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Understanding Hiatal Hernia -- Symptoms

What Are the Symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia?

The majority of people who have hiatal hernias don't even realize it. Those who do know typically find out when visiting a health care provider because of chronic heartburn. Symptoms may include:

  • Heartburn; regurgitation
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Chest pain radiating from below the breastbone
  • A bloated feeling after eating
  • Shortness of breath

 

Recommended Related to Heartburn/GERD

Heartburn 101

There was a time when it didn’t take much to set off Sara Perlman-Smith’s heartburn. Spicy foods, alcohol, even a foul mood could send a burning wave rushing up her throat. "I could feel the acid in my esophagus," she recalls. "It was just a consistent burning pain in my chest." Then there was the constant burping. "A lot of times that would make me feel a little better," says Perlman-Smith, 38, a stay-at-home mom in Hallsville, Mo. "But a lot of the time if it was a really bad episode, I’d just...

Read the Heartburn 101 article > >

Call Your Doctor About a Hiatal Hernia If:

  • You have chest pain. You may have angina (chest pain associated with heart disease), or you may be having a heart attack. Get medical care immediately.
  • You are being treated for heartburn or hiatal hernia, and you feel sudden chest or stomach pain, have difficulty swallowing, are vomiting, or are unable to have a bowel movement or pass gas. You may have a hernia that has become obstructed or strangulated, which are emergencies. Seek medical help without delay.
  • Your hiatal hernia is accompanied by chronic heartburn. Stomach acid is repeatedly burning your esophagus, which can lead to esophagitis (an inflamed and ulcerated esophagus), esophageal bleeding or scarring, or cancer. See your health care provider as soon as possible.

 

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Melinda Ratini, DO, MS on March 30, 2014

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