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Connecting the Dots: Understanding the Link Between Hiatal Hernia and GERD

Here’s what you need to know. In serious cases, a hiatal hernia can cause bleeding, strangulation, and perforation of the stomach, says Castro. According to the book, Hiatal Hernia Surgery, published in August 2017, suggests that the relationship between these conditions is relatively intertwined and has clinical significance.

10 Ways to Prevent GERD

A small number of patients might need surgery because of poor response to medical therapy. Although GERD and hiatal hernia can limit daily activities, most people will find relief with an understanding of the causes and proper treatment. Decreasing your portion sizes at mealtime might also improve symptoms. Eating meals at least two to three hours before bedtime might lessen reflux by allowing the acid in the stomach to decrease and the stomach to partially empty.

GERD is very common and typically presents as heartburn, a condition that affects more than 40 percent of Americans. GERD occurs when “stomach contents reflux back into the esophagus, causing issues such as heartburn, regurgitation, difficulty swallowing. And even chest pain is the presence of stomach contents in the esophagus,” says Castro.

Diet Changes for GERD

The way you eat may also be a factor in your symptoms. Changing the size and timing of your meals can significantly reduce heartburn, regurgitation, and other symptoms of GERD. If your esophagus is damaged from GERD, it’s also important to avoid foods that can irritate this more sensitive tissue and damage it further. Lifestyle changes are often necessary to avoid symptoms of hiatal hernia. For the first 6 weeks after surgery, it’s recommended that you only eat soft food, such as mince, mashed potatoes or soup.

Lifestyle plays just as important a role as medication

diet for gerd and hiatal hernia

The more heartburn I experienced, the more ice cream I ate to attempt to put out the fire in my chest. Ten years ago, at the age of 48, I developed a hiatal hernia. My gastroenterologist told me that there was nothing to be done about it, but to take acid-suppressors and hope for the best.

This causes a burning feeling in your throat and chest. Certain foods can make these symptoms worse for some people. Fortunately, heartburn symptoms associated with hiatal hernia often can be controlled with diet and lifestyle changes.

The surgery strengthens the lower esophageal sphincter. It requires general anesthesia and a one-day stay in the hospital. Postoperatively, patients no longer require long-term therapy with Prilosec® or other antacid medications. Hiatal hernia might not require treatment unless it is in danger of strangulation or complicated by GERD. Avoid foods and beverages that irritate the esophagus and might further weaken the muscular valve.

If your clothing puts pressure on your abdomen when you eat, this can in turn put pressure on your stomach and LES. Eat smaller meals. Consuming less food more frequently can reduce pressure in your stomach. This allows the stomach’s contents to enter the esophagus, causing heartburn. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach bulges through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest (diaphragm).

One is that awful taste of vomit (which is, of course, what it is). However, a more serious consequence that can happen is aspiration (‘breathing in’) the acidic liquid of the reflux.

diet for gerd and hiatal hernia

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