Hiatal Hernia

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What is a hiatal hernia?

Hiatal hernias are common in the United States. Your esophagus (food tube) passes through a small opening in your diaphragm before it attaches to your stomach. This small hole is called the hiatus. A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of your stomach pushes up through the hiatus and enters your chest cavity. If you think you have symptoms that point to a hiatal hernia, schedule an appointment at one of our GI Alliance locations today to get in with a gastrointestinal physician.

A hiatal hernia is often caused by weakened muscles and connective tissue within and around the hiatus. The most common causes and risk factors for a hiatal hernia include:

  • Obesity
  • Age-related changes in your diaphragm
  • Injury to your hiatus from trauma or surgery
  • People over the age of 50
  • Born with an unusually large hiatus
  • Excessive coughing
  • Vomiting
  • Straining during a bowel movement
  • Lifting heavy weights

What are the symptoms of a hiatal hernia?

The symptoms of a hiatal hernia can vary based on the severity of the condition. However, there are a few common signs that are seen when a hiatal hernia is present. These can include:

  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Acid reflux and heartburn
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting blood
  • Blackened stools

How are hiatal hernias treated?

Most people with small hiatal hernias will not need any treatment, but our specialists at GI Alliance are ready to provide care when needed. If you are experiencing symptoms, the most common treatments for a hiatal hernia include:

  • Antacid medications
  • Surgery
  • Stop Smoking
  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Reduce acid reflux with diet
  • Sleep with your head elevated
  • Avoid lying down after a meal
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Enhance your digestive wellness

At GI Alliance, we are dedicated to helping you and your loved ones find the solutions you need for improved gastrointestinal health. If you’ve been experiencing persistent heartburn that you’ve been unable to manage, contact a GI Alliance location in your community to schedule an appointment with one of our gastroenterologists.

Have had a Hiatal Hernia for years my new PC Dr Ronaldo Luanzon referred me to Dr Yanish. He set up an Endoscopy for me. Dr and his staff are Great and efficient. Dr Yanish explained everything afterward. I have to have more tests. He is very thorough. I would highly recommend him.

M.D. Google

Dr. Seetharam is very kind and personable. I appreciate how he takes the time to explain complex medical issues in a way that is easy to understand. From screening colonoscopies to managing end stage liver disease, Dr. Seetharam is an expert in his field. Highly recommend!

J.G. Google

I found Dr. Shah to be a nice and caring doctor when I met her in 2016. During my GI complications in 2019, there was a delay in communication but she took care of me and diagnosed the cause behind the issue. I highly recommend Dr. Shah as a doctor who takes care of her patients.

F.S. Google

I saw Dr. Harris originally because my normal doctor is out of the office with health issues until August and referred me to her while she is out. I was extremely sick and Dr. Harris went above and beyond to see me the very next day. She spent a lot of time asking questions and reviewing my medical history so that she could provide the best care. I was so impressed with her knowledge, compassion and treatment options. Her bedside manner immediately made me trust her and took away my anxiety. She definitely cares about her patients and it shows from the moment you meet her.

B.K. Google

I definitely recommend TDDC. The staff is friendly, Dr. Bijo John Assistant is whom I saw, Melissa Medina, NP, and she is very professional and patient and takes time to listen to my concerns. They both are great.

A.G. Google


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