What is a Hiatal Hernia?
Food enters the mouth and travels to the stomach via a tube called the esophagus. The diaphragm is an important organ that helps with breathing and lies between the lungs and stomach. The esophagus passes through a hole in the diaphragm called the esophageal hiatus.
A hiatal hernia is a condition where the upper part of the stomach, located just below the diaphragm, protrudes through the esophageal hiatus and rests within the chest. Other hernias can happen in the abdomen, upper thigh, belly button, or in the groin, but the bulging tissue is in your stomach and diaphragm in this specific type of hernia.
A hiatal hernia can be extremely painful due to the stomach pushing on the diaphragm muscle. In order to manage a hiatal hernia, we need to address the cause of the hernia – the pH imbalance and inflammation of the intestines.
Types of Hiatal Hernia
- Sliding hiatal hernia –
This type of hiatal hernia is the most common. Your stomach and esophagus slide in and out of your chest through the esophageal hiatus. These are usually small and don’t cause noticeable symptoms.
- Fixed hiatal hernia –
This type of hernia is also known as a para-esophageal hernia and isn’t as common. In a fixed hernia, part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm and stays there. This hernia has a risk that blood flow to your stomach cold become blocked. If that happens, it is considered a medical emergency.
What NOT to do:
There are certain home remedies that have no data to support they are effective. Below is a list of home remedies that potentially do more harm than good in the long run:
- Apple cider vinegar
- Lemon juice
- Slippery elm
One remedy which actually makes a difference is aloe vera. However, aloe vera is not a solution. It will control the symptoms to a certain extent but it cannot be a standalone treatment.
Many medical practitioners prescribe PPIs for hiatus hernias. These may not be totally effective for the hernia. These are designed to decrease the acid in the stomach for relief of acid reflux symptoms. However, these drugs have to be taken daily for years and symptoms can re-start if you discontinue the medication. Additionally, the US FDA suggests no more than a 15 day course of the above drugs for a maximum of 3 times a year. The following is a partial list of the most commonly known side effects:
- Difficulty breathing
- Swelling of face, lips, tongue, or throat
- Stomach pain
- Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea
Hiatal hernias are sometimes treated with surgery. The surgeon attempts to pull the stomach back into the abdomen, correcting the hernia. Surgery is usually reserved for patients who develop complications, such as recurrent bleeding, ulcerations, or strictures. However, there is another less invasive way to fix this problem.
Traditional line of treatment for Hiatal Hernia
If you are diagnosed with a hiatal hernia, via a doctor’s visit and subsequent endoscopic exploration, then you may be prescribed pharmaceutical medications. These can have mild to severe side effects or complications.
Medical practitioners usually prescribe proton pump inhibitors and antibiotics as first line treatment of hiatal hernia. The FDA has issued several warnings that proton pump inhibitors should not be used for more than 14 days, 3 times a year as these medications can lead to osteoporosis and other side effects. You can read the safety announcement here:
Antibiotics are used so often that they are becoming ineffective at eradicating bacteria. Many patients report recurring symptoms after treatment of H. pylori with antibiotics, while test results remain negative. You can read about antibiotics becoming less effective here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4635158/
Grocare® Hiatal Hernia Kit
In order to manage hiatal hernia, we have to address the underlying cause. The pH imbalance and inflammation of the digestive system is what we need to target. Xembran® , Hernica® and Acidim® have been especially effective in hiatal hernia.
Hernica® strengthens the intestines and abdominal wall naturally. It enhances digestion, bowel movements and reduces inflammation of the intestine. This relieves pressure on the abdominal wall.
Acidim® removes free radicals from intestines and jump starts the healing process by normalising pH levels in the body. It is important to have a balanced pH level in the body to prevent the onset of future infections.
Xembran® stops bacterial growth, kills H. pylori and other pathogenic bacteria, and helps develop a healthy gut microflora. Xembran® uses the body’s defence mechanisms to eliminate harmful bacteria and restore gut health. Together, Acidim®and Xembran® help and repair the stomach lining without any side effects.
As a result, the stress and inflammation of the stomach and other organs is reduced over time. The stomach is able to slowly return back to its position, healing the hiatal hernia. As the kit addresses the root cause of the hernia, chances of recurrence are minimal. This kit is equally effective for post-surgical complications.