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Easing a Stomach Hernia

Written by Aaron Rabinovich, M.D.

One of the most common types of hernias is a stomach hernia, otherwise known as a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia is when your stomach comes up through the diaphragm into your chest. Because of this, stomach acid may back up into your esophagus, which leads to heartburn, belching, chest pain and nausea. Although these symptoms can be annoying, a hiatal hernia is rarely a serious condition.

Here are a few things that may help ease your condition:

  1. Eat smart. Try to stay away from foods that cause heartburn, such as citrus, onions, chocolate, spicy items, or products with a lot of tomatoes. You should eat lean foods that process more quickly as compared to fatty items that stay in your stomach longer. Eat smaller, more frequent meals. Avoid alcohol.
  2. Be careful what activities you participate in after eating. It’s best not to lie down after eating; lying down makes it more likely that acid will seep up and cause heartburn. It’s also recommended that you eat at least three hours before you want to go to bed.
  3. Quit smoking. Smoking causes coughing and coughing increases hiatal hernia symptoms. Maintain a healthy weight. Being overweight increases the risk of hiatal hernia. The additional weight places pressure on the stomach, which can cause a hernia or make the hernia worse.
  4. Sleep at a slight angle. This can be achieved with firm pillows or a foam sleep wedge (these are specially manufactured for people with a hiatal hernia or acid reflux disorder). You can also raise the head of your bed with 6-inch risers or concrete blocks.
  5. Visit your doctor. If heartburn and other symptoms aren’t relieved with the above lifestyle changes, you should discuss your issues with a doctor. He or she may suggest medications that will neutralize acid or block its production. Surgery is very rare.,/li>


Article Reviewed: January 19, 2016
Copyright © 2015 Healthy Magazine
Aaron Rabinovich, MD

The Hernia Center of Utah brings together the newest techniques and materials in hernia repair. Our surgeons are experienced in treating primary and recurrent hernias using both open and laparoscopic methods. At the Hernia Center of Utah you will receive highly personalized attention and care for your hernia. We believe each hernia is as unique as each individual. We take a dynamic approach by selecting the best technique for each patient.
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