A hiatal hernia is a condition in which part of the stomach pushes through an opening located where the esophagus meets the stomach. This problem is caused by pressure on the stomach from various sources. If the hernia is small, many people have no symptoms and don't know that they even have a hernia. However, if the hernia is larger, most individuals experience burning in the chest, nausea, belching and sometimes trouble swallowing. There are several methods of curing and/or relieving the problems associated with hiatal hernia.
Try over-the-counter medications such as antacids, famotidine, cimetidine and ranitidine. Take these medications one at a time for a period of several days to several weeks to see which one may work best for you.
Modify your diet. Reduce the amount of spicy, fatty and acidic foods you eat. Cut back on alcohol and caffeine. Eat smaller portions, and keep your weight within a healthy range.
Use sturdy blocks (possibly wooden or concrete) to prop up the head of your bed. Slide the blocks under the bed frame on the head end of the bed. You may have to experiment with different-sized blocks to see which height is most comfortable and effective.
Exercise consistently. Perform light to moderate aerobic exercise, but wait several hours after eating. Walking and swimming are good types of activities that have low impact on the body and excellent cardiovascular benefits. Don't lift weights unless your doctor gives you permission, as this can aggravate the condition.
Reduce stress. Relax. Get plenty of rest. Engage in activities you enjoy. Nurture healthy relationships with other people.
Visit your doctor. If the other remedies don't work, your doctor may need to intervene. You may have to take stronger prescription medication. You also may have to undergo surgery to cure your hiatal hernia.