HIATAL HERNIA: HOW DOES IT AFFECT YOUR STOMACH?
Hiatal hernia refers to a type of medical condition where the stomach bulges up into the chest through an opening via the diaphragm. Diaphragm is the muscle cavity that causes a separation in the two organs. This opening in the diaphragm is known as hiatus and therefore, this medical condition is also known as hiatus hernia.
There are two types of hiatal hernia: sliding hernia and paraesophagal hernia.
Sliding hernia: In a sliding hernia, the stomach and the lower part of your oesophagus silde into your chest via the passage of the diaphragm. This is the most common type of hiatal hernia.
Paraesophagal procedure: this is a more dangerous form of hiatal hernia. The oesophagus and the stomach stays where it should be. However, a section of the stomach squeezes up into the diaphragm to sit next to the oesophagus. Doctors call this a strangulated hernia.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF HIATAL HERNIA?
There are many patients who may not be able to report any symptoms. Other patients may experience the following symptoms:
Pain in the chest
Trouble while swallowing
Bad taste in the mouth
An upset stomach and nausea
Shortness of breath
What are the causes of hiatal hernia?
The exact causes of hiatal hernia are not known. However, some of them can be causes are as follows:
When someone is born with a larger hiatal opening
Injury to the area
Changes in your diaphragm as your age increases
A rising pressure in your belly due to obesity, pregnancy, vomitting etc.
Treatment of Hiatal Hernia
You should see a doctor and get a body checkup if you suspect formation of hiatal hernia in your body. Your doctor may prescribe medication if you get an acid reflux.
- Antacids in order to weaken the acid in your stomach.
- Proton pump inhibitors or H-2 receptor blockers in order to keep your stomach from making more acid
- Prokinetics in order to make your esophageal sphincter (the muscle that keeps stomach acid from backing up into your esophagus) stronger. They also help muscles in your esophagus work and help your stomach empty.
If you have paraesophagal hernia, your doctor may suggest you to get a surgical procedure.
During the surgery, the doctor reinforces your hiatus and replaces your stomach. After the surgery, you should not make much body movement to avoid any complications.
LIFESTYLE CHANGES TO HELP YOU WITH HIATAL HERNIA
- Do not excersise or lie down for 3 to 4 hours after having your meal.
- You should avoid acidic foods like orange juice, tomato sauce, and soda etc.
- A diet of mashed and soft foods is recommended for up to 2-3 weeks after surgery.
- You must limit fried and fatty foods, alcohol, vinegar, chocolate, and caffeine.
- You should eat smaller meals (four or five small meals each day) and eat at a slow pace.
- Do not wear tight belts or clothes that put pressure on your belly.
- You must lose extra weight in order to avoid strain on your stomach
- If you have a habit of smoking, you must quit it