Hiatal hernia is the protrusion of the stomach through the hole through which the esophagus passes through the diaphragm to penetrate the abdominal cavity.
There is a muscle (lower esophageal sphincter muscle) that opens to allow food to pass into the stomach and then closes to prevent stomach acids from going up into the esophagus . Any change in this mechanism can cause gastroesophageal reflux and, consequently, heartburn, the most common symptom of hiatal hernia.
Hiatal hernia occurs especially in older, obese and multiparous women.
Although many cases are asymptomatic, the main symptoms of hiatal hernia are: heartburn, eructations (belching) and reflux of stomach acids that can reach the throat and cause coughing or vomiting. It should be noted that chronic heartburn can cause ulcers and esophagitis , an inflammation in the wall of the esophagus.
Surgery, which can be performed by laparoscopy, is only indicated for more severe cases, since hiatus hernia usually responds well to clinical treatment. The doctor may prescribe antacids that help control symptoms.
* Avoid fatty foods, very spicy and fried foods;
* Try not to drink alcohol or carbonated drinks;
* Do not smoke;
* Do not wear tight clothing or accessories;
* Avoid drinking too much liquid during meals;
* Make meals smaller, lighter and closer to each other;
* Use taller pillows or put small wedges on the headboard;
* Not eating close to bedtime is a very important preventive measure.