A hernia occurs when a part of the body pushes and protrudes through a part of the body where it does not belong. A hiatal hernia occurs when a portion of the stomach protrudes above the muscular wall that separates the stomach and the diaphragm, also known as the hiatus. Two types of hiatal hernias are common: sliding and parasophageal. The danger that comes with this hernia is that part of the stomach becomes strangled by the muscles, and as the blood supply decreases, cells may start to die. Knowing the symptoms of this type of hernia helps you decide whether you need a medical diagnosis or not.
When you develop GERD
One of the most common signs that you could be suffering from a hiatal hernia is GERD. It may present symptoms such as heartburn. The patient may also regurgitate food that they have swallowed back into the mouth. In other cases, there could also be backflow of stomach acid into the oesophagus. If you have been receiving treatment for chronic heartburn and other symptoms of GERD, but the condition does not seem to have a resolution, it is possible that you could be having a hiatal hernia.
Abnormal stool and vomit
As the condition worsens, you may start experiencing symptoms such as internal bleeding. This will show up in your stool, and it will turn black. In severe cases, you may also end up vomiting blood. If you have been treating heartburn that seems to worsen and has over time been coupled with vomiting, you may need tests and a diagnosis.
Chest pains and pain in the abdomen
Other common signs that indicate you could be having a hiatal hernia include severe chest and abdominal pains. These will typically be accompanied by shortness of breath and a metallic taste in the mouth. If the pains are persistent, do not ignore them, as the strangulated part of your stomach could be losing its oxygen supply, leading to cell death.
Some of the risk factors for the condition include trauma to the diaphragm, a persistent pressure to the muscles that surround the hiatal tissue, such as the pressure exerted by excessive coughing, and being born with an abnormally large hiatus. Treatment includes antacids to give you relief from the acid reflux. If the condition is severe, the doctor may recommend laparoscopic surgery to correct the hernia and help you resume a healthy life.
Get in touch with a company such as Diagnostic Endoscopy Centre for more information.