Hiatal Hernia. What helps?

Posted by betterb4 @betterb4, Feb 13, 2017

I was just diagnosed with a small hiatal hernia but I’m feeling pretty miserable. I was a perfectly healthy person and this all started a couple months ago. It started with a feeling of a “lump” at the bottom of my esophagus (or top of my stomach). Sometimes I had a burning feeling in my esophagus. I mentioned it with my gastroenterologist before a routine colonoscopy; she pretty much dismissed it but immediately put me on Prilosec in the morning and Zantac.It really doesn’t help very much. before bed. I had and EGD and she diagnosed and irritated esophagus and stomach and a small hiatal hernia.
I have now given up coffee, wine, chocolate, beef, tomatoes and eating after dinner (everyday the list grows.) We have propped our bed at an angle. I am afraid to eat. She insists that the hernia is not causing this, but it must be. I’m in my 50’s, perfect weight and have never even had heartburn. If this doesn’t improve soon, I am thinking of going to Mayo for a full evaluation. I can’t live this way and I DO NOT want to be on medicine the rest of my life.

@betterb4

I am now following a low acid diet. (wasn’t much I had to give up as I pretty much have always eaten a low acid diet) I am diagnosed with GERD and a small hiatal hernia. The confusing part for me is how suddenly this happened. I haven’t ever had any heartburn except a few bouts when I was pregnant more than 25 years ago. How can it be so sudden? and severe? This makes me think the hernia caused it whereas my doctor thinks it’s only contributing. The Prilosec doesn’t seem to be helping much. Zantac helps a little.

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Interestingly, I never had heartburn until I was pregnant, too. It went away for about two years after I had my youngest, and then the GERD started constantly all of a sudden and stayed. I know that my GERD and hernia were caused by my sphincter ceasing to function. I’m not sure if there are other causes. At least you know that Zantac works a little better than Prilosec for you. You might want to keep a journal of which foods are better or worse for you, and this way you can keep track of symptoms to see if they worsen over time.

Liked by virtuous69

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@betterb4

Do you need a referral to go to Mayo Clinic in Rodchester?

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Hello @betterb4. As @kdubois mentioned, you do not need to be referred to Mayo Clinic unless your insurance requires it. You can find all of that information by going here and going through the appointment process, http://mayocl.in/1mtmR63.

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Just ran across some interesting information on using melatonin to treat GERD. Would like to know what the medical profession thinks of this.
There is a lot of information out there, this is one study I ran across: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2821302/

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@betterb4, interesting… I’ve never heard of melatonin to treat GERD. @JustinMcClanahan, do you have any insight on this?

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@kdubois

@betterb4, interesting… I’ve never heard of melatonin to treat GERD. @JustinMcClanahan, do you have any insight on this?

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@kanaazpereira may be better suited to have some insight on this question. Kanaaz, in your experience with GI, have you heard anything about melatonin and GERD?

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Hi @betterb4,

Here’s what I found:

Melatonin, which is usually thought of as the sleep hormone made in the pineal gland, is actually produced nearly 500 times more in the intestinal tract.The study that you cite, suggests that using melatonin, along with anti-acid medications like omeprazole, may lessen the acidity (pH level) in the stomach.
A few studies have shown the potential of melatonin to reduce inflammation in people with Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis (IBD), but further research is needed.

Here’s a link from Mayo Clinic that lists the effectiveness of melatonin used to treat different conditions: http://mayocl.in/2m2Gsxf
Hope this helps.

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i just got diagnosed with a lg hital hernia near my stomach. I was doin a esdscopy an a colinoscopy ive had Gerd for at 25 years i used to do oil of oregena and i still use probiotics. But I love tomatoes an nuts salad now they say no nuts cuz they found small diverticuli polopyp so waiting to see what Dr thinks now. ive been on omeprazol for years. .I also just finished chemo for breast cancer iam 63 an concerned.

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@hitalscares1

i just got diagnosed with a lg hital hernia near my stomach. I was doin a esdscopy an a colinoscopy ive had Gerd for at 25 years i used to do oil of oregena and i still use probiotics. But I love tomatoes an nuts salad now they say no nuts cuz they found small diverticuli polopyp so waiting to see what Dr thinks now. ive been on omeprazol for years. .I also just finished chemo for breast cancer iam 63 an concerned.

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If the docs try to talk about a "Nissen"…1 in 6 fail according to my Mayo Minnesota doc.. Track record of the surgeon is very important..

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perrhaps this may help…began using (over ctr) Prelief…OMG so far, works perfectly! you take just before you use any acid food …I do take upon arising in am 40 mg. famotidine – some days I skip using Famotidine since using Prelief – buy on Amazon (cheaper) as some drugstore don't carry the product.

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@iksuffolk – I used to take it years ago!! Works so well. I have it seen it in stores lately. Will try Amazon too. Used to take it before tomato dishes- and wine!

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@kdubois

Having been through this, I would get a second opinion from a different GI doctor. Mayo told me to sleep upright, stop eating for the day at least three hours before bedtime, and to avoid certain foods: greasy foods, spicy foods, peppermint, and more.

Your inclination to avoid meds long-term is spot-on! I had a 4 cm hiatal hernia and GERD issues for years, and the sphincter between my stomach and esophagus was failing. My home doctors treated me with Nexium and it’s generic equivalents for years. Twelve years later, and getting sicker and sicker, in September 2015 I took myself to Mayo and they figured out that I genetically don’t properly metabolize these medications, which is the reason why I was getting sicker and sicker. Thing is, even if you do properly-metabolize these meds, these meds themselves inhibit the enzyme system that metabolizes these medications, which means that people on these meds long-term will slowly develop symptoms to the medication inhibition. (Both Prilosec and Zantac are also inhibitors.) Unfortunately, the majority of doctors don’t know about it.

So solve this problem for me, last October Mayo performed a Nissen Fundoplication surgery on me to fix the hernia and GERD issue. No more meds for me!

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Could you tell me which doctor you saw and where?

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I have had the Nissen… it broke down within two years. Then I had the Toupet Fundoplication 4 years ago. Have been just as miserable. Didnt fix anything! Cant eat normally. Have positional pains in the abdominal area, and just found out I have an incisional hernia and need more mesh implanted. I have so many issues… but my advise is… REALLY research every option before choosing the Nissen. Dont let a general surgeon do it… make sure it is a gastric specialist. I regret my decision.

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@sickvick

I have had the Nissen… it broke down within two years. Then I had the Toupet Fundoplication 4 years ago. Have been just as miserable. Didnt fix anything! Cant eat normally. Have positional pains in the abdominal area, and just found out I have an incisional hernia and need more mesh implanted. I have so many issues… but my advise is… REALLY research every option before choosing the Nissen. Dont let a general surgeon do it… make sure it is a gastric specialist. I regret my decision.

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Thank You

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I follow a low acid diet for life after having gerd that is now Barrett's. A good book on gerd is " The acid watcher diet ". I drink a low acid coffee called Healthwise I got off Amazon. Very low acid and I use unsweetened almond milk for creamer. Almond milk is alkaline and neutralizes acid. No fried foods. No fruit juices. No vinegar products or tomato.

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@sickvick

I have had the Nissen… it broke down within two years. Then I had the Toupet Fundoplication 4 years ago. Have been just as miserable. Didnt fix anything! Cant eat normally. Have positional pains in the abdominal area, and just found out I have an incisional hernia and need more mesh implanted. I have so many issues… but my advise is… REALLY research every option before choosing the Nissen. Dont let a general surgeon do it… make sure it is a gastric specialist. I regret my decision.

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A failed or failing "Nissen" is a all consuming life changing event… I regret my decision to have it done.. I just wanted to get rid of the GERD… I did not investigate and get a second opinion… Mayo MN gave me a way to cope…

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