Hiatal Hernia Treatment Options: Medical vs. Natural

Hiatal Hernia Treatment

A hiatal hernia is almost always a simple physical anomaly where a piece of the stomach is pushed or moved into an area that it does not belong. This area is the hiatus, the opening in the diaphragm where the esophagus moves through the chest cavity separator. It is estimated that up to one in five people have the condition, although the majority of them will never have symptoms nor need any type of hiatal hernia treatment. However, some sufferers develop symptoms related to acid reflux including heartburn, and these symptoms can appear regularly. Hiatal hernia treatment may vary from one person to another, and what type is the most effective can depend on causes, desires, severity, and lifestyle.

The most common type of treatment for the symptoms of a hiatal hernia is the use of medications. Most of the time, these medications include proton pump inhibitors or H2 receptor blockers. Prescription medications are the most common; however some choose over the counter preparations instead. These hiatal hernia medications are not actually used to treat the hiatal hernia, rather symptoms related to stomach acid production. The physical characteristics of a hiatal hernia which include the upward displacement of the valve that connects the esophagus to the stomach make it easier for stomach acid to back up into the esophagus. The lining of the esophagus is delicate, and not equipped to deal with stomach acid. It therefore can become quickly inflamed and painful if an acid back up occurs, which is why hiatal hernia medications that reduce the volume of stomach acid are the most common type of hiatal hernia treatment.

These medications can be very useful and effective, but they are not for everyone. Side effects like headaches and nausea can present, and they can also be expensive, which can be unmanageable since they have to be taken daily. Fortunately, they are not the only type of treatment for hiatal hernia that is available. Aside from these medications that reduce the amount of stomach acid produced by the body, there are also many natural options available to consider and lifestyle changes that can make a significant impact on the recurrence of symptoms, therefore serving as an effective form of hiatal hernia treatment.

In terms of alternative and natural forms of treatment, some find success with externally applied essential oils. Peppermint oil applied externally to uncomfortable areas might prove some benefit, likely due to its natural analgesic properties. Further, herbs can be powerful forms of hiatal hernia treatment, particularly those that are considered warming herbs that might speed digestion. When digestion is slowed, the process may lead to more stomach acid being produced. Cardamom and other digestion aiding herbs might help speed the process up and therefore prevent the over accumulation of acid in the first place.

But, perhaps one of the simplest and easiest to implement methods to treating the symptoms that can occur alongside a hiatal hernia involves simple dietary changes. Some foods are just naturally more prone to prompting an increase in stomach acid, while others are not. Therefore, a big part of a diet for hiatal hernia symptom relief is simply adding in low acid producing foods like whole grains, bananas, fat free dairy and low acid vegetables like broccoli and green beans. However, dietary hiatal hernia treatment is not just about adding in better foods and changing preparation methods, it also means even more so avoiding foods that can quick symptom triggers.

There are some common sense and well known acid reflux foods to avoid that people with a hiatal hernia will do well to stay away from including hot sauce and tomato based products. But, there are also some perhaps lesser known foods that should also be avoided in order to reduce the recurrence of symptoms including butter, garlic and onions, and fattier dairy products. Carbonated beverages, coffees and teas can also bring about heartburn symptoms and abstaining from these types of ingestibles can be a simple and effective form of hiatal hernia treatment.

Another big symptom reducer is physical activity. And, while hiatal hernia exercise may seem farfetched, it can be hugely effective in more ways than one. For starters, physical activity can contribute to healthy digestion, which can prevent sudden upticks in acid production. But, it can be beneficial in another way. Stress is considered a major trigger for symptoms, and reducing it through healthy exercise or other physical activity like yoga can serve as a very beneficial form of hiatal hernia treatment that promotes better overall health.

The simple truth is that there is no one best method of treating the condition that works for everyone. This might be because everyone has a different thing or things that can trigger symptoms. For some, it could be stress and therefore exercise and aromatherapy might be the most effective forms of hiatal hernia treatment. For others, food may be bringing about their symptoms, and dietary changes might be the most effective route. Still, others find that a combination approach of lifestyle and alternative remedies works best for them, and ultimately a trial and error approach may lead to the best form of hiatal hernia treatment for an individual. Regardless, no matter what form of treatment is selected, proper medical care and advice are essential. A small hiatal hernia can be a minimal condition with no symptoms. But, while small sliding hiatal hernias are common and often non serious, complications are possible and do occur.

When a small hernia of the stomach turns into a large hiatal hernia or other complications present such as that in which the stomach ends up alongside instead of underneath the esophagus, often the only type of treatment that is recommended is surgical repair. This procedure involves the repositioning of the stomach and repair to the hiatus to prevent the condition from recurring. Even further complications may present, and what is diagnosed one day as a rolling hiatal hernia may worsen and strangulation can occur. This means that the blood supply to the stomach is cut off, and is considered a medical emergency. For these reasons, it is important that treatment of any kind be approved and monitored by a health care provider in order to evaluate symptoms for severity and monitor for developing complications. In most cases, however, hiatal hernia treatment is simple and effective, whether medicines or natural healing options are implemented. The choice in which is best, ultimately relying on the specific needs, wants, and lifestyle of the affected individual.