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Hiatus Hernia – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Hiatus hernia is just one of the many types of hernias that affect people. As you know, a hernia occurs when body cavity contents bulge out of the area in which they are contained. These contents are usually portions of abdominal fatty tissues and intestines that are enclosed in a thin membrane that lines the inside of the cavity.

It may or may not have symptoms, but it can lead to strangulation which is very risky. A person who has a hiatus hernia has the upper part of his stomach bulging through an opening in his diaphragm. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that is found beneath the lungs.

It is necessary for breathing, and it separates the stomach from the chest. It also keeps acid from going up to the esophagus. If you have this condition, you will be at risk of developing gastroesophageal reflux or the leaking of acid from the stomach towards the esophagus.

Some of the symptoms of gastroesophageal reflux are heartburn, swallowing difficulties, bad breath, fatigue, belching and dry cough. Inflammation of the esophagus is also a possible complication.

If you experience any of these symptoms, you should eat smaller meals while avoiding certain kinds of food, refrain from drinking alcoholic beverages and smoking cigarettes, try to sleep with your head higher than your feet, and lose weight.

You should also see your doctor so you can be prescribed with the necessary medicines or antacids. Do not hesitate to ask questions. Usually, doctors prescribe antacids that neutralize stomach acid, medications that heal the esophagus and block acid production, and medications that reduce acid production. You may even be advised to undergo surgical procedures if such medications do not help.

Hiatus hernia repair surgeries are often combined with gastroesophageal reflux disease surgeries. The procedures usually involve pulling the stomach down into the abdomen and making the diaphragm opening smaller.

They also involve reconstructing the esophageal sphincter and removing the hernia sac. The operation is done with the surgeon viewing images from inside your body through a small camera.

The possible causes of hiatus hernia are injuries to the area, intense and persistent pressure on the surrounding muscles when vomiting, straining during bowel movement, or coughing, and being born with an abnormal-sized hiatus.

You are more prone to having this condition if you are obese or over fifty years of age. Then again, you should still be very careful with the way you live. You should opt for a healthy lifestyle in order to avoid unpleasant complications.

Why Wear a Hernia Belt

If you have a hernia, wearing a hernia belt may provide you with support and comfort. It is designed to push your herniated tissue back into your abdomen. Hence, you will be able to engage in usual activities without worry. Strangulation may even be averted. As you know, strangulated hernia is the worst type. It is very risky and even fatal at times.

This belt is soft and absorbent. You need an absorbent garment to keep your skin from collecting moisture and developing rashes. Skin irritations are common in people suffering from hernia. However, if you think that this belt is bulky and aesthetically unappealing, you may instead opt for hernia underwear.

This belt is also elastic and worn around the abdomen to prevent the hernia from bulging. You may choose a hernia belt that features a hard plastic or metal that can prevent the bulge from protruding. See to it that you wear this belt at all times. If you don’t, the bulge will recur once you cough, sneeze, strain during bowel movement, or perform any physical activities.

The material of this garment is usually lightweight and has a padded elastic waistband which is configured not to move or roll out of place. It is typically secured with a buckle or a metal snap, but there are also others that have a loop configuration and a hook. Choose a belt that fits you properly.

A hernia belt is washable and easy to care for. It applies consistent pressure to the abdominal hernia to reduce the pain and the risk of developing complications. Although it can prevent hernia from protruding, it cannot treat the condition. It can only make you feel more comfortable in your everyday life while waiting for your surgery.

It will apply sufficient pressure to your hernia so you can avoid experiencing pain and complication days before your scheduled surgery. Afterward, you may still continue wearing it to help you heal quicker and better. This belt can help you reduce the stress on your damaged tissue, increasing the ability of your body to heal from the treatment.

You can get a hernia belt at your local drugstore or at your doctor’s office. Your doctor might even recommend a particular type or brand based on your needs. You can also order a customized one if you prefer. Most belts come with removable pads to vary pressure, as well as adjustable straps that provide comfort.

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