Hiatal hernia, also known as stomach hernia, is a severe condition in which the stomach bulges up through the diaphragm to your chest, usually causing acid reflux affecting the esophagus and also heartburn, abdominal pain, or chest pain. It is very common in older people but does not always cause symptoms.
Hiatal hernias are of several types, with the most common type being type 1, called a sliding hiatal hernia. It is essential to seek medical help as soon as you recognize any of the symptoms. Visit our best Cypress gastroenterologist today for a diagnosis and treatment. Below are the most common types of hiatal hernias.
Types of hiatal hernia
- Sliding hiatal hernia
Also known as Type 1. This is the most common type of hiatal hernia, where the stomach and esophagus slide up to the chest. This type does not always need treatment. The most common symptoms of a sliding hiatal hernia are heartburn, chest pain, and acid reflux.
- Paraesophageal hiatal hernia
Also known as a rolling hiatal hernia or Type 2, it causes your stomach to push up to your chest parallel to your esophagus, causing symptoms like chest pain and shortness of breath.
Symptoms of hiatal hernia
- Difficulty breathing
- Chest pain
- Sour taste in the mouth
- Abdominal pain
If you experience any of these symptoms, get medical care right away. You will be given treatment based on your symptoms.
Causes of the hiatal hernia
- Lifting heavy weights, obesity, pregnancy, and chronic coughing could lead to pressure on the hiatus muscle.
- Older people are at greater risk of developing it.
- It is also caused by weakness in muscles and connective tissues.
- In rare cases, babies can be born with the condition.
It can be diagnosed by going through medical tests like X-rays for the digestive system, manometry, and endoscopy after a thorough medical history analysis. If it is left untreated, it can lead to inflammation of the esophagus and cause gastroesophageal reflux disease, shortened as GRED.
Managing a hiatal hernia
- Avoid foods that contain fats, spices, grease, and acid. Eat slowly and chew thoroughly to promote digestion. Do not eat heavy, solid foods; eat frequent meals but in smaller quantities.
- Quit smoking and alcohol because they make your muscles weak, making the symptoms even worse.
- Do not lie down or go to bed directly after eating the food. Eat your meal at least three hours before going to bed.
- Keep yourself hydrated for proper digestion and to prevent hardening of the stools.
- Strictly follow the medicines prescribed by your doctor and always go to your follow-up appointments.