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Readers Respond: What symptoms led you to your hiatal hernia diagnosis?

Responses: 58


Updated October 10, 2010

From the article: Hiatal Hernias
Many individuals never experience symptoms before they find out they have a hiatal hernia. Other individuals visit their doctor with chronic heartburn that isn't relieved with over-the-counter antacids and learn they have a hiatal hernia.

When did you first suspect you may have a hiatal hernia? Were there symptoms that prompted you to go to your doctor? Let others know your experience. Sharing your symptoms could prompt someone else with similar symptoms to see a doctor when they might not otherwise.

Stomach and upper back tenderness

I have been having upper back discomfort for awhile along with stomach problems I have a hernia right above my belly button could this be linked?
—Guest Mike

Pressure in chest and couldn't eat

One day I was eating brats and fries for dinner. The next, nothing. Felt like a brick in my chest. Trouble swallowing pills. Dizzy. LOTS of pain under my left rib and breastbone area. I have not had typical heartburn symptoms other than stabbing chest pains that started when I couldn't eat. Just diagnosed two days ago after endoscopy. Lost 9 lbs in two weeks because all I could comfortably eat was applesauce, turkey lunch meat and cream of wheat cereal. Nothing but water for three weeks now. Worst for me is the constant pressure and soreness in my chest area. The whole upper left quadrant just feels... USED. Wiped out. Will that ever get better? My doctor sent me home with a little paper and no information about how to really cope with this. I've also had a lot of nausea that comes and goes. Drinking water helps. I take tums before I eat anything. Am not overweight but I was smoking heavily at a pack a day for five years. Quit 1 week before endoscopy.
—Guest StephanieB

How I treated hiatial hernia.

My doctors did not help me so I did my own research. I also went to an exellent message therapist/ herbalist. I did self message, took epsome salt baths, ate only watermellon, papaya, cream of wheat, oat meal, mollasses, cinnamon and honey tea, aloe vera juice, pro bios, some small amounts of plain pasta, drank protien shakes, hard boiled eggs, did this because it was the only thing my body would let me eat. In 1 week symptoms were 75% better, the choke was almost gone, my energy was good, and started to have bowel movement again! Oh yea, elevated my bed 7 inches at the head board! I will post more as time goes on. I hope this helps someone. Trust what your body is telling you, don't think your crazy!!!

Please trust yourself!

Now that I look back on it my symptoms started years ago. It is only now that I found out I have hiatial hernia. The wake up call was when I started choking when I would swallow food, then it became so bad I couldn't even swallow my own spit? I thought I was having alergic reactions to evertything. I went to the doctor for the choking, they did xrays and blood work said I was fine? Then 3 days later I had sharp intense pains in my chest, my breathing was difficult, and my heart was raceing, worse in the morning? So I went back to he doctor she did more tests, incl. an EKG they were all fine? She said it was anxiety...GRRRRRR! The anxiety is what they label you with because they have no other way to explain what is wrong with you. I am a fairly healthy eater, I am very active, 5'3 and 120 pounds at 35 yrs old! I will follow this post with how I treated it sucessfuly through my own research!

Odd diagnosis

I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia 2 days ago, but I find it weird because I have none of the heartburn symptoms. The GI doctor told me it was odd to see a hiatal hernia in me because I am only 22 years old and I am not overweight. She prescribed me Carafate and the taste is dreadful! I have been having chest pains since the endoscopy 2 days ago and I am calling the endoscopy suite tomorrow to see if this is normal. I am kind of worried because something tells me that it is not only a hiatal hernia... I hope we all get better soon!
—Guest Ra

Hiatal hernia, GERD, gastric polyps, ulc

I was diagnosed the winning of 2011 after going to the ER with severe abdominal pain, chest pain, excessive vomitting (every 20 min for 5 days!), severe dehydration and relentless nausea. So far I have been miserable with little help. In the hospital, I'm usually admitted 4-8 days, 7 times last year, they give me protonix, Zophran, dilaudid and tons of fluids. Reglan seems to help the most with the morning nausea and vomitting and or Zophran (ondastateron?) but honestly, when it goes off and I'm not sure what triggers what, I can do nothing but go to the ER and get admitted. I jut found out I'm 5 weeks pregnant, I'm 44 and have high blood pressure to boot. Sadly, no heart beat has been found and they suspect a miscarriage. I go back next week to check again. I am suffering from hyperemesis just like my other two pregnancies and that makes my conditions all the more severe and painful. Any advice is welcome. I do find lying on my left side relieves re nausea slightly but not always.
—Guest Stacey

Heart Palpitations and Hiatal Hernia

I found out after having chest pain and upper back pain and not being able to take a deep breath that I had a hiatal hernia thru an xray. I had heart palpitations for the last 3 weeks leading up to this. After taking Zantac and Calfatrate, my pain is all gone and so are the heart palpitations. Thank you Drs. for finding my problems so caringly!!
—Guest Kimmy

hernia hell

Hi all i have been diagnosed with a medium sizede hernia i think mine is pretty severe choking in the middle of the knight bloating aching lots of spasms and tired all the time i realy think their is something to the vagus nerv though becouse i am getting pains in my arms and thighs warm sensation that runs down my leg my doctor is wondering if it is just do to the hernia but i believe it is because it all started in my throat had a barium that confirmed hh good luck to you all.
—Guest winterisbetter

hiatus hernia

Hi i feel really sorry for anyone who has the problems related to a hiatus hernia it makes life miserable. Was diagnosed march 2011 had all the symptoms pain under my rib cage burning all the way up to my throat fullness after eating a small amount of food it got so bad that i could only eat porridge for breakfast, low fat greek yogurt mid morning, half a tin of soup for lunch and the other half mid afternoon and then porridge for dinner with blueberries i did that for about a month and lost 1stone in weight. I had gastrscopy and found i had a hernia was put on Lansoprazole 30mg twice a day and a miracle medicine called Kolanticon gel to take every four hours and it works by stopping the stomache going into a spasm helpful if you have ibs it also helps with flatulence and hyper acidity you can buy it at the chemists they may have to order it in for you and it cost about £6 for a large 500ml bottle but it is great and i always have a bottle indoors.
—Guest suemum3


I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia a year ago. Lately it has been bothering me alot. The pressure sent me to emerg. My blood pressure also rises and the blood pressure medication doesn't seem to work. I am waiting to have a barium swallow and a stress test. I find that hot drinks make it feel worse. Also fatty foods. I have lost 12 lb. due to not being able to eat a normal meal. Even my seat in the car makes it worse. The position of the seat with the legs higher than the hips causes more pressure on the abdomen. I have added rolled up flyers to the rear of the seat and this has alleviated the pressure. I hope to find some answers other than acid reducers. I sympathize with all the sufferers.
—Guest Betty

Hiatal Hernia

I mentioned to my G.P that I regularly had problems with heartburn, burping and a feeling of pressure under the ribs. Infact, after several G.Ps at my local practice dismissing the symptoms as due to stress, over-weight or constipation, I gave up mentioning the issue. Recently, because of concern about a family history of bowel cancer, I convinced a doctor to refer me privately for colonoscopy and the consultant wanted to combine it with endoscopy for a thorough check. Turns out I have a larger than average hiatal hernia. It is a relief to know the explanation for my symptoms but what a shame I've to cut back on so many foods/drinks to manage the problem.

hiatal hernia and gastritis

Well I suffered from bulimia since I was 13. I could never stop it. Slowed down as I got older and now I'm paying for it . Anyway I know that this is why I cannot get better. I had an endoscopy the dr. said I suffer from gastritis and a hiatal hernia. I went through excruciating back pain. It hurts more when I eat. The dr. gave me Vicodin. It helps but only for a short while. The worst thing I could do was add mayonnaise on my food. It's rich in fat so it's harder to digest, and there comes the pain again. It's not worth it your never happy so please avoid acidy chocolate or coffee.
—Guest lorena

hernia.wth gastritis

i just been throu an endoscopy procedure the dr. said ny body produces to much acid my stoma well, i was in a lot of pain so he gave me omeprazole 20mg in morning 20 mg at bedtime its working wonders,but you have to watch you eat definetly eo the pain will come back with revenge also have gastritis which makes it work .my dr said to me that the omeprazole two times daily will also benefit my hernia.by the way you can find omeprazole over the counter i hope i sent you some help. l.p
—Guest lorena

Had Lap Nissan but now it's come loose

Crazy as it sounds. I was told when I had the fundoplication that my problems were gone for good. Well...yes life has been grand being able to eat all the acidic foods like salsa, jalepenas, etc. This month which is about 7 years to the date, my hiatal hernia is back..it came loose. I don't know if I need to do surgery again. Solid food stops at the base of my esophagus and stomach and sets there until it feels like it is dissolved enough to pass on down.

hiatal hernia

I found out about it when I was working at the call centre and I was losing my voice . The longer I spoke my chest was getting harder and sharp pains in both my chest and in my back . I could hardly breath . I was told by a lady at work to get it checked out , she had a hernia herself and seen the signs . I went got a chest x-ray and the hiatal hernia was there . What a relief , not all in my head . I wasn't faking it . I went on to the website and found the diet and have been eating heartburn free food ever since and have been feeling great but no coffee ,tea , chocolate , soft drinks , tomatoes and fatty foods , it is worth it and I have lost 15 pounds and have been at work and not losing my voice again.
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  5. Hiatal Hernia - What Symptoms Led You to Your Hiatal Hernia Diagnosis

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