About hiatal hernia

What is hiatal hernia?

The esophagus connects the mouth and throat to the stomach. It passes through the chest cavity and enters the abdominal cavity through a hole in the diaphragm called the esophageal hiatus. The term hiatal hernia describes a condition where a part of the stomach that normally is located in the abdominal cavity pushes or protrudes through the esophageal hiatus to rest within the chest cavity.



What are the symptoms for hiatal hernia?

Most small hiatal hernias cause no signs or symptoms. But larger hiatal hernias can cause:

When to see a doctor

See your doctor if you have any persistent signs or symptoms that worry you.



What are the causes for hiatal hernia?

A hiatal hernia occurs when weakened muscle tissue allows your stomach to bulge up through your diaphragm. It's not always clear why this happens. But a hiatal hernia might be caused by:

  • Age-related changes in your diaphragm
  • Injury to the area, for example, after trauma or certain types of surgery
  • Being born with an unusually large hiatus
  • Persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as while coughing, vomiting, straining during a bowel movement, exercising or lifting heavy objects



What are the treatments for hiatal hernia?

The treatment for hiatal hernia is really treatment for GERD and minimizing acid reflux. This includes decreasing acid secretion in the stomach, avoiding substances that are irritating to the stomach lining, and mechanical means to keep the remaining acid in the stomach where it belongs.



What are the risk factors for hiatal hernia?

Hiatal hernia is most common in people who are:

  • Age 50 or older
  • Obese
 



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