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: February 10

I sympathize with all those people suffering from gastrointestinal problems. About 2 years ago, I started having shortness of breath and fullness while eating, even just a little food. The shortness of breath became worse as time went by. I went to the cardiologist and rheumatologist and all tests came back negative. I was told by my family doctor that I must have silent reflux and needed to get an endoscopy. While waiting for that test, friends of mine told me that I had symptoms of a hiatal hernia. I researched it and found out that chiropractors are knowledgeable about hiatal hernias and can do a stomach manipulation to slip it back in place. Last week I went to the chiropractor and sure enough the manipulation helped. Since the hernia can slip in an out of the hiatus muscle, you might need to have more than one treatment. My husband even did the manipulation on my stomach and thank goodness I'm feeling much better. I am scheduled for the endoscopy next week just to make sure that my stomach is ok otherwise. There is a YouTube video on how to do the manipulation. Look up 'how to fix hiatal hernia.’ All the best out there..

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..