A hiatal hernia (often called hiatal hernia) is a condition where the lower esophagus and part of the stomach slip through the gap in the diaphragm, or where part of the stomach protrudes into the chest cavity alongside the esophagus. Hiatal hernias can be caused by injury or accident, heavy sneezing or coughing, heredity, smoking, heavy lifting or bending over. Hiatal hernias are also common in people who are overweight, pregnant, or have GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease).
Heartburn and chest pain are the most common symptoms and complaints of people with a hiatal hernia, although some patients may not even realize they have a hiatal hernia unless they are diagnosed by a doctor with an x-ray. The symptoms are caused by the reflux of food and stomach acid and need to be treated to prevent other health problems.
There are many natural remedies and treatments to limit and prevent hiatal hernia symptoms. These combine diet, exercise and natural remedies, as well as eliminating bad habits. There are many articles and websites that give vague advice. Below is an example of a real life routine and diet plan that you can implement to relieve your hitaus hernia symptoms.
Avoid: Eggs, dairy products, coffee and most fruit juices
Try: watermelon, green and herbal teas
A morning walk contributes to good digestion and improves overall health.
- Morning snack
Avoid: Chocolate or ice cream
Try: bananas or papaya
- Having lunch
Avoid: Highly acidic meats and fast foods, which produce more stomach acid and cause painful reflux for people with GERD and a hiatal hernia
Try: Salmon or tuna with sides like carrots, green beans, kale, or broccoli. Herbs like mint and fennel can also help your hiatal hernia.
Note: If you have a hiatal hernia, you should not bend down or lie down after eating as this can cause food to back up into the esophagus.
- Afternoon snack
Avoid: candy bars, fast food, sodas and yogurt
Try: celery sticks, cucumber slices, or maybe almonds or sunflower seeds
Tip: Stay hydrated throughout the day. Drink 6-10 glasses of water every day when you have a hiatal hernia as it helps metabolism and promotes a cleaner body. It is better not to drink liquids with meals as this can prevent proper digestion and dilute stomach acid when it is needed to process food quickly.
Avoid: People with a hiatal hernia should avoid acidic meat, especially red meat. Also, avoid large, heavy meals in the evening as not only does this encourage weight gain, but since food is not digested before bed, it leads to more discomfort and the likelihood of reflux when you lie down.
Try it: Eat smaller, lighter meals in the evening. Soup and/or salad are good choices. Soups can include broccoli, potatoes, lentils, and more. Salads are great, have no bad carbs, and can be high in alkaline veggies. Just be sure to go easy on the dressing and avoid creamy dressings.
Note: Another short walk after dinner can be great for everyone in many ways, not just people with a hiatal hernia. If you must lie down within a few hours of your last meal, keep your torso elevated to prevent reflux. If you’re still suffering from heartburn and chest pain, there are a variety of natural remedies that can be incorporated into your treatment routine to help.
Thanks to Nat Brown