A hiatus hernia (often called hiatal hernia) is a condition where the lower esophagus and part of the stomach slide through the hiatus in the diaphragm, or where part of the stomach pushes through next to the oesophagus into the chest cavity. Hiatus hernias can be caused by injury or accidents, hard sneezing or coughing, heredity, smoking, heavy lifting or bending over. Hiatus hernias are also common in those who are obese, pregnant or who have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Heartburn and chest pain are the most common symptoms and complaints of those with a hiatus hernia, although some patients may not even realize they have a hiatus hernia unless found by a doctor with an xray. Symptoms are caused by reflux of food and stomach acid and must be treated to avoid other health problems.
There are many natural remedies and and forms of treatment to limit and prevent hiatus hernia symptoms. These combine diet, exercise and natural remedies as well as eliminating bad habits. There are many articles and websites out there that give vague advice. Below is an example of of a real routine and eating plan you can implement to help your hitaus hernia symptoms.
Avoid: Eggs, dairy products, coffee and most fruit juices
Try: Watermelon, green and herbal teas
Taking a morning walk will help aid good digestion and improve overall health.
* Mid-morning Snack
Avoid: Chocolate or ice cream
Try: Bananas or papaya
Avoid: Highly acidic meats and fast food that produce more stomach acid and cause painful reflux for those with GERD and a hiatus hernia
Try: Salmon or tuna with sides like carrots, green beans, kale or broccoli. Herbs like mint and fennel can help your hiatus hernia as well.
Note: If you have a hiatus hernia you should avoid bending over or laying down after eating as this can cause food to reflux into the esophagus.
* Afternoon Snack
Avoid: Candy bars, fast food, sodas and yogurt
Try: Celery sticks, cucumber slices or perhaps almonds or sunflower seeds
Note: Stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink 6-10 glasses of water each day if you have a hiatus hernia as this will help metabolism and promote a cleaner body. It is better not to drink liquids with your meals as this can prevent good digestion and dilute stomach acid when it is needed to process food quickly.
Avoid: Those with a hiatus hernia should avoid acidic meats, especially red meat. Also avoid large heavy meals in the evening as this not only encourages weight gain, but because the food will not digest before bedtime, it will cause more discomfort and the likelihood of reflux when you lie down.
Try: Eat smaller, lighter meals in the evening. Soup and or salad are good choices. Soups can include broccoli, potato, lentils and many more. Salads are great, do not have bad carbs and can include many alkaline vegetables. Just make sure to go easy on the dressing, and avoid creamy dressings.
Note: Taking another short walk after dinner can be great in many ways for everyone, not just those with a hiatus hernia. If you must lay down within a couple hours of your last meal, keep you upper body raised to avoid reflux. If you still find yourself suffering from heartburn and chest pain, there are a wide variety of natural remedies that can be added into your treatment routine to help.