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Common Types of Hernias - Hiatal Hernia

A hiatal hernia (say "hi-AY-tul HER-nee-uh") is different from other types of hernias, because it involves the stomach instead of the intestine. It occurs when part of your stomach bulges up through your diaphragm and into your chest. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates your belly from your chest. You can't feel a hiatal hernia or see a bulge.

Most people with a hiatal hernia have no symptoms. But one symptom you may have is heartburn. If you often have symptoms, or if they are very bad, you may also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). A hiatal hernia can lead to GERD. It's common to have both problems at the same time.

Recommended Related to Digestive Disorders

Top Digestive Health Stories of 2008: Readers' Choice

Your stomach. You can’t live without it, but why does it cause you so much trouble? Readers who wanted to know made this the top story of 2008. Here are the other topics included among the 10 most viewed digestive stories on WebMD for 2008. 9 Surprising Facts About Your Stomach Burps, Gas, Growling: Managing Embarrassing Conditions Top 10 Heartburn-Causing Foods Heartburn: Foods to Avoid Yogurt Maker Sued Over Health Claims ...

Read the Top Digestive Health Stories of 2008: Readers' Choice article > >

If you don't have symptoms, you don't need treatment. But if your symptoms bother you, your doctor may suggest lifestyle changes or medicines. To learn more, see the topic Hiatal Hernia.

WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: November 14, 2014
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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