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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

The BRAT Diet

The BRAT diet(Bananas, Rice, Applesauce, Toast) was once a staple of most pediatricians' recommendations for children with an upset stomach. The idea was that it gave the gut a chance to rest and reduced the amount of stool produced. Experts now say the BRAT diet may not be the best option for children who are ill. Because BRAT diet foods are low in fiber, protein, and fat, the diet lacks enough nutrition to help a child's gastrointestinal tract recover. The American Academy of Pediatrics now recommends...

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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.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: October 04, 2013
    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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