Diet for hiatal hernia sufferers – this contains a list of food to help improve your health.
A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes upward through your diaphragm and into your chest region. Your diaphragm normally has a small opening (hiatus) through which your food tube (oesophagus) passes on its way to connect to your stomach. the stomach can push up through this opening and cause a hiatal hernia. Your diaphragm is a large muscle that lies between your abdomen and chest. You use this muscle to help you breathe.
In most cases, a small, a small hiatal hernia doesn’t cause problems and you may never know you have a hiatal hernia unless your doctor discovers it when checking for another condition. But a large hiatal hernia can allow food and acid to break up into your oesophagus, leading to heartburn. Sometimes a very large hiatal hernia requires surgery. This condition mostly occurs in people who are over 50 years.
Types of Hiatal Hernia
There are generally two types of hiatal hernia. They include:
- Sliding hiatal hernia: this is the most common type of hiatal hernia. It occurs when your stomach and food tube (oesophagus) slide in and out of your chest through your hiatus. Sliding hernias tend to be small and they usually don’t cause any symptoms.
- Fixed hiatal hernia: it is also known as paraesophageal hernia. In this case, part of your stomach pushes through your diaphragm and stay there. However, there is a risk that blood flow to your stomach could become blocked and if that happens, it could cause serious damage. Most cases are not serious.
Causes of Hiatal Hernia
A hiatal hernia occurs when weakened muscle tissue allows your stomach to bulge up through your diaphragm. It is not always clear why this happens, but pressure on your stomach and age-related changes in your diaphragm may contribute to the formation of a hiatal hernia.
The possible causes of a hiatal hernia include:
- Injury to the area
- Being born with an unusually large hiatus
- Persistent and intense pressure on the surrounding muscles, such as when coughing, vomiting, or straining during a bowel movement or while lifting heavy objects.
Factors that contribute to the development of hiatal hernia include:
- Aging (50 years or older)
Symptoms of Hiatal Hernia
- Difficulty in Swallowing
- Chest or abdominal pain
- Feeling full especially after meals
- Vomiting blood or passing black stools which may indicate gastrointestinal bleeding
Diet for Hiatal Hernia Sufferers
- Banana and apple
- Green beans, peas, carrots, and broccoli
- Grains like cereals (bran and oatmeal), whole wheat bread, and brown rice
- Low-fat or skim milk and low-fat yoghurt
- Lean meat such as chicken, turkey, and fish
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Foods to Avoid
- Citrus foods such as orange, grapefruit, lemons, and lime or orange juice, grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, and lemonade.
- Peppermint and spearmint
- Garlic and onions
- Spicy foods
- Fatty and fried foods
- Tomato-based foods
- Coffee, tea, and alcohol
- Carbonated drinks
- Dairy products such as whole milk, ice cream, and creamy foods
- Oil and butter
Diet for Hiatal Hernia Sufferers
- Quit smoking
- Drink water 30mins before eating. Avoid drinking water during meals
- Eat small meals
- Do not eat before lying down. Avoid consuming foods for at least an hour before bed time
- Wear comfortable clothes, and nothing that is tight around the abdomen
- Avoid bending over after meals
- Avoid engaging in activities that cause strain to the abdomen
- Cook meats that are lean and skinless
- Consider ground turkey instead of ground beef
- Bake or broil foods instead of frying
- Skim all fat from meat during the cooking process
- Limit seasoning
- Avoid strong spices
- Steam vegetable with water only
- Limit butter, oil, and cream sauces
- Use cooking spray instead of cooking oil when you sauteing
- Lose weight if necessary
- Be creative. There are ways to modify recipes. Don’t be afraid to try new things.
While this diet for hiatal hernia sufferers helps you get better, it does not stop the need for you to see your doctor.