Hiatal Hernia Symptoms – Visible vs. Unnoticed!

Hiatal Hernia Symptoms

A hiatal hernia is a rather unusual condition that is actually quite common. Sometimes referred to as “the great mimic,” a hiatal hernia can actually produce severe symptoms that can seem related to a heart attack in some people, and not a symptom at all in others. Understanding hiatal hernia symptoms begins with understanding what the condition is in the first place. When part of the stomach becomes pushed or moved to an area that it does not belong, it is considered herniated. When this bulge or part of the stomach moves through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus, it is called a hiatal hernia. This actual physical problem produces no symptoms in many people, especially if the hernia is small. However, for others, the symptoms of hiatal hernia presence include many that are characteristic of acid reflux related problems. It is still rather unclear why some people have GERD without a hiatal hernia, yet many with a hiatal hernia experience GERD related symptoms. What might be more unusual is that while some hiatal hernia symptoms are easily identifiable, others might go completely unnoticed, which can certainly contribute to a delay in diagnosis.

The easy symptoms to identify are those associated with pain and discomfort. Often the most alarming of these is hiatal hernia chest pain. This is the one that can send sufferers straight to the emergency room, and with good reason. Intense tightness and pain in the chest are not uncommon hiatal hernia pain symptoms, and there is absolutely no way to determine whether or not they are related to stomach acid or an actual problem with the heart. As a result, they are almost always treated as an emergency, as they should be. Not all hiatal hernia pain symptoms are an emergency, however. Both mild abdominal and chest pain are not uncommon, and are more likely to appear when trigger foods are present.

In fact, trigger foods and other dietary considerations are responsible for many hiatal hernia acid reflux related symptoms, including those other than pain. Heartburn is one of the most common hiatal hernia symptoms, and although it can come about at any time, it is much more likely to appear when spicy, fatty, fried or sugary foods are tossed into the mix. These same types of foods can cause another of the most common hiatal hernia symptoms, bloating, which can come about as a result of acid indigestion. It is still unclear just how stomach acid and hiatal hernias are related, however both excess pressure and slow digestion could be to blame.

Aside from common and easy to identify symptoms related to a hiatal hernia, there are some that most people would not attribute to a digestive disorder at all, and those are the ones that can go completely unnoticed. One of these interesting symptoms is hiccupping, which can occur in greater abundance in persons with a hiatal hernia. Another similar symptom is burping, which may exist alone or alongside other stomach acid related symptoms. But, perhaps the most unusual of these is coughing, and this anomaly among hiatal hernia symptoms can be a real challenge because it is easily dismissed as related to a mild illness or even allergies.

Most people who display any symptoms of a hiatal hernia will have some combination of noticeable and unnoticeable symptoms; however it is often the more severe ones and pain that send them to a health care provider for an evaluation. Thankfully, many unnoticeable symptoms are often remedied with hiatal hernia treatment including medications like proton pump inhibitors. When they are not, other options are available for hiatal hernia relief including natural selections like herbs, oils and stress relieving techniques. However, regardless of what type of treatment is used, diet can play a big role in reducing symptoms. This is often the case both for people who do and do not use medications for treatment. Although diet is not considered amongst hiatal hernia causes (which are predominantly related to excessive force either externally or internally) it is certainly linked to bringing about hiatal hernia symptoms in many people. The majority of the time, a combination treatment approach that does not include hiatal hernia repair surgery is more than adequate to reduce or eliminate both known and unknown symptoms. However, it is best to seek medical advice for treatment options, symptom relief and identification of potential rare but serious complications.