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.