Natural treatments for problems caused by hiatal hernia

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hiatal hernia treatment

Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a small part of your stomach protrudes through an opening in the diaphragm into your chest cavity. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle which divides your chest from your abdomen. This condition is most common in people who are 50 or older and in obese people. The exact cause for this condition is not known but the leading factors for it are weak supportive tissues. Also there are other factors which could lead to hiatal hernia such as being born with an unusually large hiatus (opening in the diaphragm), age – related changes in the diaphragm and pressure on the stomach and surrounding muscles. Also there are some risk factors for hiatal hernia such as too much stress, excessive smoking, obesity, lifting heavy objects and poor posture while sitting. When someone has a small hiatal hernia, then this rarely causes signs or symptoms. But when someone has a large hiatal hernia, then it can cause symptoms like frequent belching and feeling especially full after meals, fatigue, abdominal pain, difficulty swallowing, chest pain and heartburn. Along with dietary changes, lifestyle and medicine as well as home remedies can help you to get a relief from the symptoms of hiatal hernia. There are small number of cases which may need surgery. You should talk with your doctor about the proper treatment and dosage for your condition.

Natural cures for hiatal hernia

Chamomile: This home remedy has anti – inflammatory properties which are making it one of the best home remedies for hiatal hernia. It can relax muscles in the digestive tract, treat heartburn and soothe an aching stomach [1]. In one cup of hot water you should add one teaspoon of dried chamomile. Cover it and steep it for five minutes. Strain it and add honey, if you want to improve the taste. Slowly sip a cup of chamomile tea up to four times per day, especially between your meals.

Cinnamon: This is a very popular spice which can help calm and soothe the stomach. It can give you a relief from the bloating and abdominal pain, especially after eating a meal. This home remedy also works as a natural antacid. You should add ½ teaspoon of cinnamon powder to one cup of hot water. Cover it and steep it for a few minutes. You should drink this tea while it is still warm, two or three times per day. Also you should include cinnamon in your cooking. [2]

hiatal hernia

Natural treatments for hiatal hernia

Apple cider vinegar: This is also a very effective home remedy which can help to reduce symptoms like acidity and heartburn due to a hiatal hernia [3]. It is acidic in nature which can produce an alkaline effect in your body. You should add one to two teaspoons of raw and unfiltered apple cider vinegar to one glass of warm water. You should sip it slowly before meals. You should do this natural treatment whenever you have acidity or heartburn.

Yoga: This technique can alleviate discomfort and pain that are caused by a hiatal hernia. Yoga poses like Chair Pose can help to strengthen your stomach muscles and diaphragm [4]. You should stand with you back straight and arms perependicular to the ground. You should keep your feet about a hip’s width apart. You should raise your arms straight above the head. You should bend your body forward to a 45 – degree angle and you should bring your chest toward your thighs. You should keep your arms out straight aligned with your back and this will turn your palms to face the floor. You should gently bend your knees as if you were about to sit in a chair. You should press your weight toward the floor and look forward. You should hold this position for a few seconds, taking several deep breaths. You should pass your shoulder blades to your back, lower the tailbone toward the floor and draw in your abdomen. You should hold this position for at least thirty seconds and you should focus on your breathing. You should straighten up slowly. You should repeat this cycle a few times more. You should avoid yoga poses that put pressure on your abdomen, such as Bridge Pose, Bow Pose and Cobra Pose.

Slippery elm: This is also a very effective home remedy for hiatal hernia. It can help to reduce stomach acidity and it will alleviate the heartburn. Also this herb has anti – inflammatory and soothing effects on the body. In one cup of hot water you should put one tablespoon of powdered slippery elm. Let it steep for ten minutes. You should drink this home remedy two times per day, especially after eating your meals.

Self – massage: The abdominal self – massage can target the uppermost portion of the abdominal cavity. It can help to reduce the discomforts and the symptoms of hiatal hernia. Also this can strengthen your stomach muscles. You should lie on your back and relax. You should put your fingers just below the breast bones, sternum, where you can find the rib cage. Then, you should apply downward pressure and you should slowly move towards your belly button. You should repeat for five minutes. You should do this natural treatment two times per day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Change your diet: When you suffer from hiatal hernia, then it is very important to have a good diet. You should avoid foods that trigger or worsen the symptoms of hiatal hernia. You should lose weight because this will lessen the pressure on the stomach. You should avoid foods that trigger heartburn such as tomato – based foods, citrus fruits, fried foods, spicy foods, garlic, onions, caffeine and chocolate. You should follow diet rich in vegetables and fruits. You can have lean meats but you should avoid spicy seasonings. You should eat healthy fats such as nuts and olive oil because they can help you to balance your diet. Also you should include whole – grain foods in your diet. You should eat several smaller meals throughout the day rather than fewer large meals. If you are obese or overweight, then you should lose weight. You should have you dinner at least two to three hours before your bedtime. You should limit your alcohol consumption or you should avoid it completely. You should not smoke cigarettes and also you should avoid other tobacco products. After eating, you should take a short walk around your kitchen or dining room. You should straining during bowel movements. You should wear loose and comfortable clothing around your torso. [5]

The warm water fix: One of the best ways which can help you to bring down the hernia from the opening in the diaphragm is to drink warm water as your first thing in the morning and then you should perform the following exercise. The first thing that you should do in the morning is to drink one glass of room temperature or slightly warm water. This can help to relax the stomach muscles and diaphragm and it will put some weight in your stomach. Then, you should stand up and lift your arms straight out from the sides and bend your elbows so your hands can touch the chest. This will help to stretch the diaphragm and it will open up the hiatus. Then, you should rise up on your toes as high as possible and you should quickly drop down onto your heels. You should do this exercise several times in a row. This can help the weight of the water to pull your stomach down. Then, while you are standing with your arms up, you should take a few short and quick breaths with your mouth open about fifteen seconds. The panting can help to tighten you diaphragm back up and close the hole. In the morning you should avoid drinking cold water, juice, tea and coffee.

Aloe Vera: This is one of the best home remedies which you can use to treat digestive problems that are caused by a hiatal hernia. It can soothe the inner lining of the intestines and it can reduce the abdomen pain [6]. Also it can help to control the heartburn by reducing the inflammation. You should drink ¼ cup of Aloe Vera juice for about twenty minutes before you eat a meal. You should not use more than two tablespoons of Aloe Vera gel to make this juice because this can cause diarrhea.

Baking soda: This is a natural antacid. It can help you to get a quick relief from the heartburn which is the most common symptom of hiatal hernia. You should mix ½ teaspoon of baking soda in one glass of water. You should drink it immediately. You should repeat as needed but you should avoid drinking this home remedy in excess. You should avoid this home remedy if you have high blood pressure.

References:

[1] McCulloch M. Medicinal herbal teas. Today’s Dietitian. 2016;18(12):36.

[2] Shen Y, Jia L-N, Honma N, et al. Beneficial effects of cinnamon on the metabolic syndrome, inflammation, and pain, and mechanisms underlying these effects – A review. Journal of Traditional and Complementary Medicine. 2012;2(1):27-32.

[3] Yeh Z. Is apple cider vinegar effective for reducing heartburn symptoms related to
gastroesophageal reflux disease? Master of Science Thesis Study: Arizona State University. 2016.

[4] Kaswala D, Shah S, Mishra A, et al. Can yoga be used to treat gastroesophageal reflux disease? International Journal of Yoga. 2013;6(2):131-133.

[5] Festi D, Scaioli E, Baldi F, et al. Body weight, lifestyle, dietary habits and gastroesophageal reflux disease. World Journal of Gastroenterology. 2009;15(14):1690-1701.

[6] Kines K, Krupczak T. Nutritional interventions for gastroesophageal reflux, irritable bowel syndrome, and hypochlorhydria: A case report. Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal. 2016;15(4):49-53.

Dr. Emil Sarsath (aka) Vijila, a licensed naturopathic doctor who always ensures his patients receive compassionate, and individualized care. He has extensive experience in primary care, digestive health, mental health, nervous system disorder and more. Area of Expertise – Naturopathic Medicine, Whole Foods-based Nutrition, Siddha, Panchakarma

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