Hiatal Hernia

September 16, 2011

Hiatal Hernia and GERD

Gastroesophageal reflux is the process whereby a small amount of the stomach contents flows back into the esophagus. Gastroesophageal reflux is commonly known as heartburn and is not unusual in humans. It is often brought on by the drinking of alcohol or the eating of certain foods that are fatty or spicy. Changes in posture such as lying down can also increase the occurrence.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), on the other hand, occurs when a person experiences gastroesophageal reflux on a frequent basis. It is typically the direct result of a faulty sphincter in the lower portion of the esophagus, but there are many theories as to exactly what causes the incompetent sphincter. Although a faulty sphincter is thought to be responsible for the majority of GERD cases, other causes may include things such as systemic diseases like lupus, ingestion of corrosive materials, or extended intubation. The malfunction of this sphincter with its subsequent regurgitation results in a burning sensation in the region behind the sternum. Over time, this persistent reflux directly results in the inflammation of the esophageal lining which can eventually reach down to the muscular level. Once the inflammation penetrates into the muscular level, it causes muscle damage which further increases the amount and frequency of reflux that a person will experience. There is no one type of person who becomes afflicted with GERD. It is a very non-selective disease that occurs in the old and the young, the thin and the overweight, in both genders, and in all ethnicities. Because the disease is non-selective in who it affects, the diagnosis is often difficult and tends to rely on patient history, x-ray studies, and endoscopy of the esophagus. Diagnosis of GERD can often be tricky as it can mimic other disease processes such hiatal hernia.

Hiatal hernia can mimic GERD, but it is a completely different condition. The cause is not known, but it can occur as a result of trauma or it can be congenital. Basically, a hiatal hernia is the protrusion of a portion of the stomach through the diaphragm opening. It can be an ongoing occurrence or an infrequent one. When it is of the ongoing variety, it is known as a rolling para-esophageal hernia. This variety has a low incidence and tends to account for approximately ten percent of all cases of hiatal hernia. The more common form of hiatal hernia is the sporadic type which is known as a sliding hernia. This type accounts for approximately ninety percent of all hiatal hernias and tends to happen in response to changes in position. Essentially what happens is that the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm’s opening when a recumbent (lying down) position occurs. When a more upright position is achieved, the stomach slides back to its normal position. Many people who have both types of this hernia are asymptomatic, but others exhibit signs of gastroesophageal reflux especially when lying down. When reflux occurs, it is considered to be of concern and treatment is usually recommended.

For more information on Hiatal hernia and GERD be sure to contact Reflux Remedy at www.refluxremedy.com today!

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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 refluxremedy.com today!

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June 14, 2011

What is an Esophageal Hiatal Hernia?

Everyone wants to stay healthy for as long as they can, but that is only possible if your body never complains about certain ailments which are causing no symptoms. Not many people realize this, but there are a few who are afflicted with a rare condition called Esophageal Hiatal Hernia which affects a portion of the stomach. It is associated with symptoms that afflict only about 15% of the population and many people that have this ailment do not realize that they have an Esophageal Hiatal Hernia.

An Esophageal Hiatal Hernia happens when there is a larger than normal esophageal hiatus that causes part of the stomach to protrude upwards towards the chest through the opening of the diaphragm. Other causes for this condition include the permanent shortening of the esophagus due to excessive regurgitation of stomach acid or an abnormally loose attachment of the esophagus to the diaphragm, both of which make the stomach protrude upward.

An Esophageal Hiatal Hernia is closely associated with symptoms of having the gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) and its complications. A person having this condition will experience heartburn, stomach acid regurgitation and nausea. Hiatal hernias may be determined if the patient undergoes a series of tests that include an esophagastroduodenoscopy (EGD) and a barium x-ray in which the patient must swallow a barium drink for any abnormalities to show up on an x-ray.

Treatments may be used to relieve the symptoms and prevent further complications. Many people use natural over-the-counter remedies to decrease acid production, neutralize stomach acidity and strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter. Reducing your weight and eating healthier will help to relieve the symptoms. You should avoid lying down or bending over immediately after the meal. If you are a tobacco smoker, you should consider giving up smoking because if you let your esophagus begin to heal from all the unhealthy smoke, you may be surprised at how quickly your symptoms will be relieved. If symptoms still persist, a surgical repair of the hernia may be necessary.

Heartburn is a common symptom of this condition; hence regular drinking of the Marigold tea made of calendula flowers is used to soothe the inflamed tissues and reduce inflammation caused by the stomach acid. You may also want to try an acid reflux wedge pillow for an innovative sleep solution. Doctors recommend that you elevate your head, shoulders and upper body to relieve you from the acid reflux while you are sleeping. Having one of these innovative pillows is important if you want to sleep in a natural position to control heartburn, digestion ailments and respiratory problems.

Another way to alleviate your symptoms of a Hiatal hernia is to practice diaphragm training through deep breathing and advanced yoga. These methods of relief will help you control your breathing, help your esophageal valve heal and ultimately reduce heartburn.

For more information on an esophageal Hiatal hernia visit refluxremedy.com today!

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June 9, 2011

Hiatal Hernia Help

Those suffering from Hiatal hernia know the pain and discomfort that is associated with this disorder. In many cases, seeking relief can be difficult and they may feel as though their options are limited. While surgery, prescription and over-the-counter medications may be available, many simply do not wish to deal with the undesirable side effects associated with such treatments. However, there are other forms of Hiatal hernia help that are natural and provide results.

Diet and Supplements

Changes in diet and supplementation can help ease the symptoms of this type of hernia. Many of the herbs used for such remedies can be mixed with a hot beverage such as tea or may be taken by capsule or simply mixed with plain water for consumption. Common herbs used in treatment can include black walnut and licorice root, just to name a few. For more severe cases that are accompanied by a constant burning and stinging sensation, research suggests that supplementation of calcium phosphorica can alleviate the pain. These supplements are often taken at bedtime, when symptoms may be at their worst for many sufferers.

Regulation of Digestion

Regulating digestive process can play a significant role in the body’s response to the hiatal hernia. This too involves supplementation to the diet. One key element is that of aloe vera. Although it is typically associated with soothing skin inflammation, it can also help calm gastrointestinal disorders and their associated symptoms. Rather than take capsules though, the juice is actually extracted from the leaf of the plant.


While cardio is often the first thing that comes to mind, strength training workouts are actually the most recommended for hiatal hernia help. The goal is to strengthen and tone the muscles surrounding the affected area. This can significantly decrease the symptoms and promote healing. Generally, all that is needed is as little as fifteen minutes of exercise that targets the abdomen and chest at least three times a week. However, it is recommended that the patient build-up his or her tolerance level over a matter of weeks, otherwise this may temporarily increase discomfort.

For more information regarding Hiatal hernia help visit refluxremedy.com today!

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