Hiatal Hernia - Self-Care and Treatments

The eMedicineHealth doctors ask about Hiatal Hernia.
What kinds of treatments have been effective for your hiatal hernia?
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See what others are saying

Published: June 02

I have suffered from chronic heartburn and reflux for most of my life. When I was a child the doctors said I was lactose intolerant, and my mother cut all dairy from my diet. But that didn't eliminate the problem. I always carried an antacid, and occasionally gobbled them like candy to stop the pain. Reflux intensified in my forties, and nothing seemed to stop it; diet, 'normal', antacids, etc. I was then put on PPIs (proton pump inhibitors), which I have been on for the last ten years until even they stopped working effectively. An endoscopy two years ago revealed esophagitis, ulcers, and a hiatal hernia. A special diet and increased use of PPIs took care of these issues, but the hernia remained. The hernia did not cause my reflux, according to my doctors. Excess acid was the problem. They suggested I take the PPIs in large doses for the rest of my life. I hate the PPIs, their safety and long-term implications, and the side effects. I had read that certain chiropractors could make an adjustment, through abdominal massage, to return the hernia to its original position, and that this adjustment could cure reflux. It sounded too good to be true. I hesitated, thinking that chiropractors are all quacks. I finally reasoned I had nothing to lose, and found one who said he could help me. One visit and $25, and the heartburn was gone! Unbelievable! The chiropractor suggested that the hernia may return, as he felt my diaphragm is weak, and he taught me how to make self-adjustments through massage. It's only been a week since that initial treatment, but I have not needed any antacids in that time. I have never known life without antacids. I have never known what normal digestion is like. Even dairy doesn't present a problem! I encourage anyone who has not considered chiropractic treatment to look into it. I wish I had done this years ago..

Published: March 26

I have had hiatal hernia for over 12 years now, due to a colonoscopy. I was having severe heart burn. The doctor placed me on Prilosec, until insurance would no longer pay and over the counter was too expensive due to having to take 20 mg, then Nexium which worked the best. Then the same thing happened with the insurance. Now they are trying Protonix 40 mg which was okay in the beginning but now I am actually feeling the pain of the hernia, not heart burn anymore. Also over time the dosage has gone from 20 mg to 40 mg. Basically the Nexium being taken the first thing in the morning has been the best result, as long as you take it daily before you eat anything or drink anything other than the water to take the medication. It will work all day continuously because it will be in your system. Believe me it had taken me from a life of pure agony to being able to once again eat as I please. Good luck to all!.