About hiatal hernia
What is hiatal hernia?
The esophagus connects the mouth and throat to the stomach. It passes through the chest cavity and enters the abdominal cavity through a hole in the diaphragm called the esophageal hiatus. The term hiatal hernia describes a condition where a part of the stomach that normally is located in the abdominal cavity pushes or protrudes through the esophageal hiatus to rest within the chest cavity.
What are the symptoms for hiatal hernia?
Most small hiatal hernias cause no signs or symptoms. But larger hiatal hernias can cause:
- Regurgitation of food or liquids into the mouth
- Backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus (acid reflux)
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest or Abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Vomiting of blood or passing of stools, which may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding
When to see a doctor
See your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.
What are the causes for hiatal hernia?
A hiatal hernia occurs when weakened muscle tissue allows your stomach to bulge up through your diaphragm. It's not always clear why this happens. But a hiatal hernia might be caused by:
- Age-related changes in your diaphragm
- Injury to the area, for example, after trauma or certain types of surgery
- Being born with an unusually large hiatus
- Persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as while coughing, vomiting, straining during a bowel movement, exercising or lifting heavy objects
What are the treatments for hiatal hernia?
The treatment for hiatal hernia is really treatment for GERD and minimizing acid reflux. This includes decreasing acid secretion in the stomach, avoiding substances that are irritating to the stomach lining, and mechanical means to keep the remaining acid in the stomach where it belongs.
What are the risk factors for hiatal hernia?
Hiatal hernia is most common in people who are:
- Age 50 or older
Is there a cure/medications for hiatal hernia?
When your stomach protrudes up into your chest through an entrance in your diaphragm, the muscle that separates two areas, you have a hiatal hernia. Because the opening is known as a hiatus, this condition is termed a hiatus hernia.
Hiatal hernias are classified into two types: sliding and paraesophageal.
Treatment for Hiatal Hernia
Most people are unaware of the diagnosis of a hiatal hernia and do not require treatment.
If you have heartburn, your doctor may recommend the following medications to treat the symptoms:
- Antacids to reduce stomach acid
- Proton pump inhibitors or H-2 receptor blockers to reduce stomach acid production
- Prokinetics to strengthen your esophageal sphincter, the muscle that prevents stomach acid from supporting up into your esophagus. They also aid in the function of esophageal muscles and emptying the stomach.
- If you have a paraesophageal hernia (when part of your stomach tries to squeeze through the hiatus), your doctor may recommend surgery to keep your stomach from becoming strangled. Sliding hernias may also require surgery if they bleed or become large, horribly mangled, or agitated.
Diaphragm changes as you get older,A rise in abdominal pressure
Heartburn,Chest pain,Trouble swallowing,Upset stomach,Shortness of breath