What is Hiatal Hernia: symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment.
A hiatal hernia is a medical condition that occurs when part of the stomach protrudes through an opening in the diaphragm into the chest cavity. Symptoms of a hiatal hernia can include heartburn, chest and abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, and nausea.
The most common cause of hiatal hernias is a weakening of the muscles and ligaments in the stomach and diaphragm. Other causes include damage to the area due to trauma, lifting heavy objects, straining during the act of defecation, or pregnancy.
A hiatal hernia can usually be diagnosed through an upper gastrointestinal series (UGI). A UGI uses X-rays to detect the presence of a hernia and any other abnormalities in the digestive system. Additional tests may include an endoscopy, barium swallow, or pH testing.
Treatment for a hiatal hernia often involves medications to reduce stomach acid and prevent reflux, lifestyle changes such as avoiding certain foods, and possibly surgery. Surgery is usually reserved for those who are experiencing severe symptoms and have not responded to other treatment methods.