Haital hernia patients do not usually require any treatment in absence of symptoms. However, persistent symptoms like heartburn and acid reflux may call for surgery or medications. Sometimes the symptoms can be reduced by adapting to simple lifestyle changes which include avoiding cigarettes, limiting caffeine intakes, controlling diet, avoiding alcohol, wearing loose clothing around the abdominal region
Problems like acid reflux and heartburns can be treated using the following medications which are classified into three major groups according to their methods of healing:
Antacids for Neutralizing Stomach Acids: Although drugs like Mylanta, Maalox, Tums, Gelusil and Rolaids can provide fast relief by neutralizing acidity, they cannot help in the recovery process of the esophagus scarred by stomach acids. Side-effects of these medicines include diarrhea and constipation.
Medicines for Reducing the Production of Acids: Cimetidine (Tagamet HB), famotidine (Pepcid AC) and nizatidine (Axid AR) are medications which reduces the production of stomach acid to an optimal level. Unlike antacids, these medicines work rather slowly but provide relief to the patient over a long period of time.
Medicines Which Heal the Esophagus: Proton pump inhibitors or PPI in short, stop the production of stomach acid for certain durations and thus allows the esophagus to heal through tissue recovery. Lansoprazole and Omeprazole are two common examples of proton pump inhibitors.
Surgery is rarely used for haital hernia patients and is often only considered when medications fail to reduce acid reflux and heartburn symptoms. In most cases, the surgery for repairing haital hernia is combined with one for gastroesophageal reflux disease (commonly known as GERD).
The surgery may require the doctors to remove the hernia sac, make the diaphragm opening smaller, or perform a total reconstruction of an esophageal sphincter weakened by constant symptoms of the disease. Thoracotomy and laparotomy are often used, which involve the surgical procedure of a single cut through the chest wall or abdomen respectively. Laparoscopic surgery is conducted when the surgeon inserts a small camera in the abdomen and runs the surgery by investigating the video feed sent by the camera to a video monitor.
Practitioners of CAM (complementary and alternative medicine) believe that haital hernia can be completely cured using physical measures like massaging, which is done by applying gentle pressure on the upper part of the abdominal cavity using fingers to figure out the end point of the sternum. Placing the fingers just below this point, downward pressure is applied, moving a few inches toward the direction of belly button. This massage technique is repeated for a number of times before the patients are completely relaxed. The routine is usually carried out twice every day until conditions start alleviating. The massage technique is followed by a relaxation session of five minutes during which the patient drinks a glass of water to add some weight to the stomach. After that he or she is required to jump from a comfortable height. This allows the stomach to apply downward force on the hernia and pushes it away from the esophageal hiatus of the diaphragm.
CAM doctors believe that the condition of haital hernia is very closely related to the mental and emotional wellbeing of every particular patient. Thus, it is of utmost importance to reduce the level of mental stress using relaxation techniques such as deep breathing exercises and meditations, which are actually a part of complementary medical techniques and do not hinder the intake of regular medicine. Emotional states of anger, frustration, sadness and hatred can have a negative impact on the digestive tract and hamper the optimal condition of the system.
Comments are closed