Thousands of people suffer from hiatus hernias every day. This painful disorder, sometimes mistaken for gas pain, can cause difficulty with digestion, circulation, and glandular function as well as making simple tasks like speaking difficult.
There is an opening in the diaphragm through which the oesophagus normally passes. When the top of the stomach slides into the opening, a hiatus hernia occurs.
The diaphragm muscle, which normally pulls downward, expands the chest and inflates the lungs. When it is impeded by a hernia, the oesophagus "kinks" or doubles up in the throat, causing shallow breathing and difficulty speaking.
To determine if you have a hiatus hernia, put your fingers just below the breastbone (the "solar plexus") and breathe in. If there is no movement and you have to lift your shoulders and chest in order to take a breath, you most likely have a hernia.
In order to repair a hiatus hernia, have a chiropractor or massage therapist adjust it. He or she can do this by manipulating your stomach and bringing down the hernia manually. Surgery is normally unnecessary to correct standard hiatus hernias.
If your hernia pain worsens over time, consult your doctor as it is possible that you could have a paraesophageal hernia. These potentially lethal hernias can actually grow and strangle the stomach. In such a case, surgery will be necessary to correct the hernia.
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