October 27, 2009

Hiatus Hernia – Causes And Treatment

Posted in Category : Natural Cures

In order to go more in depth into the kind of pain suffered by a person that has a Hiatus Hernia, we need to first identify what it is and how it comes about. In the human body, the stomach is located below the diaphragm, which is a muscular sheet separating the abdomen from the chest cavity where the lungs sit. In the diaphragm, is a small opening that allows the esophagus (the pipe that connects the mouth to the stomach) to pass through. The esophagus also has a muscled called the sphincter that acts as a one way valve preventing the acids from the stomach to flow back into the pipe. A hiatus hernia is created when part of the stomach slides through this opening into the chest cavity.

The hiatus hernia is classified into 2 types. The first one is the more common – Sliding Hiatus Hernia. It affects eight in every ten people and occurs when the upper part of the stomach (called the gastro – esophageal sphincter) slides through the opening in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. The second type of hiatus hernia is comparatively rare – the Rolling Hiatus Hernia affects around two in every ten persons. This hernia is caused when a part of the stomach slides through the opening in the diaphragm and into the chest cavity but the gastro – esophageal sphincter stays below the opening. The latter is also known as the Para – Esophageal Hernia at times. Although this type of hernia is less common, it is of far greater concern, as the part of the stomach trapped in the chest cavity can have its blood supply cut off because it is “strangled” between the esophagus and the diaphragm.

This type of hernia can be caused by a number of factors including:

  • Obesity
  • Slouching or poor seated posture
  • Heredity
  • Smoking
  • Frequent coughing

Hiatus hernia, for the most part, shows no symptoms but can leave the person with serious pain and discomfort. It causes the person to feel:

  • Intensive chest pains or upper abdominal pain when part of the stomach is trapped above the diaphragm.
  • Heartburn

Discomfort. This condition could lead to another known as Gastro esophageal reflux disease, where stomach acids and digestive enzymes flow into the esophagus through a weakened sphincter that was supposed to act as a one way valve between the esophagus and the stomach.