The hiatus is a natural opening of the diaphragm, a muscle responsible for separating the chest and abdomen and is used for breathing. When part of the stomach slides into the thorax through the hiatus, it is what we know as a hiatal hernia. There are three types of Hiatal hernias. The most recurrent is the sliding one. The second type is the para esophageal hernia. Although it only represents 5% of the usual hernias, it is formed when a fraction of the stomach is carried towards the chest next to the esophagus. The latter refers to a combination of the former two. At FastlyHeal, we explain the causes, symptoms, and treatment of hiatal hernia.
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Although the cause of hiatal hernia is not very clear, it can be caused by the weakening of the supporting tissue of the diaphragm, but some factors could cause this disease, such as:
- Constipation: people with constipation usually make a considerable muscular effort. This can influence the displacement of the stomach.
- Age: with aging, the diaphragm loses its strength. This condition is widespread in people over 50 years of age.
- Obesity: the pressure generated in the internal organs due to the abdominal mass can exert much force through the hiatus.
Although it is not common, there is the possibility of hiatal hernia in children, and it is usually a congenital cause or from gastroesophageal reflux when they are very young.
Hiatal hernia is generally asymptomatic. The signs that may indicate that you may have this disease are chest pain between the neck and abdomen, gastroesophageal reflux, especially after eating and difficulty swallowing.
Treatment for Hiatal hernias is to relieve symptoms and prevent possible complications. Medications are usually prescribed to control heartburn, strengthen the esophagus muscles, and prevent acids from coming back. If the hernia becomes chronic due to reflux in the stomach, your doctor will recommend surgery; it can be fundoplication or laparoscopy. Open surgery can also be done so that the stomach wall maintains its place. It is performed through a tube that is withdrawn a week later.
Even if you are in treatment, changes in certain habits will help reduce symptoms. Do not do movements such as bending over or lying down immediately after eating, avoid heavy meals high in saturated fat, and gain weight and smoking. It is advisable to sleep with your head slightly raised to prevent reflux.
With proper treatment, it is possible to avoid complications. However, these can appear and range from anemia due to blood loss, if the hernia is enormous, gastric aspirations into the lungs, strangulation of the hernia, and irreparable problems in the digestive tract.
When to visit the doctor?
If you suffer from these symptoms and are under treatment, but they do not improve or detect new ones, you should consult your doctor.
This article is merely informative. At FastlyHeal .com, we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor if you present any type of condition or discomfort.
If you want to read more articles similar to Hiatal hernia: causes, symptoms, and treatment, we recommend entering our Digestive System category.
I am a Surgeon with a diploma in comprehensive ultrasound and surgical care residency, an area I am specializing in. During the exercise of my profession, I have realized the need for patients to know the diseases they suffer, and I can tell you that a large part of their complications is due to a lack of information. Being a health web writer allows me to transmit my experience, without borders, to all those readers eager for knowledge, educate them in the prevention of diseases and promote a healthy lifestyle.