How are hiatal hernias treated?
Hernia surgery is not necessary when patients do not have any symptoms associated with their hiatal hernia. Although some mild symptoms such as bloating or stomach displeasure and heartburn can occur, there are ways a hiatal hernia may be treated through healthy lifestyle changes. These changes include maintaining a healthy weight, limiting fatty, acidic, and caffeinated foods, along with avoiding alcoholic beverages and quitting smoking. It is also recommended that the person avoid eating at least 2-3 hours before going to bed and elevating their head while sleeping to reduce the amount of acid exposure into the lower esophagus. Other treatments include taking over the counter antacids to chemically neutralize stomach acid, thereby reducing heartburn symptoms.