Hiatal hernia is a medical condition wherein a part of the stomach protrudes into the chest through the esophageal hiatus, which is an opening in the diaphragm. This article provides information on the treatment options for this condition.
A person is diagnosed with hiatal hernia when the upper part of the stomach protrudes into the thorax through an opening in the diaphragm. This can happen if the diaphragm is weak, or if there is any tear or cut in the diaphragm. Herniation of the stomach can lead to acid reflux when the stomach rolls up or slides up.
Lifting of heavy objects, bending over frequently, hard or frequent coughing, obesity, drug abuse, diaphragm weakness, smoking, and stress are some of the factors which can lead to this condition. A thorough medical investigation is required to diagnose this condition so as to rule out the possibility of other ailments. The evaluation of the symptoms helps decide the course of treatment. While drug therapy is an integral part of the treatment, following certain home remedies might also help.
Patients inflicted with this condition frequently experience pain in the upper part of the stomach or in the chest, which is similar to heartburn. They also experience acid reflux. Sometimes, the symptoms are similar to the symptoms of a heart attack. Some people may have back pain, which implies that the esophagus is swollen due to the raised level of acids.
Swollen esophagus may touch the spine, thereby causing back pain. Frequent hiccups are noticed in some cases. Difficulty in swallowing food and loss of consciousness due to the pressure on the heart and lower blood supply to the part of stomach can be experienced in extreme cases.
You are expected to consult your doctor first. He would prescribe proper medication to provide relief. In order to control the acid secretion, H2 receptor blockers and proton pump inhibitors can be used. The symptoms of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) are almost the same as those of hiatal hernia. So, correct diagnosis is very important for correct treatment. Following are the simple remedies and precautionary measures to relieve the pain due to hernia.
- You should lose weight if you are facing the problem of obesity.
- You can have antacids if you experience heartburn.
- Exercising habits, if wrong, should be checked and wrong exercises should be avoided.
- Alcohol addiction, drug addiction, and excessive smoking should be avoided.
- Chewing the food is essential to prevent worsening of the situation.
- Avoid eating acidic and spicy foods that can make the problem worse.
- Avoid bending after meals.
- You should eat at least four hours before going to bed to avoid acid reflux.
- Avoid drinking water while having your meals, as it will fill the stomach quickly. Drink water half an hour before or after meals.
- Rather than eating the full meal at one time, eat smaller portions at a time. Instead of 3 big meals, you can opt for 5-6 smaller meals. Avoid overeating, as it can intensify the pain and aggravate the problem.
- Sitting in the wrong posture can create unnecessary pressure on internal parts of body. Sitting, standing, and sleeping postures should always be correct.
- People affected by this condition should strictly follow the dietary guidelines given by the doctor. Acidic foods should be avoided, as they are avoided in a GERD condition.
- In severe cases, surgery can be recommended, otherwise the esophagus might get injured. In worst cases, one might suffer from esophageal cancer.
- To treat pain caused due to this condition , a surgical procedure known as Nissen Fundoplication is used, where the upper part of the stomach is wrapped around the esophagus to prevent gastric acid reflux.
- Chiropractic treatment includes self massage, which works well if the technique is learned and followed sincerely.
Dietary alterations and lifestyle changes could help manage the symptoms to a great extent. These simple treatment measures help relieve the pain and prevents the situation from worsening.
Disclaimer: This HealthHearty article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice.