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When an organ anywhere in the body inflates due to stress, inflammation, or infection, it gets a hernia. A hiatal hernia is the enlargement of the hiatus, an opening in the diaphragm. Despite the fearsome name and description, most sufferers don’t even know they have it. Only around twenty percent of those affected by a hiatal hernia notice any symptoms. Even if you feel symptoms, they may be a sign of a different issue. For example, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can be a side effect of a hiatal hernia, but there are about seven other organs with varying complications, all of which can also cause GERD. It’s difficult for a doctor to diagnose this illness. The entire digestive tract, from the esophagus down to the rectum, needs to get checked. Heartburn, anemia, and GERD are the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia. However, it can sometimes lead to more severe conditions, such as intestinal bleeding. An unhealthy lifestyle can contribute to these complications, so it’s best to practice healthy living to help prevent or treat a hiatal hernia. A viable way to do this is to take note of the ten treatments of a hiatal hernia below.

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A Healthy Diet

Eating unhealthy food can contribute to issues with a hiatal hernia. Changing your diet can help reduce the symptoms of a hiatal hernia. You’ll want to avoid alcohol, excess caffeine, carbonated drinks with artificial sweeteners, fried and greasy foods, and chocolate – in other words, you’ll want to practice healthy eating. Citrus fruits, onions, tomatoes and processed foods can also cause problems, as they can aggravate the heartburn or GERD that can be a side effect of a hiatal hernia. Cutting down on these products and going for fresh organic vegetables or probiotic foods is an excellent idea.

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A Healthy Weight

Overweight individuals are some of the most affected by GERD and hiatal hernia. The reason for this is simple – excess weight. The organs of obese people are always under pressure, and this can often cause one or more GI diseases. To naturally fight a hiatal hernia, you should exercise and eat healthily. If you lower your weight, your hiatal hernia has a chance of healing on its own. Even if it doesn’t fully improve, your symptoms will be more manageable. The less pressure there is on the organs, the faster they recover.

hiatal hernia healthy weight
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Sleep Position Changes

Many people are unaware that sleeping right after you eat. In some cases, this is how a hiatal hernia and GERD appear. Instead, you should try to sit up for at least 3 hours after eating. Sitting up will help with proper digestion, which can lead to relief from the symptoms of your hiatal hernia. If you’ve already been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, or suffer from GERD, you should sleep with their torso higher than the rest of the body. The angle of the esophagus, diaphragm, and stomach needs to be lower than that of the mouth. This way, you can avoid unwanted acid reflux.

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Quit Smoking

Smoking can aggravate the symptoms of GERD or hiatal hernias. If you have either, you should quit smoking as soon as possible. Cigarette smoke damages and impairs muscle reflexes. These reflexes control the release of digestive contents, and smoking makes them involuntarily leak acid. Depending on the position of the body and the current GI process, acid release can do damage. Smoking also increases the production of that acid, which makes it a double threat to hiatal hernia sufferers. You can improve your hiatal hernia or GERD symptoms drastically by quitting smoking.

effects hiatal hernia

Stress Management

Stress can do a lot of damage to the GI tract in high doses and contributes to over-consumption, which can exacerbate your hiatal hernia. There are numerous ways in which stress can damage the body, especially with GERD or a hiatal hernia. These include consumption of processed foods, eating too quickly, lack of rest, lack of exercise and meal skipping. All of the mentioned stress side-effects will make a hiatal hernia much worse or make it manifest. Instead, you should not let stress take over their habits. You should eat on time and in moderation and do your best to exercise regularly.

causes of hiatal hernia

Medications

Medications such as antacids and H2 blockers are often the doctor’s prescription to a patient with a hiatal hernia. These pills manage the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia – heartburn and acid reflux. Some of these medications will lower the production of acid in the stomach, while others block its effects. Prokinetics are sometimes the solution for those with much stronger symptoms as well. Generally speaking, hiatal hernia medications don’t cure the disease itself. They may block the signs, but won't entirely repair the damage. Unless you change your lifestyle, the medicines won’t do much.

hiatal hernia causes

Surgery

In severe cases where the individual is at risk of esophageal cancer, an operation is the only option. Laparoscopic surgery is a noninvasive GI tract surgery that has a high success rate. If you have to undergo this procedure, you shouldn’t worry too much. The chance that tissue will heavily scar or that the surgery will have significant complications is relatively low. With this procedure, the troubled part of the GI tract is pushed back in its place. For example, in a hiatal hernia, your stomach could be pulled back into place, making the hiatal opening made smaller. There are other procedures to repair a hiatal hernia depending on the type you have, and all are low-risk.

surgery hiatal hernia

Probiotics

You can find food or medicine containing probiotics over the counter at nearly every store, including yogurt and other healthy options. A good example is kefir, a milk-based beverage from the Ural Mountains. Science shows that it has extremely high potential to treat many kinds of GI diseases. Kefir contains chemicals that can help cleanse the GI tract and begin repairing the damage that can be caused by GERD or hiatal hernia side effects. The disease will have a reduced impact on you once this damage is fixed. Folktales claim that kefir and other probiotics are the only treatment needed for GI diseases.

probiotic hiatal hernia

Stomach Manipulation

Various practitioners of alternative medicine offer viable solutions for a hiatal hernia. Most of them will push back the part of the stomach that’s protruding through the hiatal opening and return health to the tract. Chiropractors are some of the most famed healers of a hiatal hernia. Then again, many folk healers that use other methods are also successful. Although science does not recommend this option, stomach manipulation is widespread. Like the surgery procedure, this solution has a rather high success rate. However, it’s important to remember that practitioners of alternative medicine aren’t always certified medical experts, and while they can offer you relief on a temporary basis you may find your symptoms worsen again over time.

stomach hiatal hernia

Nut Diets

Foods containing nuts are famous for the Omega-3 fatty acids that they provide. These acids help heal the entire body and supply it with vital chemicals that boost the immune system. However, the biggest reason why nuts are wondrous against GI diseases is their fiber. Nut foods are the richest in fiber, which repairs the walls of the GI tract. The walls take damage from the leaking acids, and the holes that they suffer contribute to other symptoms. Nut foods can significantly improve all GI symptoms and possibly even eradicate the disease.

diet hiatal hernia

Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.