Have heartburn really bad. I have a hiatal hernia. What home remedies can I take to get rid of this? I really hate taking medication.

Hernia is basically a condition in which there is a tear in muscle tissue, as a result of which an organ or other tissue protrudes into a bodily cavity where it should not normally be. When the thoracic diaphragm (the sheet of muscle at the bottom of the ribcage, which helps in breathing) tears and the upper part of the stomach protrudes into the thorax, the condition is known as a hiatal hernia. The link between the two problems is not entirely clear, but heartburn is one of the most common symptoms of a hiatal hernia. While the hernia does not actually cause the acid reflux or heartburn, it does seem to increase the chances of them occurring. Medication is not always necessary to treat the heartburn, but is important not to entirely rule out that option. In severe cases, surgery might also be needed to treat a hiatal hernia, and if you have a mental block against these options the condition will only get worse.

In most cases however, some simple precautions and lifestyle changes are enough to solve the problem. These measures are generally recommended for any kind of chronic heartburn problem, and are effective no matter what the cause (in your case a hiatal hernia) may be. One of the simplest things to do is to eat your dinner early and keep a gap of at least one hour between dinner and your bed time. This gives you a chance to digest your meal before going to bed and lie down, reducing the chances of stomach acid rising into the esophagus and causing heartburn. Another way to prevent this from happening is by elevating the head of your bed slightly. The best way to do this is to tilt the bed itself by using some kind of riser; using a high pillow or two pillows will not serve the purpose and will only end up giving you a stiff neck each morning.

Obesity also seems to contribute to the problem of heartburn, and therefore if you are overweight you should immediately start trying to reduce by modifying your diet and taking up some form of regular exercise. Another aggravating factor is stress - "avoid stress" is of course something that is easier said than done, and if you have trouble doing so, you should take up some stress-relieving activity such as yoga or simply a hobby that you find relaxing.

answered by S C

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