Natural Support Strategies For This Uncomfortable Condition
Hiatal hernia a condition where part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm (herniates). This condition is caused by overweight, overeating and / or a weakness of the esophageal sphincter muscle. Hiatal hernia is a common cause of GERD (Gastro-esophogeal reflux disease). Being overweight greatly aggravates the condition.
Diet And Lifestyle Considerations
- Do NOT overeat!
- Avoid coffee, alcohol, and chocolate. Also avoid known food allergens.
- Maintain a normal body weight.
- Do not eat within three hours of bedtime.
- Elevate the head of the bed in 2-3 inches.
- Do NOT use peppermint within two hours of meals. (Unless it is enteric coated).
- Don’t smoke! The nicotine in tobacco relaxes the esophageal sphincter.
- Deglycerrinated Licorice (DGL): 1-2 tabs, chewed before meals.
- Similase: 1-2 caps, 3 times per day with meals. Use Gastric Complex instead of Similase, same dose, if you have a history or current diagnosis of stomach ulcer or if Similase causes discomfort.
Dr. Myatt’s Comment
Be sure to perform a Low Gastric Acid Self-Test. Over half the population over age 60 is deficient in hydrochloric acid production. Low stomach acid allows food to remain too long in the stomach and can cause or aggravate a weak esophageal sphincter.
Chronic indigestion indicates that something is wrong —- diet, digestion, etc. You should not continue to take over-the-counter stomach medicines without seeing a doctor for correct diagnosis. Self-help measures are effective in all but a few cases.
Naturopathic and osteopathic physicians are trained in soft tissue manipulation. Hiatal hernias often respond to manipulative therapy.