A hiatal hernia is formed when the stomach pushes through the abdominal muscles (diaphragm) which separate the chest from the abdomen.
A small opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus allows the passage of the food tube (oesophagus) which connects to the stomach.
The stomach pushes up into the chest through this opening. The population of people above the age of 50 are more prone to the formation of this condition.
A small hiatal hernia may never cause symptoms until the doctor diagnoses it while evaluating for another condition.
A large hiatal hernia can cause stomach acid reflux into the oesophagus, resulting in heartburn.
The symptoms of this can be resolved by medication and precautions. However, in case of a very large hiatal hernia the doctor may recommend surgery.
It is not clear why Hiatal hernias form. Though, it seems to be a result of weakened muscle tissue of the diaphragm which allows the stomach to push up into the chest cavity.
Certain causes that lead to its formation are:
Only large-sized Hiatal hernias are known to cause symptoms as listed below:
It is advisable to see a doctor if there are signs of the above symptoms to avoid complications in the future.
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