A hiatal hernia is a condition in which the upper part of the stomach bulges through an opening in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest. The diaphragm helps keep acid from coming up into the esophagus. When you have a hiatal hernia, it's easier for the acid to come up. The leaking of acid from the stomach into the esophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD may cause symptoms such as

Hiatal hernias are common, especially in people over age 50. If you have symptoms, eating small meals, avoiding certain foods, not smoking or drinking alcohol, and losing weight may help. Your doctor may recommend antacids or other medicines. If these don't help, you may need surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia

The following features are indicative of Hiatal Hernia:
  • heartburn
  • acid like taste
  • trouble swallowing
  • chest pain
It is possible that Hiatal Hernia shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Hiatal Hernia

The following are the most common causes of Hiatal Hernia:
  • diaphragm opening in the chest
  • heavy lifting

Other Causes of Hiatal Hernia

The following are the less common causes of Hiatal Hernia:
  • hard coughing
  • difficulty while sneezing
  • vomiting
  • straining
  • stressful conditions

Risk Factors for Hiatal Hernia

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Hiatal Hernia:
  • obesity
  • heavy smoking

Prevention of Hiatal Hernia

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Hiatal Hernia. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • avoid heavy eating
  • not bending over right after a meal
  • avoid smoking
  • maintain normal body weight

Occurrence of Hiatal Hernia

Common Age Group

Hiatal Hernia most commonly occurs in the following age group:
  • Aged > 50 years

Common Gender

Hiatal Hernia can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Hiatal Hernia

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Hiatal Hernia:
  • Barium swallow x-ray: To examine the esophagus, stomach, and small intestine
  • Esophagogastroduodenoscopy: To examine the lining of the esophagus, stomach, and first part of the small intestine

Doctor for Diagnosis of Hiatal Hernia

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Hiatal Hernia:
  • General surgeon

Complications of Hiatal Hernia if untreated

Yes, Hiatal Hernia causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Hiatal Hernia is left untreated:
  • iron deficiency anemia
  • volvulus
  • bowel obstruction

Procedures for Treatment of Hiatal Hernia

The following procedures are used to treat Hiatal Hernia:
  • Surgery: To repair hiatal hernia

Self-care for Hiatal Hernia

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Hiatal Hernia:
  • avoid heavy eating
  • do not bend over right after a meal
  • avoid smoking
  • maintain normal body weight

Time for Treatment of Hiatal Hernia

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Hiatal Hernia to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • In 1 - 4 weeks

Related Topics

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Hiatal Hernia.

Related Topics

Hiatal Hernia

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