A Hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach bulges through an opening called a diaphragm. The diaphragm is a large muscle that helps you to breathe and it lies between the chest and abdomen. The bulged muscle opens in two areas the opening called the hiatus. So the condition is called hiatus hernia. A hernia means unusual exit of a tissue or an organ. Starting stage in hiatus hernia doesn’t cause problems, but large hiatal hernia will cause heartburn and other difficulties.
There are two types of hiatal hernia
Sliding: In sliding hiatal hernia the stomach and the esophagus (food is pushed through the stomach through this tube) slide up into your chest through the diaphragm.
Paraesophageal: In paraesophageal the lower part of the esophagus or stomach moves up into the chest.
A small hiatal hernia won’t cause many problems. One may never know that they have a hiatal hernia until they visit a doctor. Most doctors find hiatal hernia through scans for other issues.
- Acid reflux
- Pain or burning sensation in stomach or esophagus
- Difficulty in breathing/swallowing
- Blood vomit
- Regurgitation of food into the mouth
How Does It Develop?
- Heavy lifting
- bowel movements
Tips to Prevent Hiatal Hernia
- Wear loose clothing. Tight clothing applies pressure on the stomach which worsens the condition. So avoid wearing tight belts.
- Don’t bend when your stomach is full, because it will cause abdominal pressure and cause heartburn.
- Sleep after 2-3 hours after eating.
- Change your diet.
- Reduce the intake of alcohol, caffeine,and chocolates.
- Losing excess weight can reduce the risk of a hiatal hernia.
Factors That Can Increase the Risk
Age- hiatal hernia is common in elderly people because the size of hiatal hernia increases with age.
Obesity- Hiatal hernia is also common in people with obesity. Obese people have increased intra-abdominal pressure that displaces lower esophageal sphincter (LES) which makes to flow back and return.
Smoking – Smoking can weaken your muscle between the esophagus and stomach. Smoking can irritate your digestive system and can make your condition worse.
Mostly hiatal hernia won’t cause many problems. But larger hernia can lead to heart diseases.