A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of your stomach pushes up through your diaphragm and into your chest region. The hiatus is a small opening in the diaphragm which your esophagus goes through to attach to the stomach. The stomach can push up through this opening causing a hiatal hernia. This condition mostly occurs in people over 50 years of age.
- Difficulty swallowing
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Feeling especially full after meals
- Antacids to neutralize stomach acid
- Medication to reduce or block acid production
- Surgery, in more extreme cases
NOTE: Recent research shows that over-the-counter acid-blocking heartburn drugs (called proton pump inhibitors, or PPIs) can increase your risk of other health problems over time. They are powerful drugs and are meant for short-term use only, unless under the supervision of your doctor.