first developed what I thought was a small hiatal hernia when I was doing a
lot of situps a few decades ago. I would have burping and pressure under my
sternum and occasionally a very sharp pain in my left back at the level of my
diaphragm and between my left neck and shoulder. My chiropractor confirmed a hiatal
hernia and showed me how to pull my stomach back into position.
From that time I began doing the procedure on my patients and
relieving a lot of distress. Children especially can develop a small hiatal
hernia after a lot of coughing or vomiting leaving them with stomach pain and
a finicky appetite.
A hiatal hernia is part of the stomach that pushes through a weak
sphincter in the diaphragm beside the esophagus.
If I had gone to a doctor I would have had barium x-rays to try to
diagnose my pain. But the weight of the barium itself can push a hernia back
into place making it hard to diagnose. Like too many things in medicine,
doctors say the cause of hiatal hernia is unknown, even though they are very
common, especially in people over 50 years old.
The symptoms are heartburn, chest pain, inability to take a deep
breath, problems swallowing and the panicky feeling that there is something
wrong with your heart!
I think hiatal hernias are common because we have so many digestive
problems leading to gas and bloating, which can push the stomach up into a
herniation. We are overweight, which pushes up on the stomach and we don't
exercise, which means our diaphragm doesn't move with deep breathing which
massages the stomach into place. And when we are under stress we hold our
breath and breathe shallowly and therefore don't properly massage our
internal organs with the diaphragm.
Then there is magnesium deficiency! Yes, you thought this would be a
magnesium-free blog, but there is no such thing in my world! If you've been
coughing or vomiting or under a lot of stress, your stomach can go into
spasm. Magnesium can relieve that stress, either taken by mouth or rubbing
magnesium oil or cream on your stomach.
Besides being overweight and under stress, women during
pregnancy are susceptible, as are people with constipation, all of which puts
more pressure on the stomach.
There is no medical treatment for hiatus hernia and when
it is very severe, surgery is offered. This operation is a last resort
because of the many possible side effects including limited stomach capacity,
severe discomfort when eating, and inability to vomit or belch normally.
However, there are natural treatments for this condition.
1. Avoid coffee, tea, and alcohol, which relax the
sphincter between the stomach and esophagus.
2. Avoid sit-ups or do modified sit-ups. To do a
modified sit-up, sit on a mat with your knees bent and back straight. Fold
your arms over your chest, lean back a few inches, and sit up. Choose the
number of repetitions that is best for you.
3. Do not lie down after a meal.
4. Do not drink liquids with meals.
5. In the morning, to settle the stomach in proper
position, drink a glass of water, rise up on your toes, and then thump down
on your heels about ten times.
6. Learn yogic breathing; when you inhale, let your
abdomen rise so that your diaphragm falls. This opens up the lungs to full
capacity and massages the stomach in place.
7. And the most important treatment is a traction massage
on the abdomen to relax the stomach and ease it into its proper position.
NOTE: Only you
can know if something is helping you. If you don't feel well on a supposed
beneficial product, listen to your body and stop taking it! Knowing when to
Not take something is a big part of taking responsibility for your health.
cannot answer personal health questions by email. However, please send
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