Can a hiatal hernia be prsent even if it is not seen on the first EGD?

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New Member

Date Joined May 2009
Total Posts : 3
   Posted 7/17/2009 3:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Long story short... I have been, and still am dealing with some acid reflux related issues. Medications do the job of eliminating the acid...if I skip a Nexium I can instantly tell there's acid and as long as I take it I don't get the burning sensation in my throat.

One of the things I have noticed is that what I eat does matter to a small degree, but that if I eat ANY food or even drink water in a large enough quantity (and that's not to say a very large quantity at all, I have been eating small meals etc.) Some of my "symptoms" come up (including lightheadedness, tightness in throat etc.) but I never really feel any acid or burning pain per se. after having many tests (gastric empyting normal, laryngoscope no irritation, CT scan of neck normal) it seems apparent that it isn't acid that is causing my problems however the problem is undoubtedly linked to meals and eating.

The thing is, I had an endoscopy and was told everything looked "normal" and there was no hiatal hernia. However I can only assume at this point that there is some mechanical dysfunction going on with my upper GI that is causing me distress where maybe circulation is being impaired since apparently there is no tissue damage being done.

So I guess my question is 2 parts:

1) I'm wondering if anyone has had a similar experience, where their acid seemed to be completely under control and yet eating anything but a very small meal would cause them lightheadedness/weakness and/or sinus/ear pressure headaches.

2) Has anyone had a hiatal hernia (or other abnormality) missed by an endoscopy and then found later?

And yes, I sleep with the head of my bed elevated 6 inches, I'm not very stressed out, I'm eating small low-fat meals without any irritants and basically following every possible recommended lifestyle change to the letter of the law sad

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2009
Total Posts : 553
   Posted 7/17/2009 4:41 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello Bea here,
 I had 3 endocopes that didnt show my hitial hernia. Dont ask me how or why but when i went into the o.R for my nissan surgery may 7th, the surgeon told my hubby I had a hiatial hernia. I gather it was hiding from the scopes but not the scalpel??  I am so much better now. I have the greatest quality of life going on now. I pray I have longevity with it.
Take care and if u need my help, send an email o me or holler

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7180
   Posted 7/18/2009 6:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barnacle,
I had an endoscopy, and a hiatal hernia was never mentioned when I was given the results. The hernia was discovered when I did the barium swallow test. My family doctor was confident that I was getting a lot of "silent GERD" that I wasn't aware of. I did get periodic severe heartburn episodes (even on 40mg Protonix twice a day). My overriding symptom, though, was severe asthma, which was greatly improved after the Nissen Fundopication surgery.

I sure hope you get to the bottom of your problem. As Bea said, your quality of life can be greatly improved with the surgery, regardless of all the hysterical and unhappy posts you might read on the net. Selecting an eminently qualified (in the specific lap nissen surgery) is the most important thing.

Best of luck, and I'm glad you're posting here. There are lots of people who have experienced your symptoms, so you should get lots of support and advice.
Take care,

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 32602
   Posted 7/18/2009 9:28 AM (GMT -7)   


Hello and welcome to HealingWell and the GERD/Heartbrun Forum.

A sliding hiatal hernia is a smaller one and can be missed. Your stomach may slide partially up into your chest from time to time and cause you pain, and pressure as well as swallowing difficulties and reflux.

I know you posted you have little stress in your life but the issues with GERD may be causing you to be more anxious then you realize.  Lightheadedness and tightness in throat can also be sx of anxiety. Just my 2 cents worth for today.

Again welcome aboard.




Moderator: Osteoarthritis, GERD/Heartburn
Anxiety/Panic, & Depression
*~* *~*
"When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others."
Not a mental health professional of any kind

New Member

Date Joined Jun 2009
Total Posts : 4
   Posted 7/20/2009 5:35 AM (GMT -7)   
I had two egd's which did not show hiatal hernia however when I had barium swallow test it shows I have a a hiatal hernia.
Hope things go well for you. Best of luck

New Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 1/16/2014 4:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Barnacle,
I know that this is a very old post, but I wanted to know if you have found a resolution to your stomach problems. I am having some similar problems that have been linked to eating. It's become so bad I have a lot of anxiety about eating because of how bad I feel afterwards. Please let me know if you found a resolution!


New Member

Date Joined Oct 2014
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 10/18/2014 9:54 AM (GMT -7)   
I am also interested as I have suffered similar symptoms daily for 17 years without any relief.
The lightheadedness is the part that doesn't seem to make sense.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2014
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 10/20/2014 3:26 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Beatrix,

can you help me with your problem, so I can try help you.

Have they told you that you have Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease? Yes or NO

Did they confirm you that you have hernia hiatus as when you had done a Endoscopy!?

Have you done 24 hours ph monitoring test? If Yes than: do you have a Low Stomach Acid?

Have you had H.pylori or been tested yet?

Please tell me all your symtoms

Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2009
Total Posts : 89
   Posted 10/20/2014 4:02 PM (GMT -7)   
I also have some lightheadedness and general unwell feeling when I reflux.

Just saw an ENT who was so uninformed, it was scary. I will post more about that.
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