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Heartburn/GERD Health Center

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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

Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (Silent Reflux)

Laryngopharyngeal reflux (LPR) is similar to another condition -- GERD -- that results from the contents of the stomach backing up (reflux). But the symptoms of LPR are often different than those that are typical of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). With LPR, you may not have the classic symptoms of GERD, such as a burning sensation in your lower chest (heartburn). That's why it can be difficult to diagnose and why it is sometimes called silent reflux.

Read the Laryngopharyngeal Reflux (Silent Reflux) 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 22, 2015

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