatal hernia symptoms is heartburn.

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It is also common for a person to experience pain in areas of the upper abdomen. This pain is caused by the stomach becoming trapped over the diaphragm due to a narrow esophageal hiatus. In rare cases a fixed hiatal hernia can cut off the blood supply to the portion of the stomach that is trapped. This causes extreme pain and can be a very serious problem. It is normally referred to as a strangulated hiatal hernia and immediate medical attention is needed.

Another hiatal hernia symptom is a feeling of discomfort. This usually happens when you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, which is commonly called GERD for short. This condition causes stomach acids and digestive enzymes to move up the esophagus and past the sphincter valve that is between the stomach and the esophagus. A hiatal hernia can help to weaken the sphincter muscle.

A hiatal hernia may cause chest pains that feel very similar to angina, also known as heart pain. This heart pain or pressure, may feel like it is radiating to your arm or into your neck area. This is a very serious symptom than can present like either condition, hiatal hernia or a heart attack. It is important for you to not write this off to indigestion, or to your hernia, as the possibility of a heart attack is very real and very serious. Don’t take the risk of doing nothing, but go to an emergency room immediately and let a doctor make the correct diagnosis.

Having constant heartburn after a meal or certain foods can be a sign of many different problems, but it is very often associated as a hiatal hernia symptom. Hiccups although they may seem innocuous, when put together other symptoms may be associated with a hiatal hernia. They can be caused when the nerves in the neck become irritated.

One hiatal hernia complication can be Cameron ulcers. These can be caused by a big, sliding hiatal hernia. Over time it erodes the folds of the stomach close to the opening in the diaphragm. Usually your doctor will do an endoscopy to look at your hernia. Although rare, these ulcers can bleed. Cameron ulcers are not common and generally only about 5% of people who experience a hiatal hernia will have this complication.

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