Introduction: Hiatal hernia
Hiatal hernia: When an organ pokes out past the muscle wall that is supposed to hold the organ in place, you have a hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm, the muscle that separates the abdomen from the chest. This opening is called the esophageal hiatus.
After you swallow food, it travels between your mouth and stomach through a muscular tube called the esophagus. The esophagus passes through the hiatus to enter the abdominal cavity. At the bottom of the esophagus is a muscle called the lower esophageal sphincter, which acts as a valve. The hiatus itself acts like a second valve. Normally the hiatus and the lower esophageal sphincter line up with each other to keep stomach contents from backing up into the esophagus (a condition called reflux). But the hiatus can stretch because of muscle weakness or too much abdominal pressure. When this occurs, the stomach can slip through the hiatus, causing a hiatal hernia. 1
Researching symptoms of Hiatal hernia: Further information about the symptoms of Hiatal hernia is available including a list of symptoms of Hiatal hernia, other diseases that might have similar symptoms in differential diagnosis of Hiatal hernia, or alternatively return to research other symptoms in the symptom center.
Misdiagnosis and Hiatal hernia: Research more detailed information about misdiagnosis of Hiatal hernia, underlying causes of Hiatal hernia (possibly misdiagnosed), or research misdiagnosis of other diseases
Treatments for Hiatal hernia: Various information is available about treatments available for Hiatal hernia, or research treatments for other diseases.
1. excerpt from Hiatal Hernia: NIDDK
Last revision: May 29, 2003
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