A hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach pushes up through the diaphragm and into the chest cavity. The diaphragm is a muscle that separates the chest cavity from the abdominal cavity, and it has an opening called the hiatus through which the esophagus passes to connect the mouth to the stomach. In a hiatal hernia, the stomach bulges through the hiatus and may cause symptoms such as heartburn, regurgitation, chest pain, difficulty swallowing, and abdominal discomfort.
Hiatal hernias can be present from birth or developed over time, and they can be classified as sliding hernias or paraesophageal hernias, depending on the type of herniation.
When is it necessary to see a doctor?
If you experience persistent or worsening symptoms suggestive of a hiatal hernia, it is important to seek medical evaluation. A doctor can perform diagnostic tests, such as X-ray or endoscopy, to confirm the presence of a hiatal hernia and provide appropriate management strategies, which may include lifestyle changes, medication, or in some cases, surgical intervention.
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