April 6, 2011

Hiatal Hernia Acid Reflux

There are several causes for acid reflux. Of the thousands of sufferers of acid reflux daily you would be surprised to discover how the causes for acid reflux in different individuals vary. Many suffer from acid reflux as result of a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is an abnormality of the stomach that occurs when the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) and the upper part of the stomach move above the diaphragm. The diaphragm, amongst other functions, serves as the muscle that separates the stomach from the chest. When this muscle is functioning properly, the diaphragm helps to keep stomach acids in the stomach. If you are suffering from a hiatal hernia, acid then has the space to move past the stomach into the esophagus causing acid reflux disease symptoms.

There are ultimately two types of hiatal hernias, para-esophageal and sliding:

  • In cases of para-esophageal hernias, the gastro-esophageal junction stays put but part of the stomach squeezes up into the chest finding its way next to the esophagus. This type of hernia makes home in the chest cavity. Para-esophageal hernias have been known to cause complications such as strangulation and incarceration. During incarceration, the hernia is stuck and is actively being squeezed. During strangulation there is a lack of blood supply which can lead to tissues that are involved in the strangulation dying. In order to stop the strangulation surgery must be the resort.
  • The other type of hiatal hernia is a sliding hiatal hernia. Approximately 90% of hiatal hernias are sliding hernias. A sliding hiatal hernia occurs when the gastro-esophageal junction and part of the stomach literally slides into the chest. This usually occurs as a result of weakening anchors of the diaphragm to the esophagus from increased pressure in the abdomen or longitudinal esophageal muscle contractions. Part of the stomach may only slide into the chest while swallowing or a part of the stomach may make way into the chest and permanently reside there. When you swallow, your esophagus contracts, shortens and pulls on the stomach. After swallowing, your junction falls right back into starting position.

There are no concrete known causes of hiatal hernias, however, it is speculated that hiatal hernias may be a result of a weakening in the tissues that support the area. Weakening of the tissues can be due to vomiting, pregnancy, wearing tight clothing that add pressure to the abdomen, sudden heavy lifting, tears or holes in the diaphragm, age, obesity and smoking.

Over half of hiatal hernia sufferers never complain of any symptoms. If there are any symptoms experienced, it usually simulates the discomfort that is most often associated with acid reflux such as heartburn, which can be experienced in the throat, chest, and lower abdomen, regurgitation, which is the expulsion of stomach contents from the mouth, sour or bitter taste in the mouth, hiccups, burping or coughing. Though it is a less experienced symptom there have been cases where sufferers have complained of nausea.

Try eating smaller meals, avoiding foods that are your acid reflux triggers, losing weight and drinking lots of water to lessen symptoms. If you have any other questions please feel free to visit refluxremedy.com today.

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What Is Acid Reflux Disease

Acid reflux disease, also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD), is a disease plaguing thousands of people every day. Acid reflux, simply stated, is what happens when the acids from the stomach that are used to breakdown and digest foods escape the stomach and leak into the esophagus causing what is commonly known as heartburn.

How does acid reflux happen?

Acid reflux happens when the circular ring, which is also a muscle, located at the entrance of your stomach and the lower part of your esophagus called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES) doesn’t adequately serve its purpose. The purpose of the ring is to allow for the passing of food from the esophagus to the stomach. As soon as the food passes through, the LES is suppose to close, only opening if there is more food that needs access. If the LES neglects to close all the way or if it opens too often, the acid that is produced by your stomach to break down food can escape your stomach and make its way into the esophagus resulting in heartburn and other acid reflux symptoms. If this happens rarely, you should not be alarmed. However, if this occurrence happens two or more times a week you may be suffering from acid reflux disease.

Another cause of acid reflux disease is an abnormality of the stomach known as a hiatal hernia. This type of hernia occurs when the LES and the upper part of the stomach move above the diaphragm which is suppose to separate the stomach from the chest. The muscle that is the diaphragm serves as a sort of blockade helping to keep stomach acids in the stomach. With a hiatal hernia, acids may travel to the esophagus causing acid reflux disease.

Symptoms of acid reflux disease vary from person to person. While there are those who may experience acid reflux symptoms mildly, there are others that find acid reflux disease symptoms to be quite debilitating. The most common symptom of acid reflux disease is heartburn. Heartburn may be described as a burning or discomfort in the chest. This burning and discomfort has also been known to travel to the throat and lower abdomen. In rare instances, there have been reports of heartburn making its way to the back.

Regurgitation is also a symptom. Regurgitation happens when acids and undigested, recently consumed food and drinks travels up from the stomach into the esophagus and exits the body from the mouth. This symptom has been known to be accompanied by a sour or bitter taste in the mouth as well. Bloating, burping, hiccups, dysphagia (a narrowing of the throat), and in some cases nausea are also known symptoms.

There are ways to lessen the likelihood of acid reflux. The best way to rid acid reflux would be to change how and what you eat. Try eating smaller meals several times a day as opposed to large meals that may overwork stomach acids during digestion. Drink water instead of carbonated, caffeinated and alcoholic beverages. Eat at least two hours before bedtime, and if you are a smoker, quit. Also keep a food log. If you notice that some foods are triggers for acid reflux, eliminate these foods from your diet.

These are just a few suggestions. For more information on acid reflux disease feel free to visit refluxremedy.com.

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February 28, 2011

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disorder

It is unnatural for stomach contents to rise into the esophagus but unfortunately, this happens to many people. This occurrence is called acid reflux, when stomach acids are permitted to enter the esophagus and move upward. When acid reflux occurs repeatedly, this could be a sign that you have gastroesophageal reflux disorder.

Gastroesophageal reflux disorder is what develops when the lower esophageal sphincter is relaxed and does not close consistently or tightly. The LES acts as a passageway for foods that have been eaten, allowing entrance into the stomach. Although the LES musts open to allow foods to pass to the stomach, a properly functioning LES should close immediately after the food goes to the stomach, and prevent stomach acids from being displaced. Stomach acid is corrosive but is suitable for the lining walls of that organ. In order to breakdown and digest food, the gastric acid in your stomach must be highly acidic. When gastric acid moves into the esophagus it ends up corroding the esophagus, causing irritation and inflammation.

Many factors can cause you to suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disorder. If you have a haital hernia this could make you more susceptible to GERD. A hiatal hernia occurs when the top portion of the stomach and the LES muscle shift above the diaphragm, the muscle that divides the chest and stomach. The diaphragm normally aids the LES in it’s function to separate stomach acid from the esophagus. Hiatal hernias allow gastric acids to go from the stomach to the esophagus easily.

If you are pregnant this may affect your chances of having GERD. Pregnant women should be concerned about GERD because of their increased risk. As the baby develops in the womb, the body must make room. This means that vital organs begin to shift and are compressed. If the stomach shifts or compresses too much, this could force stomach acids to move past the LES and into the esophagus.

Obesity and diabetes also contribute to GERD. If you have a lot of extra weight, especially near the abdomen, this can put excessive pressure on the stomach and diaphragm. If the stomach endures pressure, this makes it easier for stomach acids to escape into the esophagus and cause damage. Diabetes affects the way that foods are digested and could encourage acid reflux. Close attention should be paid to your diet and exercise habits, as they can contribute to obesity and diabetes.

Smoking is a lifestyle contributor to GERD. Each time you smoke, the LES becomes weaker and has to work harder to remain closed. A weakened or relaxed LES will allow stomach acid to seep into the esophagus. The more you smoke, the higher your risk is of developing GERD.

Symptoms of GERD in adults include heartburn, chest pain, chronic cough, regurgitation and difficulty swallowing. Children however may not have heartburn but will likely have a persistent cough and respiratory problems. Avoiding certain foods, smoking, maintaining a healthy weight, and eating smaller lean meals well before lying down for bed are simple ways to manage GERD.

To learn more about gastroesophageal reflux disorder, visit refluxremedy.com today.

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February 4, 2011

What are Causes of Hiatal Hernia

Are you wondering what are causes of Hiatal Hernia? Many people are. Sometimes a cause for a Hiatal Hernia is difficult to point to, but there are a few things that can commonly be blamed.

One is inherited weakness of the muscles surrounding the diaphragm. This allows the stomach to more easily become displaced than it would in a normal person. This is an especially apparent cause for kids that suffer from Hiatal Hernias.

Another is excess straining, like during a stomach illness that involves severe vomiting or diarrhea. Continuous contraction of stomach muscles can easily cause the stomach to become dislocated and result in a Hiatal Hernia.

Additionally, an injury to the area can often result in a Hiatal Hernia. Something like a severe and intense blow to the stomach can easily push things out of place.

Some factors that can increase your risk of contracting a Hiatal Hernia include smoking, obesity and aging.


Symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia often closely resemble heartburn and include a burning sensation in your chest, indigestion, belching, hiccups and chest pain. However, chest pain associated with a Hiatal Hernia is never accompanied by shortness of breath or numbness in one of your arms. If you’re experiencing that type of chest pain, it could be a heart attack and you should seek medical attention immediately.

Dealing With It

Dealing with a Hiatal Hernia can be difficult at times, as it can be such a painful condition. However, by applying a few simple lifestyle changes you can help your body heal faster and be over it that much quicker.

First watch what you eat. Foods that are known to cause heartburn should be avoided. That means things like garlic, citrus and acidic fruits, caffeine, onions and alcohol should all be consumed in moderation.

Second try not to over eat. It’s better to eat a small meal now, and then again when you get hungry in a few hours than to eat a huge meal that would sustain you all day. This is because your stomach is already stressed and traumatized, so overpowering it with a huge amount of food will cause it to work even harder to process it all.

Third, avoid eating too close to bed time. That allows food and acids to build up in your stomach and potentially make their way into your esophagus, which would further irritate your hernia and subsequent heartburn. Don’t eat less than two hours before bed so that your stomach can properly heal while you’re sleeping.

Fourth, do what you can to remove or deal with stressors in your life. Stress is not generally a factor when considering the causes of Hiatal Hernias, however it can defiantly impede your body’s ability to heal from a hernia. This is because it causes the body to produce extra stomach acids, which irritate the esophagus and stomach, rendering the healing process somewhat counterproductive.

If you are still wondering what are causes of Hiatal Hernias, or just want more information on the digestive disorder, visit refluxremedy.com today for the latest information on what Hiatal Hernias are and how to treat them naturally.

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