A hiatus hernia (often called a hiatal hernia) occurs when part of the stomach or lower part of the esophagus that connects to the stomach pushes through the hiatus (hole) in the diaphragm into the chest cavity. The most common symptoms that result from a hiatal hernia are heartburn and chest pain. These symptoms are caused by food or stomach acid coming back up into the esophagus (sometimes spelled oesophagus). Many people with a hiatus hernia also have GERDs disease which also causes and can compound these symptoms. One of the best treatments to limit and prevent the discomfort caused by this reflux is through implementing a good hiatus hernia diet.
A good hiatus hernia diet should consist of foods that will not cause over production of stomach acid and that will promote good digestion. This means eating a diet high in alkaline foods. However if you suffer from low stomach acid, you must take natural remedies that assist in producing enough stomach acid to promote good digestion, because if food remains in the stomach too long it can also reflux into the stomach, especially if you are too full.
There are many foods, herbs and natural remedies that can aid in building a hiatus hernia diet that works for you. Some of these natural remedies and foods include the following depending, on if you have too much or too little stomach acid:
· Herbs including; mint, fennel seeds, basil leaves and licorice root
· Apple cider vinegar
· Primrose oil
Foods and liquids you should avoid to keep a good hiatus hernia diet:
· Spicy foods
· Highly acidic foods
It is wise to maintain a diary to track the foods that trigger symptoms and those that relieve symptoms. Monitor your eating habits including snacks and drinks over a 2 week period and then create a menu plan and shopping list around your hiatus hernia diet. After monitoring your eating habits and hiatus hernia diet for a couple weeks, try planning out your meals for the next couple of weeks or even a month in advance. Planning is a huge part of the battle when trying to commit to a successful hiatus hernia diet. Planning ahead will aid you in having the right foods on hand all the time whether at home or in need of a snack.
Remember, maintaining a good metabolism will mean good digestion. This means eating smaller and more frequent meals throughout your day instead of only two or three large meals. This will also prevent you from being too full. Drinking plenty of water can also assist your metabolic rate and keep you hydrated. Ideally this means 7-10 glasses of water per day. A more exact calculation is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weigh 150 pounds you should drink 75 ounces of water per day. Avoid drinking at meal times as this can work against the digestive process.
In addition to your hiatus hernia diet, your activities are also very important. Incorporate regular exercise in to your weekly routine. Taking a short walk after eating may help. Avoid bending over after meals and do not eat too close to bed time. If you must lay down soon after a meal make sure to keep your upper body elevated.