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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

     

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    Diagnosing Acid Reflux Disease

    Three out of every 10 people experience heartburn on occasion, so it can be somewhat arbitrary to decide when heartburn should be called acid reflux disease. Also known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), acid reflux disease is a chronic irritation of the lining of a person's esophagus by stomach acid. Usually, it's just annoying. GERD can, however, have serious consequences, including esophagitis and Barrett's esophagus. Barrett's esophagus is a condition that increases the likelihood of...

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    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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