Last Modified on Aug 31, 2015
What Is a Hiatal Hernia?
A hernia of any type occurs as an organ or fatty tissue protrudes through a weakened region in the surrounding muscle or connective tissue. A hiatal hernia is a specific type of hernia that occurs when part of the stomach squeezes or pushes through the diaphragm. The diaphragm naturally has a slight opening or hiatus that acts as a channel for the esophagus or food tube, allowing the passage of the esophagus through to the stomach. However, when the stomach pushes up through the hiatus, a hiatal hernia occurs.
While most hiatal hernias are small and cause few to no signs or symptoms, larger hiatal hernias are likely to cause a few common symptoms. Symptoms generally include heartburn, belching, difficulty swallowing and fatigue.
Weakened muscle tissue that fails to contain tissue movement is the root cause for any type of hernia. Specifically, a hiatal hernia is caused by weakened muscle tissue in the diaphragm and stomach that allows the stomach to squeeze through the diaphragm. The cause of this weakening and bulging cannot always be identified, but pressure in the stomach has been identified as a contributing facture. As such, several possible causes have been identified including injury to the area, a genetically large hiatus and persistent pressure on the area such as that from coughing, vomiting, straining during a bowel movement or lifting heavy weights or objects.
Home Remedies for Hiatal Hernia
Many individuals believe the only remedy for the condition is a surgical hiatal hernia repair. While this procedure is often effective, it is not the only option. Many home remedies for hiatal hernia are available and effective. Apple cider vinegar can be used to treat the acid reflux and other symptoms commonly associated with a hiatal hernia. Likewise, baking soda, orange peel and chamomile tea can offer relief of several symptoms. Visiting a chiropractor is also an effective option as these individuals can typically teach how to realign a hiatal hernia and avoid surgical hiatal hernia repair.
Continue on below for exact remedy dosages and tips for treating a hiatel hernia from our Earth Clinic contributors.
I thought I had some of the symptoms of hiatal hernia but did not have any reflux so symptoms mystified. The pressure and pain against my diaphragm was intense every day. At least 4 months went by until I finally realized that my abdomen contained gas that was pressing against my diaphragm causing pain.
Once I squished the gas out of the abdomen area, the pressure let up and the hiatal hernia type symptoms went away. But the gas kept building up in my abdomen so had to continue squishing the gas out. I couldn't figure out why. It wasn't like the gas from eating food either.
I went to a long time practicing chinese doctor. she said it was a kidney infection. She gave me two things.
a) some type of bile salt for gall bladder and told me to take it with cranberry juice (i used one d-mannose tablet instead) in morning
b) I took an unknown herbal mixture at night to probably address infection.
After 2 weeks, the abdomen bloating or gas problem went away. My diaphragm still hurt from all that pressure but the pain went away after some healing. I could imagine that if I did not solve the bloating problem from my abdomen that it could have eventually led to a hiatal hernia. It was a very unusual bloating problem to have since it would occur even if I didn't eat much. It didn't seem connected directly to food nor did I have the reflux.
[YEA] I am 27 years old and have suffered with severe acid reflux since I was 17 years old. I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia after an endoscopy. I have been on about every type of medication known to man. My current meds were 1-Prilosec a day, then 1 to 3 Zantac 150's a day. I work in the medical field as an Emergency Dept. Tech. and my father is a doctor. I never heard about the Apple Cider Vinegar acid reflux cure until I happened to stumble across this website. WOW, WHAT A MIRACLE!!! I never thought I would find something to make the acid reflux pain go away. Thank you Earth Clinic and everyone who recommended this cure. I have only been on it for 4 days, but those four days have been life changing. I take 1 to 1 1/2 tbl. spoons with 8 oz. of water before breakfast, lunch, and dinner. I have not had acid reflux since.
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Middlesex County, Nj, Usa
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[YEA] Hiatal Hernia & Acid Reflux: While pregnant with my 2nd daughter I got heartburn with everything I ate and was drinking a bottle of Maalox a day. After she was born it got a little better, but then worse again until everything including water gave me heartburn. Also I began to have reflux while sleeping and I would wake up after breathing the acid into my lungs. I was pretty scared to sleep lying down so I started sleeping at a 45 degree angle to prevent that from happening again.
I started xray school right after my daughter was born and during the 1st semester of training I saw all these people having Upper GI tests and were prescribed medications but people kept coming back because the meds weren't helping and that's when I decided to look for a solution naturally. I was told if you took a tablespoon of ACV when you had heartburn and the heartburn went away then you needed MORE acid and not less and the pills the docs were giving people STOPPED the production of acid, but you need that acid to help digest your food. I also assummed I had a hiatal hernia because sometimes my food felt like it didn't want to go down and stayed in my throat. After learning about the ACV treatment I did that for about 3 months. It was hard to drink it everyday but I did. I also cut out sodas, sweet tea, and tomato products as these things caused severe heartburn. I kept searching and talking to people and found a company that made food enzymes. I switched to food enzymes for about a year. My hiatal hernia and heartburn went away and I started sleeping flat again. That was in 1995 and I haven't had the problem again. I've told lots of people to try the ACV or food enzymes because I now know for sure that the meds people are put on are not the solution - oh I know it fixes some for a while but then the body is unable to get the vitamins from the foods they are eating and they come back to the hospital for a CAT SCAN to see what problem they have now. Since I work in a hospital and see the day to day problems that people have due to medication or Drs. who are simply overworked and most know nothing about nutrition, I go the natural way for everything. This is a great website and at least when people are searching for a solution they will try it, but I find that people look at me like I'm crazy when I tell them a simple solution to their problem, especially if it is going to mean they can't just take a pill and the problem goes away.
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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] Need feedback please. I have hiatel hernia and tried all meds, currently not taking meds because nothing works very long ( also changed my diet and did not work)my pain is worse when I sleep (right below sternum). The ACV and baking soda works well. I know my problem will be ongoing (my Dr. Says the jury is still out on consistant results from surgery)so my question is - are there any major health concerns with taking Ted's recipe for the long term or at least until someday they get this surgery perfected? Thanks.
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[BETTER BUT NOT CURED] After suffering from a hiatal hernia for six years (and trying three doctors, four chiropractors, 1 endoscopy, and around forty different herbal "remedies," I stumbled upon an exercise that actually brings relief: When the hernia is acting up, 1. I sit. 2. I take a deep breath, hold it. 3. Still holding my breath, I lift my knees as high and as long as I can. 4. I exhale and lower knees slowly (at the same time). 5. Walk around for a minute. 6. Repeat as necessary.
I can't believe this worked for me. I really thought I'd tried everything (AVC, aloe, charcoal, PPI's, slippery elm, blowing balloons, everything - I was seriously considering surgery), and this simple exercise is the only thing that brought relief. If anybody else gets the same relief from this exercise, I'll be even happier. Good luck.
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Newport Beach, California
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I have sliding hiatal hernia. For the past 2-1/2 yrs I have tried to find a chiropractor, osteopath and massage therapist to fix it but to no avail. Instead I have spent hundreds of dollars on chiroprators (NUCCA and KST included) and Osteopaths who claim they can fix it by adjusting it but they do not know how to do it.
I have done an intensive search on the internet and have a document with testimonials from lots of sufferers who have had their hernias adjusted by either a chirorpractor or an osteopath or a massage therapist. I have presented those instructions to them yet they cannot fix it for me.
I have had h pylori for a few years, have tried to get rid of it by natural therapies but not sure if it has gone. I also have glaucoma in both eyes. I have floaters in my left eye and in the last year my vision has decreased in that eye.
Please help me, I do not want to have esophegal cancer, already I cannot swallow softgel pills, I have burning in my throat and cannot sleep at night despite elevating my bed. Now burning in my stomach has started.
I shall be very grateful if someone in the Toronto GTA or neary surburs have been fortunate to find a practitioner (massage therapist included-I have instructions on that as well) who have fixed hiatal hernias. Also, was the hernia fixed in one adjustment or did it require a few more visits?
Thank you so very much.
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Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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I was diagnosed with a hiatel hernia in 1988 at 30 years old and was told it would be prescriptions the rest of my life. A chiropractor taught me how to push it back into place on my own and a kinesiologist helped to determine food allergies and aggrevators. Stayed on a diet without wheat, sugar, caffeine and dairy for a year when my physician said it wasn't bad enough to operate on. I can't imagine what 'bad' was! Anyway, the diet worked for over 20 years. It helps to eat on a regular schedule and not to wait until your stomach is growling. It began coming back about a year ago so am careful to eat and manage stress. ACV definitely helps with the reflux.
[YEA] in 1985 I was diagnosed with hiatal hernia and stomach ulcers.Tagament pills for ulcers and Galviscon for my hiatal my doctor wanted to book me in for surgery as I could not lie down without my stomach acid burning my throat. anything I ate gave me pain and heart burn.
I have always hated hospitals so I refused, I cured myself by not eating and drinking anything with acid eg: tomatoes lemon, oranges, beer, no white bread or pastries that was doughy. I only ate brown bread and veggies with meat no gravy not much fruit but I did add peppers to all my food.
After 6 months, my hiatal hernia was healed and my stomach ulcers gone.my doctor scratched his head. He had never known that one could heal hiatal hernia as the valve had been stretched open and surgery was the only option.
It is now 2015 and I do not suffer ulcers or hiatal hernia. Ulcers is sores in the stomach breeding on bacteria, kill the bacteria and the sore heals. I believe pepper did the trick.
EC: Hi Ward,
Thank you for your feedback. Can you please let us know what kind of pepper you used. Was it cayenne or black pepper? Thank you!
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[YEA] This website helps so many people. I have a hiatel hernia and a simple and fast correction for it. Every morning or when it is acting up stand up staright, feet shoulder width apart, take a deep breath and place your fingers into your "chest" (right where your rib cage seperates) as far as you can, upon exhale pull the fingers straight down. Repeat as nescessary. God Bless!
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Bountiful, Utah, Usa
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I have hernia for a long time. l have tried some treatment but no inprovement. I am 35 years old. l need help to be healed. Thanks
EC: Hi, there is some information here on curing hernias.
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I suffer badly from diverticulitis and also have a Hiatal Hernia and after reading 'Stanleys' remedy of ACV & Cayenne, am a bit worried about the Cayenne affecting the hernia. Does anyone know if it would or wouldn't upset it please.
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New Haven, Ct - Connecticut
Hi everyone.. My name is Lanie and I also have same problems like others. Last May I had endoscopy and found hiatal hernia and day after that I had my gallstones removed. Been in and out of the hospital for 2-3 months and doctors gave me all kinds of medicines they said would cure my hiatal hernia. But none of them worked so I stopped. I still have this acid, pain on my chest specially left side and contipation. My doctor also prescribed me xanor to ease my anxiety and depression. Now I'm having hair loss. I've tried wheatgrass with honey, in powder form, and I can say it helps but not really that relief cuz I still experience the pain and its hard to take deep breath as if im lacking oxygen and I always get colds & cough. I've made a lot of research online and found some herbal but again nothing really worked.
Not until one day I was surfing google and found earthclinic link and saw Ted's recipe. So I told my husband about this and he said we'll give it a try. In 5 days time I could say my acid was lessen and I'm not experiencing that much of chest pain anymore, not like before I always feel that something's blocking in my throat. I then stopped for 2 days and now I just had the recipe before I decided to post some feedback. I'm adding 1 tsp honey w/ 2 tbsp Avc & 1/4 baking soda. Is it just ok mixing honey with your recipe Ted? Friends please I need more of your feedbacks and suggestions, I also want to have a normal life like you do. I would highly appreciate your help. Thank you...
Hiatal hernia/acid reflux
Not to cause confusion in this category but for the past 20 yrs. I have had hiatal hernias and acid reflux off and on. Reflux is a symptom of the hernia. Depending on severity, reflux is proportional to how long the hernia has been in place. In mild cases the hernia may pull back from the diaphram on its own. In severe cases or long durations, the stomach must be " pulled" down out of the diaphram. I go to a chiropractor that uses kinesiology, and has proven the technique works. And in most cases surgery is not needed.
To ease symptoms, as reflux during sleep you can lay on your left side which will reduce reflux especially after a large meal before bed.
I will add other info later
[YEA] I suffer from a Hiatal Hernia which in itself brought on my suffering from GERD. I was desperate in finding a way out. So by the time I realized that I was suffering from a hiatal hernia (caused by a real bad vomiting episode)I was desperate in finding a way out of this ill feeling I was ALWAYS having. I found this website and tried ACV with some good results but it still wasnt the normal feeling I was looking for. I forget how I started on Prilosec but it gave me the best results but I was still was feeling ill. My doctor gave me Nexium, but that was no better than the Prilosec I was taking. I tried other over the counter acid reflux medicines also but with little or the same results. I then read a book on "_______". What I read about those drugs was a bit scary. You actually need the stomach acids you produce to digest the food you eat. Dilute or reduce the acid you need and you are allowing raw food through your intestines and bowels. Yikes! No wonder the makers of those drugs want you to use them for no longer than 2 weeks at a time! So I went back to the Internet to research my affliction again. Now, I dont want to take the credit, and I cant remember the site where I read my finding. So I give all the credit to that person who posted their results. But what I found and tried was too simple to ignore and that was ORANGE PEEL seasoning. Thats right! Just the very same Orange Peel Seasoning you can buy off your supermarket's shelves. Its somewhat expensive at $5-$6 for 1.5 oz's but a single bottle has lasted me nearly 2 months. I found a 16 oz bottle for less than $20 while searching the net. Well anyway, I use just a sprinkle on my breakfast cereal in the morning, and I sprinkle a little on my toast also, and I'm good for the day! All together the amount I use must equal to no more that a 1/2 teaspoon. I also have two cups of Chamomile Tea a day, one at 7 AM with breakfast and one in the evening around 7 PM. The Tea works wonders and settles me down. I find I really only need the Orange Peel once a day but twice a day wouldnt hurt I guess. So I'm really interested in other people's experiences with the orange peel so please write and share your findings. If you are as desperate as I have been in feeling normal please give this a try. I'm glad I did :-) Thanks
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Walla Walla, Wa
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Hi Liferr, I don't know whether your hair loss could be a result of taking Zantac. When I took it a few years ago my hair started to get very thin and would break off. Acid suppressing drugs can stop absorbtion o some minerals like iron and calcium. Also B vits. Maybe some of the suggestion on EC might help your reflux. My hair loss did stop when I stoped zantac and is thicker now, Hope this helps. All the best Christine