Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia

Written by contributing writer Google
  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share
  • Pin
  • Email
Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia
(Image courtesy of Stevenfruitsm, under the Creative Commons License.)

Also called a hiatus hernia, a hiatus hernia is an anatomical abnormality that results when the upper part of the stomach protrudes from the abdominal cavity into the chest cavity. This protrusion occurs through a valve opening in the diaphragm called the lower esophageal sphincter (LES). The portion of the upper stomach that protrudes into the chest cavity is called a hiatus hernia. Outlined below are a few symptoms of this condition.

Other People Are Reading

Acid Reflux

One of the most common symptoms of hiatus hernia is acid reflux, a condition characterised by the backwashing of food and gastric acids from the stomach into the oesophagus. Hiatus hernia causes this condition by weakening the lower esophageal sphincter and causing it to malfunction. The LES is a ring of muscle that serves as a valve to keep the stomach's contents in the stomach.

Heartburn

When stomach fluids are refluxed, the acidic content of these fluids irritates or inflames the unprotected cell tissue that lines the oesophagus. This causes a warm, burning sensation or pain in the chest that radiates upward from the stomach toward the mouth. This usually occurs during or after eating a meal.

Regurgitation

Regurgitation also results from the weakening of the LES by a hiatus hernia. This allows undigested food in the stomach to be evacuated up and into the oesophagus. These stomach contents may be regurgitated all the way up into the throat and even into the mouth.

Belching and Nausea

Another symptom of hiatus hernia is belching. Belching results when gas that accumulates in the stomach is released through the weakened LES. This gas would otherwise be contained in the stomach most of the time.

Complications

In severe cases of hiatus hernia, complications may develop. For example, if a hiatus hernia is twisted or strangulated it cuts off blood supply. A strangulated hiatus hernia causes difficulty swallowing (dysphagia) and severe chest pain.

Considerations

Symptoms of a hiatus hernia are triggered or aggravated when you lie down, lean forward or strain from lifting a heavy object. These symptoms may also develop or worsen in the third trimester of pregnancy. This is because the enlarging uterus can push the stomach upward against the diaphragm, affecting the LES and aggravating the symptoms of hiatus hernia.

Don't Miss

Filter:
  • All types
  • Articles
  • Slideshows
  • Videos
Sort:
  • Most relevant
  • Most popular
  • Most recent

No articles available

No slideshows available

No videos available

By using the eHow.co.uk site, you consent to the use of cookies. For more information, please see our Cookie policy.