Hiatal Hernia

Hiatal hernia can be defined as an anatomical abnormality in which part of the stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into the chest.

Types of Hiatal Hernia (Acid Reflux)

There are two generally type of hiatal hernia

  1. Sliding hiatal hernias
  2. Fixed or paraesophageal, hernias


  1. Sliding Hiatal Hernia: This is more common type of hiatal hernia, it occurs when your stomach and esophagus slide into and out of your chest through the hiatus sliding hernias tend to be small. They usually don’t cause any symptoms. They may not require treatment.
  2. Fixed Hiatal Hernia: This type of hernia isn’t as common it’s also known as a paraoesophagus hernia. In a fixed hernia, part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm and stays there. Most cases are not serious however, there is a risk that blood flow to your stomach could become blocked if that happens, it could cause serious damage and is considered a medical emergency.

Common Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia

  1. Heart burn that gets worse when you lean over or lie down
  2. Chest pain or epi- gastric pain
  3. Trouble swallowing
  4. Belching

 Treatment and Drugs for Haital Hernia

Most people with a hiatal hernia don’t experience any signs or symptoms and won’t need treatment. If you experience signs and symptoms such as recurrent heart burn and acid reflux you may require treatment which can include medication or surgery.

 Medication for Heartburn/Treatment

If you experience heartburn acid reflex, your doctor may recommend medications such as

  • Antacids that neutralize stomach acid over the counter antacids, such as gelusil Maalox, my lanta, roloid and thus, may provide quick relief.
  • Medication to reduce acid production
  • Tagamet HB, famotidine, nizatidine, ranitidine

 Prevention of Hiatal Hernia

  1. Wear loose clothing; anything that presses on the stomach can aggregate hiatal hernia symptoms
  2. When your stomach is full, avoid bending over or dying down. This increases abdominal pressure and makes heartburn more likely.
  3. Do not bend over or lie down for two or three hours after eating.
  4. Raise the head of the bed six to eight inches by using wooden blocks under the bedposts.

 Dietary Management of Haital Hernia

One key treatment for a hiatus hernia is changes to a person’s diet to help relieve heartburn symptoms. Diet changes include having smaller meals more often and avoiding food known to trigger symptoms. It can also help to finish meals several hours before going to bed or lying down for a daytime nap.

 Causes of Hatial Hernia

  • Decreases abdominal muscle tone and increased pressure within the abdominal cavity may lead to the development of a hiatal herna. Thus people who are obese and women who are pregnant are at an increase risk for developing a hiatal hernia.
  • People who have repetitive vomiting or those who have constipation and strain to have a bowl movement increase the intra-abdominal pressure when they strain, and this may weaken the phrenesophagus membrane.
  • The membrane also may weaken and lose its elasticity as a part as aging
  • Ascites, an abdominal cavity often seen in people with liver failure, also is associated with the develop at a hiatal hernia

 Food to be Avoided for Haital Hernia

Some food that should be avoided include spicy, grease, foods onions, tomatoes and citrus fruits, however most individual are generally aware of the foods that trigger heartburn symptoms and avoid them.

 Food to be Eaten for Haital Hernia

  • Choose lean meats, such as skinless chicken, meat with little visible fat, ground turkey instead of ground beef, and fish. Lean beef cuts include round, chuck, sirloin, or loin. Lean pork cuts include tenderloin or loin chop.
  • Bake or broil foods instead of frying.
  • Skim off fat from meat during cooking.
  • Go easy on seasoning. Most seasonings can be used as long as they are not spicy but should be used in moderation.
  • Substitute low-fat dairy foods, such as low-fat yogurt, for ice cream.
  • Steam your vegetables with water only.
  • Limit butter, oils, and cream sauces. Use cooking spray instead of cooking oil when sautéing.
  • Choose low-fat or nonfat ingredients over full-fat products.
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