Through the large muscle separating your abdomen and chest, a hiatal hernia occurs through a bulging of the stomach.

The hiatus is the small opening of the diaphragm in which our food tube passes before going to the stomach. It will push up through that opening, further leading to hiatal hernia.

A small hiatal hernia causes no harm. One can never discover it unless a trained person or a doctor check your condition. It can undergo to heartburn. To relieve symptoms, medications can help.

Bulging of muscle tissue due to weakened muscle can cause a hiatal hernia, especially in the following conditions.

  • Changes in your diaphragm due to age
  • Injuries to the area, like after trauma or some types of surgery
  • Being born with an unusually large hiatus
  • Acquired pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as while coughing, vomiting, straining during a bowel movement, exercising or lifting heavy objects

Hiatal hernia is most common in people who are:


Small hiatal have no symptoms, but causes:

  • Heartburn
  • Regurgitation of food or liquids into the mouth
  • Backflow of stomach acid into the esophagus or acid reflux
  • Difficulty in swallowing
  • Pain to the chest and abdomen
  • Shortness of breath
  • Vomiting of blood, which may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding


Hiatal hernia is tested and processed to determine the cause of heartburn. These include:

  • Drinking a chalky liquid that coats of the lining of the digestive tract allows the doctor to see a silhouette of the parts of the digestive system. An x-ray of the gastrointestinal tract will be
  • Upper endoscopy or the process of inserting a thin and flexible tube with a light and camera down the throat to check for certain changes.
  • Esophageal manometry. When we swallow, muscle contractions occur; this is why this test is done. Muscles in the esophagus are exerted and its coordination is measured by esophageal manometry.


Symptoms usually don’t occur in people with hiatal hernia and there may be no required treatment. Medication or surgery should be done when a person is experiencing some of its symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux.

Such treatments are needed when someone is experiencing acid reflux and heartburn:

  • For stomach acid neutralization, one may take antacids
  • H2 receptor blockers including cimetidine and ranitidine may be taken
  • Medications that block acid production and heal the esophagus. Proton pump inhibitors are medications for strong acid blocking, allowing esophageal tissues to heal. These include lansoprazole and omeprazole.

Surgery is required to treat hiatal hernia sometimes. To some people suffering from this, surgery is more used to ease its symptoms and complications. The process is to pull your stomach down your abdomen by surgery to make the opening of a diaphragm lesser in size, to rebuild the esophageal sphincter or to remove the hernia sac.

Related Articles


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Tetralogy of Fallot is a congenital heart defect that affects the [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Trichinosis, also known as trichinellosis, is a parasitic infection caused by [...]


Overview and FactsTypes and SymptomsDiagnosis & MedicationsOverview and Facts Trigeminal neuralgia is a neurological condition characterized by severe facial pain. [...]