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Hiatal Hernia Prevention: Methods to Help Lower Your Risk

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  • Doctors observed that those who have been diagnosed with hiatal hernia have a weak diaphragm, allowing the stomach to move upward past the hiatus
  • You will need to make several lifestyle adjustments to reduce your chances of further complications. The following tips can help you achieve this goal

Upon being diagnosed with hiatal hernia, you will need to make several lifestyle adjustments to reduce your chances of further complications. The following tips can help you achieve this goal:1,2

  • Eating a healthy diet — Foods like apples, bananas, broccoli, green beans, peas and carrots will not aggravate your symptoms as they are easy to digest. Lean cuts of grass-fed beef and pasture-raised chicken are also ideal. You can consult with a dietitian for additional help on foods safe to eat.
  • Avoiding foods that can potentially harm your stomach Avoid eating foods high in acidic content, such as caffeinated beverages (coffee and soda) as they can increase your chances of heartburn. Tomato-based foods should be avoided as well, as they are acidic. Spicy foods should be removed from your diet, as they can irritate your stomach and cause acid reflux.
  • Adjusting your meal sizes It’s important that you spread your meals evenly throughout the day, instead of following the traditional “breakfast-lunch-dinner” routine that most people do. This helps prevent your stomach from being bombarded with food, lowering the chances of reflux.
  • Exercising regularly Losing excess weight is crucial in treating hiatal hernia. The additional weight can place pressure on your chest, forcing the stomach and food to go upward.

Sleeping Position Adjustments Will Need to Be Implemented

Adjusting your sleeping position can help prevent reflux and give you a good night’s sleep. Start with raising your head 6 inches higher than the rest of your body. This prevents acid and food from going back up, as well as heartburn from occurring.3

You should also refrain from eating food three to four hours before sleeping, so that undigested food and acid will not climb back up.4

Adjust the Clothes You Wear to Reduce Stress on Your Chest

Since excess weight adds pressure to your chest, wearing tight clothing and other fashion accessories can have the same effect. You will need to switch to comfortable clothes to help take pressure away from your chest and stomach, helping reduce the strain on the entire area.

This Exercise May Help Prevent Hiatal Hernia

Abdominal self-massages can have a positive effect on your hiatal hernia. These can help reduce the uncomfortable symptoms caused by the onset of gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), as well as help maintain a healthy diaphragm. Here’s an exercise you can do:5

  1. Lie on your back and relax.
  2. Place your fingers below the breast bone, where it meets the bottom rib on the sides of your chest cavity.
  3. Apply downward pressure, slowly moving toward the belly button.
  4. Repeat this exercise twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening.

Before attempting the exercise outlined above, remember to consult with a doctor for safety reasons. If done incorrectly, there’s a chance you can make your chest area sore and worsen your symptoms.


Hiatal Hernia: Introduction

What Is Hiatal Hernia?

Hiatal Hernia Symptoms

Hiatal Hernia Causes

Hiatal Hernia Types

Hiatal Hernia Treatment

Hiatal Hernia Surgery

Hiatal Hernia Prevention

Hiatal Hernia Diet

Hiatal Hernia FAQ

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