Question for those of you with hiatal hernias

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 4/1/2008 1:43 PM (GMT -6)   
I really think I have a sliding hiatal hernia. My symptoms come and go. I mentioned these symptoms in another post, but I'm wondering if my problem is occasionally hiatal hernia. These are the collection of symptoms: heartrate increases constantly (at rest, about 82, but after I eat, about 100-110, I have esophageal spasms, irregular heartbeats, and the most disconcerting symptom is that I feel pressure in my neck and I have too much blood in it and its not draining properly, and I can hear my heartbeat in my ears.
When I tell docs about these symptoms, they look at me like I'm a little crazy. Its real important for me to figure out what this is, as it seems to come with alot of anxiety. One day I'll be fine..........and the next I'll have all these funky symptoms. I have GERD and IBS and Fibromyalgia, but was doing really well this winter.....until the day after Easter, when all these symptoms came back. I'm just trying to make sense of things.
Those of you who have a sliding hiatal hernia........does it ever cause you to feel this fullness in your upper chest/head? I hate it. But I think I could relax with it a little more, if I knew what it was, and that it wasn't a big honkin' tumor growing somewhere in my chest!
Thanks for your input.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 4/2/2008 7:59 AM (GMT -6)   

Good Morning and I am sorry your having problems. I do not have a hiatal hernia but I am wondering if you have seen your PCP for this problem. 
I am sure there will be a member who has some support for you and information.

Take care and have a good day.

Kitt, Moderator: Anxiety ~ Panic  ~ Crohn's
Not a mental health professional of any kind
It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.~Mahatma Gandhi~

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 4/2/2008 9:03 AM (GMT -6)   
The only way to know for sure if you have a hiatal hernia is to see a physician, like a gastroenterologist, who will perform an endoscopic procedure and look inside. If you have been diagnosed with IBS, then I'm assuming you already have a gastroenterologist that you see. If your PCP is the only one treating you, then I highly recommend a referral to a gastroenterologist.

I have had the hiatal hernia repair. Guessing your own diagnosis usually causes unnecessary anxiety. The endoscope will tell you exactly what is going on and that alone will make you feel better. If you do have a hiatal hernia, the doctor will be able to determine if it is large or small and give you options for handling the problem. It may or may not be surgery.

If you are interested, the naturopath physician I have consulted in the past offered this suggestion for a hiatal hernia. It didn't work for me, but some people do get relief. It's called "heel jumps". When you wake up in the morning you drink a large glass of water and then jump up and land hard on your heels. The object is to get your stomach back where it belongs and not up in your chest cavity through the opening in the hernia. The water weighs your stomach down.

Good luck.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1544
   Posted 4/2/2008 2:27 PM (GMT -6)   
Thanks Kitt and HappilyWrapped,

I have fibromyalgia and have had a million tests for everything, so I guess I'm a little hesitant to go have another one. My GI docs in the past have discounted any symptoms of hiatal hernias for the most part. I had an upper endoscopy about 10 years ago, but I'm sure my body is quite different by now.
If it really hangs on, I'll go to the doc, but I'm waiting it out. I have so many sensations and symptoms that are so very strange. It seems like I finally give up and go to the docs, have lots of tests, and they're all normal, and then all the symptoms finally go away.......thousands of dollars later.
thanks for your input.

New Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 7
   Posted 4/3/2008 11:16 AM (GMT -6)   
CathyA, I can empathize with your statement "I finally give up and go to the docs, have lots of tests, and they're all normal, and then all the symptoms finally go away.."

That sounds like my life. Now I wait and wait and wait before I follow thru to see the docs, just to make sure that there is really something wrong with me.... and suffer in the meantime. I also have fibromyalgia, plus a couple of arthritis's and lichen planus erosive. My body is literlly attacking itself. So thinking that my throat esopagus and stomach problems were just nerves due to all the illnesses I have, I put off going to the docs. Now I have to go and get a scope and biopsy, as he isn't sure what is going on. Could be hernia, could be lax esopagus could be immflammation....on and on it goes. Just like me LOL. Anyway, my two cents, go get the scope and see what the doc says. Take care of you!!!


Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 27
   Posted 4/3/2008 11:20 AM (GMT -6)   
can a sliding hiatal hernia always be seen during endoscopy?

Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 183
   Posted 4/3/2008 1:13 PM (GMT -6)   
The endoscopy will show the tear, or larger opening, in the diaphragm around the esophagus. As you have been diagnosed with a sliding hernia, the endoscopy may or may not show the stomach in the chest. It just depends on where your stomach decides it's going to be that day because it slides up into the chest and then back down.

A sliding hiatal hernia is the most common type. It's where the top portion of the stomach sort of bulges up into and out of the chest. Usually, only the esophagus goes through the opening in the diaphragm but with the larger opening, the stomach can go up.

With a Fixed Hiatal Hernia, the upper part of the stomach is caught up in the chest - it goes up into that larger opening and just stays there.

I've seen the pictures from a few of my endoscopies and it's amazing just how much the doctor can see while he's in there.
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