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Hiatal Hernia

 

 
 

A hiatal hernia is a condition in which the upper part of the stomach bulges through an opening in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the muscle wall that separates the stomach from the chest. The diaphragm helps keep acid from coming up into the esophagus. When you have a hiatal hernia, it's easier for the acid to come up. The leaking of acid from the stomach into the esophagus is called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). GERD may cause symptoms such as

Hiatal hernias are common, especially in people over age 50. If you have symptoms, eating small meals, avoiding certain foods, not smoking or drinking alcohol, and losing weight may help. Your doctor may recommend antacids or other medicines. If these don't help, you may need surgery.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

 
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    • Hiatal Hernia(Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research)

 

 
 
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Illustration of the esophagus, diaphragm and stomach

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MedlinePlus links to health information from the National Institutes of Health and other federal government agencies. MedlinePlus also links to health information from non-government Web sites. See our disclaimer about external links and our quality guidelines.