Hiatal hernia is not as widespread as inguinal hernia which is the most encountered form but it is the second most common type of hernia so you should know what it is and how it manifests in order to know if you are suffering from it and what to do in this case.
Most hernias occur in the abdominal area. Hiatal hernia appears in the upper parts of the abdomen, at the diaphragm. A simple definition of hernia is that it is a disease that appears when a certain part of the body loses its resistance, because it gets old in most cases, and another part of the body that is in contact with the first one slips through a small hole that appears in the first part. Depending on the body parts involved in this hernia can be divided into more types.
Hiatal hernia involves the diaphragm, which is the first ‘organ’ from the situation above, the one that gets weakened, and the stomach, its upper side in most cases is the second one. The stomach is supposed to stay under the diaphragm (the muscular membrane that separates the abdomen from the lungs), but the diaphragm has a small hole in it through which the esophagus passes. The area around the hole weakens and a part of the stomach passes through it and slides inside the chest cavity. There are two forms of hiatal hernia, sliding hiatal hernia, when the stomach slides through the opening in the diaphragm between the stomach and esophagus as mentioned above, which is the most common form, and rolling hiatal hernia, less encountered, when the stomach slides along the esophagus not between it and the stomach.
Unlike other forms of hernia you can't feel the bulge that appears because the stomach slides inside the body, so in order to detect it you need to pay close attention if any of its symptoms show up, which is not that easy because in most cases it shows no easy-to-see symptoms! It usually causes heartburn, a warm feeling in the chest, because of the acid in the stomach that re-fluxes backwards in the esophagus. Most people feel symptoms after eating and lying down, they start feeling bad, especially if they eat hot spicy foods.
If you experience any of the mentioned above try paying a visit to your doctor and ask for a control. These symptoms also appear because of indigestion so don't get alarmed until you receive diagnostic. It's important to detect hiatal hernia early because if it's left untreated it may lead to severe complications that include heart-attack! So periodically visit your doc and pay attention to the symptoms to avoid complications, but don't panic as soon as you get a little heartburn because there's a long way from that to a heart-attack.
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