What Is A Hiatal Hernia?

Hiatal hernia or hiatus hernia as it is also called is the weakening of the esophageal junction right about the stomach which causes a light protrusion or bulging in that area of the esophagus.

Hiatal hernia or hiatus hernia as it is also called is the weakening of the esophageal junction right about the stomach which causes a light protrusion or bulging in that area of the esophagus. This is further irritated by the backward flow of stomach acids that occur during reflux (gastroesphogeal reflux disorder, or GERD).

What causes Hiatal hernias?

One of the most common causes of hiatus hernias is an increase of pressure in the abdomen against the diaphragm which pushes upward against the stomach. This can be done by such normal or common activities such as coughing, straining during bowel movements, vomiting, muscle strain from lifting, sudden exertion, weight training, obesity and pregnancy.

Signs and Symptoms of Hiatal hernias.

Heartburn is usually the main complaint; this heartburn is severe and would feel like a burning sensation around the heart area, which is often confused as a heart attack symptom. This will develop soon after eating a meal. Increased amount of belching or the feeling of "vomiting" that does not come out of your mouth but up into the back of your throat. Symptoms are usually worse when lying flat or bent forward. Some people complain that they feel a lump in their chest and cannot swallow correctly, or that the food is lodged in the chest.



Predisposing factors of Hiatal hernias.

Obesity, any lifting or carrying that may strain that area, chronic constipation, bulimia, foods high is acid or spicy foods, nicotine (smoking), caffeine, alcohol consumption, excessive dieting or not eating at all therefore increasing the acidity of the stomach. When this acid increases it causes reflux up into the esophagus, without treatment this can lead to scarring of the esophagus and possible stricture.

Customary treatment of this disorder.

Eating four to six smaller meals during the day instead of three larger meals.

Stop smoking

Omit alcoholic beverages from the diet

Increase the amount of protein you eat

Do not lay flat when sleeping prop yourself up at a forty-degree angle- this helps to prevent reflux.

Do not lay down after eating

Taking antacids or medications your doctor prescribes for your condition

Eat well balanced diet

Avoid fad diets

Avoid spicy foods

Omit caffeine from your diet

Increase in exercise if obese this will decrease the amount of pressure on the stomach.

If this disorder goes untreated for a period of time you can develop more severe conditions. This disorder in itself is basically harmless and treated with ease. Ignored it could lead to esophageal cancer, or bleeding that can become life threatening. The bleeding in the esophagus is caused by the recurrent reflux of acids that will eat away at the lining of the esophagus causing ulcerations. If those ulcerations are not healed they can begin to bleed and infection soon set in. If the bleeding is not stopped in a timely manner your blood count will drop, anemia will develop and hospitalization may result.

Disclaimer: If you feel you have this condition please contact your physician and do not use this as the sole source of your treatment. This is meant for informational value only.

© High Speed Ventures 2011