September 9, 2011

Hiatal Hernia Foods to Avoid

A hiatal hernia is an abnormality in which part of your stomach pushes up, protruding through the diaphragm. The esophageal hiatus, a hole in the diaphragm that allows the esophagus to pass through to connect with the stomach, is typically larger in individuals with hiatal hernias allowing the stomach to pass through, or herniate through the hiatus into the chest.

While many hiatal hernias are small and go unnoticed, some become rather large and create digestive problems. Gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly referred to as GERD, can develop because of the open position of the sphincter of the stomach allowing acid to travel up into the esophagus. This flow of acid can cause heartburn, esophageal spasms, inflammation, and ulcers in the esophagus.

The best way to self treat a hiatal hernia is to pay close attention to the foods that you are putting into your body. A healthy diet that is hiatal hernia-friendly can help ease many symptoms that are incurred by the hernia. Staying away from certain foods can create less irritation and help support comfortable digestion. Foods that are high in fat and sugar, acidic foods, and certain beverages should be avoided whenever possible.

When preparing or eating meat, one should choose a less fatty meat like a lean cut of beef, skinless chicken breast, or fish. Eating high fat meats can wreak havoc on your digestive system. Being careful of how much spice, marinade, and sauce is being used during the preparation is an important factor, as these, too, can irritate the hernia.

Fruits and vegetables are an important part of a nutritious eating regimen, but certain fruits can irritate a hiatal hernia. Citrus fruits such as oranges and limes should be avoided to prevent irritation. Choose fruits like pears, apples, bananas, and peaches. It is also wise to avoid tomatoes, as they contain a high level of acid. Also keep in mind that the same rules apply to their juices. While apple juice is fine to drink, grapefruit juice will cause irritation to the esophagus.

Healthy grains should be consumed on a daily basis. Oatmeal, wheat bread, brown rice, low sugar whole grain cereal, couscous, and barley are just to name a few healthy grain options. Grains are an important part of one’s diet and contain numerous vitamins and minerals to keep the body healthy. However, one should try to bypass enriched white grains such as white bread and white rice, as they lack nutrients and break down too quickly.

One’s tolerance to lactose will decide what foods should be avoided in the dairy isle. However, individuals that tolerate lactose well should choose low-fat or fat-free cheeses, sour cream, yogurt, and milks over their full fat versions. Desserts like ice cream, and sugary rice pudding may cause irritation due to the high amounts of sugar in these foods. Consuming a no sugar added version is the best route to take.

While water should be the beverage of choice, some do not enjoy drinking it. When deciding on a beverage, steer clear of coffee, soda, and alcohol, as they tend to irritate a hiatal hernia. Also, teas that contain rosemary are known to reduce heartburn and indigestion.

While having a hiatal hernia can be rather painful and frustrating, eating a healthy diet can help lessen the severity of its symptoms. For more information on foods to avoid visit Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com today!

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