Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a part of the stomach sticks up into the chest, through an aperture in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is a muscular area that acts as a partition between the chest and abdomen.
The cause of hiatal hernia is due to deterioration of supporting tissues. The risk factors that are seen in adults include smoking, obesity and advancing age especially seen in people above 50 years of age. . Children who suffer from hiatal hernia have a congenital reason linked to it.
The symptoms include heart burn which increases while lying down or bending, pain in the chest and difficulty in swallowing. All of this happen due to the gastric acid reflux from the stomach into the esophagus.
Barium Swallow x-ray and EGD (Esophagogastroduodenoscopy) are two of the ways in which hiatal hernia are diagnosed.
Hiatal hernia treatment
The best way to treat hiatal hernia is to stop contents in the stomach from going to the esophagus. This way of limiting gastroesophageal reflux can relieve the problem. There are medications that can be given to limit lower esophageal sphincter (or LES). Acid secretion can be reduced by proton pump inhibitors and H2receptor blockers. A surgical procedure called Nissen fundoplication may also be administered , albeit through a laparoscope.
Some of the ways to prevent hiatal hernia is by avoiding large, heavy and spicy meals. Also do not lie down immediately or bend after having a meal. It goes without saying that we should avoid smoking. Regular exercises can also help.
Hiatal Hernia pictures
Here are pictures of hiatal hernia