Understanding hiatal hernia symptoms and treatment options is important. If you suspect you have a hiatal hernia, you should speak to your doctor. Here’s what you need to know about hiatal hernia symptoms and treatment.
When the upper part of your stomach bulges through the diaphragm, a hiatal hernia occurs. The diaphragm is the large muscle that separates your chest and abdomen. It has a small opening, called a hiatus, that the esophagus passes through. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach pushes up through this opening into the chest cavity.
While a small hiatal hernia doesn’t typically cause problems, a large one can allow food and acid to back up into the esophagus. This causes heart burn and requires treatment. Sometimes medication can relieve these symptoms, but a very large hernia may require surgery.
Hiatal Hernia Symptoms
Normally, small hiatal hernias don’t cause any symptoms. However, larger hiatal hernia symptoms include:
- Difficulty swallowing
- Regurgitation of food or liquids into the mouth
- Acid reflux (backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus)
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Shortness of breath
- Feeling full soon after you eat
- Vomiting of blood or passing black stools
What Causes Hiatal Hernias
Generally, this occurs when the muscle tissue is weakened and allows your stomach to bulge up through the diaphragm. Hiatal hernias might be caused by injury to the area, being born with an unusually large hiatus, age related changes to the diaphragm or persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as coughing, vomiting, straining, exercising or heavy lifting.
Often, a hiatal hernia is discovered during a test or procedure to determine the cause of chest or abdominal pain, or heartburn. Many people with hiatal hernia don’t experience symptoms and won’t ever need treatment. But, if you are experiencing persistent symptoms, you should speak to your doctor about your treatment options.
Certain medications can be used to alleviate the symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux. In some cases, surgery may be required to fix the hiatal hernia.
Doctor for Hiatal Hernia Symptoms in Maryland
If you would like to learn more about hiatal hernia symptoms and treatment options, please contact Maryland Bariatrics today.