December 22, 2010

Vomiting With Hiatal Hernia

Vomiting with Hiatal Hernia isn’t a terribly typical symptom. More often vomiting causes a Hiatal Hernia, as a result of the pressure that is placed on the abdomen while retching.

To be clear, a hernia can occur in any part of the body, but when it happens to the stomach, it’s called a Hiatal Hernia. Specifically, it happens when the upper portion of the stomach gets pushed through the opening of the diaphragm and into the chest.


As stated before, vomiting is not a typical symptom of a Hiatal Hernia; however that doesn’t mean it won’t happen to you. As a matter of fact, some people don’t experience any symptoms at all of a Hiatal Hernia. However, if you do have symptoms, you might experience a sudden onset of frequent heartburn, including indigestion, acid reflux, burping and hiccupping.

Chest pain can also be associated with a Hiatal Hernia; however it shouldn’t be confused with a heart attack. Chest pain from a Hiatal Hernia will not be associated with anything other than heartburn. If you experience shortness of breath or numbness in one of your arms, seek medical attention immediately. The most important thing here is to be in tune with the signals your body is sending you and understand what they indicate.


Generally a Hiatal Hernia just needs time to heal, and doesn’t require surgery. A few simple things you can do at home will help this process along.

  • Eat smaller meals. Eating a ton of food at once bombards your stomach with more than it can deal with, creating more pressure on an already sensitive area. By eating less more often you spread the same amount of food over a longer period, allowing your stomach time to handle it all without putting too much stress on your injured digestive system. Additionally, once your hernia is healed, you should maintain this practice, so that the condition doesn’t recur.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking is thought to cause, and worsen a variety of health problems, including a whole host of digestive problems. Plus, smoking slows the body’s ability to heal, meaning it will take you significantly longer to get over your hernia. So, just quit! Your body will thank you for it.
  • Don’t eat right before you go to bed. This causes food and stomach acid to get trapped in the esophagus, with no natural help from gravity to make its way down into the stomach. Eat at least 2 hours before you lie down, and that way food will have had a chance to start digesting and won’t put unnecessary strain on your stomach and esophagus.
  • If you do breech that 2 hour window, prop yourself up when you go to bed. Placing an extra pillow under your head can help give your body the upper hand and keep food moving through your digestive tract.

If none of these methods are productive, your doctor may prescribe medications to help the healing process along. Only in severe cases is surgery necessary. More often than not though, simple lifestyle changes can make a big difference.

Vomiting with Hiatal Hernia isn’t common, but that doesn’t mean it’s impossible. For more information on Hiatal Hernias and what you can do about them, visit

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