Hernias are some of the most common injuries that people sustain, and they can appear due to the stresses of everyday life. They can be painful and sometimes require surgery.
A hernia is a condition caused by an organ protruding through the muscle or connective tissue that surrounds it. Think of the muscle as a wall that keeps the organs in place and protects it from injury. A hernia happens when an organ peeks through a weakness in that wall.
Hiatal hernias, specifically, are when the stomach pushes up into an opening in the diaphragm reserved for the esophagus. This opening is called a hiatus, and it’s where the hiatal hernia gets its name. Hiatal hernias are a cause of GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease), also known as acid reflux.
How do you avoid hiatal hernias, and how do you avoid triggering symptoms of these kinds of hernias that could cause you to require surgery? We’re going to cover that here.
Maintaining a healthy weight reduces the risk of a litany of conditions, including hiatal hernias.
Having a high body fat percentage can cause excessive pressure on the abdominal wall, causing the stomach to compress against the diaphragm.
People who are obese are more than twice as likely to suffer from acid reflux as a result of hiatal hernias. As a result, if you’re obese and find yourself with hiatal hernias, you may want to talk to your doctor about a weight loss plan.
Lifting heavy objects is known to cause muscle strain or tears when done improperly. These muscle tears can cause hernias to appear. Not only that, but internal abdominal pressure goes up when lifting heavy objects.
If you need to lift a heavy object, it pays to do so properly and with assistance.
If an object is very heavy, especially if it’s hard to carry, it’s highly recommended that you find some other way to move it without having to lift it.
What you eat can severely impact your risk of developing complications of hiatal hernias.
Eating a diet high in fat, sugar, acidic foods and spicy foods can increase the risk of symptoms associated with hiatal hernias.
On the flip side, eating a high fiber, low fat diet can reduce your risk of dealing with these symptoms. Include foods such as lean meats, leafy greens, and whole grains. Avoid fried foods, spicy foods, alcoholic beverages, and highly acidic foods including citrus or tomato-based sauces.
Also, don’t smoke. Smoking affects the way food goes down the esophagus and can cause problems swallowing. If you’re a smoker, ask your doctor about options to help you quit.