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Heartburn & GERD: Finding Help

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Don't reinvent the wheel. Meet other people with GERD and share tips for eating well, medications, alternative treatments, surgery, lifestyle changes, and more.

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Understanding Hiatal Hernia -- the Basics

The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm (a muscle separating the abdomen and chest) that the esophagus, or swallowing tube, passes through to reach the stomach. If the hiatus weakens and stretches, part of the stomach and/or the esophagus can squeeze into the chest cavity, producing a hiatal hernia. There are two main types of hiatal hernias: sliding and paraesophageal (next to the esophagus). In a sliding hiatal hernia, the stomach and the esophagus slide up into the chest through the...

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