Esophageal Hernia Symptoms

An esophageal hernia, also known as a hiatal hernia, occurs when the top part of the stomach pushes through the top part of the diaphragm called the hiatus. This health issue occurs quite often, especially for an individual who is overweight. Symptoms varies with each person as some have no symptoms while others suffer from painful ones . A person who frequently suffers with symptoms that are bothersome may undergo a surgical procedure to remedy the situation, whereas a person who has little or no symptoms may never need any medical intervention.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.


Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease, or GERD, is a type of indigestion that starts in the stomach as a burning sensation and makes it way up the esophagus. This symptom may cause the person to feel like they need to vomit, and often leaves the esophagus with a burning sensation. This occurs because the muscles that prevent the stomach acid from traveling upwards towards the esophagus has failed. The people who suffer from GERD regularly experience indigestion and may have to resort to acid reducers to temporarily ease this symptom.


MedLinePlus defines belching as “the act of bringing up air from the stomach.” When a person consumes food or beverages, air is swallowed. After enough air is swallowed, the air is allowed to escape through the esophagus and out through the mouth, causing a belch. When someone has a hiatal hernia, they belch regardless of whether they just ate or had anything to drink.


People who suffer from heartburn have a painful burning sensation behind the breastbone, according to the Mayo Clinic. The pain usually intensifies if the person lies down or bends over. This pain can be remedied with over-the-counter medications that reduce stomach acid. However, depending on the severity and frequency of heartburn, some people may need a prescription-strength acid reducer to see any results.

Chest Pain

Chest pain is classified as pain or discomfort felt in the front half of the body between the throat and the upper abdominals. Chest pain can indicate any number of ailments, one of which is a hiatal hernia.


Nausea is an unsettled feeling in the stomach. When someone is nauseous, they have the urge to vomit. It is also referred to as being queasy. According to, nausea can either be physical, meaning the body creates the nausea, or psychological, meaning the mind creates the nausea.