Hiatal Hernia

Ever have that feeling of a lump in your throat or the sensation that you can not swallow your food properly? Well it could be a number of things but it also can be a real sensation and one of those possibilities is a hiatal hernia. My real reason to mention this possible cause of indigestion is the YouTube video at the end of my blog as many sites say there is no exercise to treat the existing herniation. This video shows a very helpful technique that may not cure but it sure makes the situation more tolerable.

I will do a cursory explanation of what a hiatal hernia is, what the symptoms might be and why you might develop a hiatal hernia and then what allopathic medicine suggests for solving the problem. I am not an expert on hiatal hernia, so what I write is simply from researching the internet. The technique that is shown in the video has proven to provide  a certain amount of comfort when I have that uncomfortably full feeling and when I have some heart arrhythmia, so I feel more capable of personally recommending that.

A hiatal hernia is defined as an abnormally loose attachment of the esophagus to the diaphragm which allows the esophagus and stomach to slip upwards.  This deviation in God’s plan exists in approximately 15% of the population and often goes unnoticed until the person develops acid reflux from a diet that is unfriendly to a healthy body. Sliding hiatal hernias, the most common type, are those in which the junction of the esophagus and stomach, referred to as the gastro-esophageal junction, and part of the stomach protrude into the chest. The junction may reside permanently in the chest, but often it juts into the chest only during a swallow. This occurs because with each swallow the muscle of the esophagus contracts causing the esophagus to shorten and to pull up the stomach. When the swallow is finished, the herniated part of the stomach falls back into the abdomen. There is another hernia called Para-esophageal hiatal hernia  that has the more serious side effect of actually making the passage of food impossible but thankfully is not very common.

Most hiatal hernias are often not even noticed by the person who has one. However, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can be the ultimate result of the larger sliding type of hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernia is not the only cause of GERD as it can exist without the herniation but it is clear that a herniation contributes to GERD. The symptoms are heartburn, worse when bending over or lying down, swallowing difficulty, regurgitation, chest pain (pain and discomfort are usually due to the reflux of gastric acid, air, or bile) and nausea.

The allopathic treatment is to relieve symptoms and prevent complications. Reducing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux) will relieve pain. Medications that neutralize stomach acidity, decrease acid production, or strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that prevents acid from backing up into the esphagus) may be prescribed.

Other measures to reduce symptoms include:

  • Avoiding large or heavy meals
  • Not lying down or bending over immediately after a meal
  • Reducing weight and not smoking

If these measures failure to control the symptoms, or complications appear, surgical repair of the hernia may be necessary.

The cause is unknown, but hiatal hernias may be the result of a weakening of the supporting tissue. Increasing age, obesity, and smoking are known risk factors in adults.

Children with this condition are usually born with it (congenital). It is often associated with gastroesophageal reflux in infants.

Hiatal hernias are very common, especially in people over 50 years old. This condition may cause reflux (backflow) of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus.

Hiatal hernia came to my attention when my research buddy,  Chloe, went to her functional medicine doctor a month or so ago. She was put on the examination table as doctors are wont to do when you visit them. At which point her doctor looked at her and stated that her stomach was riding up in to her diaphragm, it was “too high”. She proceeded to massage the area to pull the stomach back down in to position. I was fascinated by her story and especially when Chloe told me that irregular heartbeats can be relieved with this massage. I give full credit to Chloe for finding this YouTube video explaining the massage.

I can personally recommend the technique as I do this massage frequently. I do suffer some of the listed side effects of hiatal hernia and I do only occasionally now, have an irregular heartbeat (my T3 only treatment has improved this situation beyond belief). This massage actually feels good after awhile but as he warns in the video it can make the area sore for a brief period of time. If you suffer some of the above symptoms and you want to try this technique I think you should and do it without fear, it won’t hurt anything and it may help a great deal.

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