Hernia, also called rupture, is the protrusion of any organ from the cavity in which it normally belongs through an opening. It comes in many forms and may either be congenital or acquired. They are mostly named according to the region in the body involved.
The symptoms of hernia depend on the organs that come through the rupture. They are gastric, cardiac or respiratory in type. When the stomach is the only organ that comes into the chest, as in the case of diaphragmatic or hiatal hernia, the symptoms are pain or pressure in the chest, accompanied by nausea and vomiting. Sometimes an ulcer develops, caused by pressure on the ring on the stomach. Occasionally, the symptoms are those of intestinal obstruction.
The most common type of hiatal hernia occurs along the opening where the esophagus passes through the diaphragm. This hernia is generally congenital. The sac usually contains only the stomach. Other hiatal hernias occur at embryonic fusion points, and are congenital. Traumatic hernia occurs in the weakest part of the diaphragm: the dome or posterior part. All hiatal hernias occur on the left side, as the liver protects the right diaphragm. These hernias are often described by laymen as “upside down stomach.”
In hiatal hernia, part of the stomach and the abdominal party of the esophagus are pushed or pulled forward through the opening in the diaphragm through which the esophagus normally passes. This occurs because of a weakness of the muscles around the hiatus. The hernia consists of a pouch of the stomach which has pushed through the hiatus. Because of the acid reflux into the esophagus, inflammation or an actual ulcer may develop at the junction of the esophagus and stomach. Many people are asymptomatic, but when symptoms are present, they are those of heartburn and are aggravated by the same things.
Many patients only come to realize that they are suffering from hiatal hernia when they decide to consult their doctors for severe and recurring symptoms. The diagnosis is made by taking X-rays of the chest, after the patient has been given a barium meal or through an endoscopic procedure. Oftentimes, lifestyle changes such as avoiding fatty foods, smoking, big meals and acidic drinks alleviate symptoms. If these are not effective, medications like antacids, proton pump inhibitors and H-2 blockers are prescribed to ease the symptoms. However, if these medications still fail to alleviate the distress, surgical repair may be the answer.
Cam is a free lancer writer of http://www.medicalsymptomsguide.com/
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