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Gastrointestinal System :
Hiatus Hernia

Hiatus hernia happens when part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into the chest cavity. This usually happens through the hole in the diaphragm through which the esophagus passes into the abdomen. Most cases of hiatus hernia cause no symptoms and are not considered a health risk, so long as the larger part of the stomach does not pass through the hernia.

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1. Which specialist should I consult if I have Hiatus Hernia?

You should consult an Urologist or a General Surgeon.

2. Who gets Hernia?

Anybody, male or female can get a hernia.

3. Is the heartburn a sign of heart attack?

Heartburn pain can be mistaken for a heart attack or heart disease. But, usually heartburn pain is not associated with any physical activity. While exercise can increase the pain resulting from heart disease or the onset of a heart attack and rest may temporarily relieve the pain. Chest pain from hiatus hernia and/or esophageal spasms may be extremely difficult to distinguish from chest pain of cardiac origin. The symptoms of pain spreading from below the sternum (breastbone) to the neck, jaw, and arms can mimic the symptoms of coronary artery disease. If you experience any of these symptoms, immediately seek medical care.

4. How can I prevent Hiatus hernia?

Control weight. Avoid smoking and drinking alcohol. Avoid spicy food and gas producing drinks. Have light meals instead of single heavy meal. Don’t bend or lie down immediately after a meal. Take antacid when there is a need. Elevate the head of the bed 8 to 10 inches by putting pillows or a wedge under the upper part of the mattress. Gravity then helps keep stomach acid out of the esophagus while sleeping.

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