A look at Hiatal Hernia and Its Nuances

hiatal hernia

A hernia occurs when an internal organ comes out of an opening to a place where it originally does not belong. Hiatal hernia can occur if the upper region of your stomach starts to protrude inside the chest cavity through the diaphragm. The diaphragm has an opening called the esophageal hiatus, and the stomach can protrude through this opening. Generally, the opening has enough space only to contain the esophagus, but it may become enlarged, allowing the passage of the stomach also.

Thus, a hiatal hernia can occur if a portion of your stomach creeps out of the esophageal hiatus.

Types of hiatal hernia

There are two primary forms of the hiatal hernia: a sliding type and a fixed type. The sliding-type occurs if the junction between the esophagus and stomach slides out of the esophageal hiatus through increased pressure on the stomach. If the pressure is relieved, the gravity will cause the stomach to slide back into its place.

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The fixed type is also known as the paraesophageal hiatal hernia. It will occur if the upper portion of your stomach is entrapped and cannot slide back to its original position. However, this is not too common and is generally more symptomatic.

What are the symptoms of hiatal hernia?

The common symptoms of hiatal hernia include heartburn and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease). You should know that a lot of patients who have GERD may not have a hernia. Similarly, you may have patients with hiatal hernia who do not have GERD. Another symptom includes chest pains which can be pretty severe. You need to consult a physician immediately if you face any such problems.

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What are the causes of hiatal hernia?

The specific causes of hiatal hernia are unknown. Some of the reasons attributed to hiatal hernia are as follows:

1. Pregnancy and delivery

2. Weight gain

3. Increased abdominal pressure from chronic coughing

4. Straining during difficult bowel movements

A lot of people can be susceptible to hiatal hernia because of a congenital weakness. Other reasons include obesity and smoking, which may increase one’s chances of contracting a hiatal hernia.

How would you treat a hiatal hernia?

A lot of people do not display any symptoms and hence, require no treatment. However, if you have any GERC-like symptoms, you can take a specific medication for controlling GERD. You should also change your diet and try to lose weight to reduce pressure on the hernia. In case your symptoms become chronic, then you will need to go through surgery. In case your hernia gets strangulated, then surgery would be imperative. A lot of surgeons perform laparoscopic surgery to treat hiatal hernia.  You can search for hiatal hernia self adjustment to learn more about hernia treatments.

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Hiatal hernia is a severe ailment. If you feel that you are showing the symptoms, then you need to consult your physician immediately. An early diagnosis can ensure that you recover completely. Hopefully, this information will be helpful for you. 

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