Is it possible to self-treat a hiatal hernia?
Dr. Samrat Jankar, a Pune-based hernia specialist, will explain the idea of hernia and the much information associated with it in this article.
When a piece of the stomach pushes through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity, it is called a hiatal hernia. Hiatal hernias may not always cause symptoms, but as acid flows up from the stomach, some people may experience heartburn.
Sliding and paraesophageal hiatal hernias are the two forms of Hiatal hernias (or rolling). More than 80% of Hiatal hernias are sliding, meaning that stomach and esophagus portions slide in and out of the chest area.
Rolling hernias account for 5–15 percent of hiatal hernias. When a portion of the stomach rises through the diaphragm’s opening next to the esophagus, this occurs.
This article will discuss whether or not people can treat a hiatal hernia on their own. It will also describe what can happen if a person refuses to seek medical help.
Is it possible to self-treat hiatal hernias?
A hiatal hernia cannot be cured without medical intervention. On the other hand, Hiatal hernias do not need to be treated if they are not causing symptoms.
According to the hernia specialist, if the hernia is asymptomatic and not creating any issues, the person may need to employ a procedure known as watchful waiting. This method entails keeping a watchful eye on any symptoms that arise.
At a rate of 1% each year, asymptomatic hiatal hernias become symptomatic and require surgical repair.
However, a person can manage the symptoms of a hiatal hernia and help prevent it from recurring.
Before making any behavioral adjustments or attempting any over-the-counter medications, including those mentioned in this article, a person should consult with a medical expert.
Do symptoms go away if you don’t take any medication?
If a person has a sliding hiatal hernia, the symptoms of a hiatal hernia may decrease momentarily without therapy.
People with paraesophageal hiatal hernias, on the other hand, are in danger of having a strangulated hernia, which is a severe consequence. When the blood supply to the hernia is cut off, this complication might result in sepsis or even death.
The only way to get rid of a paraesophageal hernia is to have surgery.
As a result, anyone who feels they have a hernia should seek medical help rather than treat it themselves.
Home remedies for symptom management
People with hiatal hernias may develop symptoms of gastrointestinal reflux disease (GERD) due to acid rising from their intestines, according to Dr. Samrat Jankar, hernia expert in Pune. Dietary and behavioral adjustments are the first line of treatment for these symptoms.
The esophagus, which has little protection against stomach acid, can be permanently damaged by acid reflux. As a result, even if symptoms appear to be bearable, it is critical to treat them rather than live with them.
The following are some dietary suggestions that can help minimize stomach acid secretion:
• losing weight if a person is obese or overweight
• Before sleeping, raise the head of the bed by 8 inches.
• avoid eating within 2–3 hours of going to bed, as sleeping on an empty stomach might exacerbate symptoms.
• Rather than three huge meals, eat modest meals throughout the day.
• staying away from foods that may aggravate the disease, such as:
o foods that are spicy
o Carbonated drinks
A person’s posture and exercise routine may be adjusted to assist reduce symptoms of a hiatal hernia.
They should, for example, refrain from lifting anything heavy or engaging in any activities that put their abdominal muscles under stress.
Swimming and walking, for example, are low-impact exercises that do not strain the stomach and may be helpful for someone with a hiatal hernia.
Other symptom-management suggestions
To treat the symptoms of a hiatal hernia, a person can change their routines and actions in other ways.
They could, for example, try:
• sleeping with their head upwards
• giving up smoking to avoid gastrointestinal irritation
• avoiding having to strain by taking steps to support healthy bowel motions, such as staying hydrated and eating enough fiber.
• avoiding wearing clothing that is too tight around the waist, limiting mobility, and putting a strain on the abdomen.
Most persons with paraesophageal hiatal hernias find that drugs provide only limited or no relief and that surgery is the most effective treatment for these hernias.
Laparoscopic surgery involves small incisions and the use of cameras to do the treatment. It will entail returning the stomach region that has protruded through the diaphragm to its proper position. To prevent a recurrence of the hernia, the surgeon may constrict the hiatal opening.
When should you see a doctor?
According to Pune’s hernia specialist, if symptoms become intolerable or do not resolve after a few weeks, a person should seek medical attention for a hiatal hernia.
If they want to try different treatment methods to alleviate the symptoms of a hernia, they can consult with a medical practitioner.
A strangulated hernia is a medical emergency; thus, if a person with a hernia exhibits any of the following symptoms, they should seek medical attention right away:
● a sharp or severe pain
● stools that are bloody
● malaise, whether or not accompanied by a fever
● a scorching or heated sensation surrounding the hernia’s location
Although a hiatal hernia cannot be repaired at home, some procedures may be taken to reduce and manage existing symptoms and prevent the hernia from reoccurring.
Lifestyle adjustments, such as altering one’s diet and beginning an appropriate exercise regimen, as well as over-the-counter drugs, are examples.
Any adjustments should be discussed with a healthcare practitioner before being implemented.