Hiatus hernia is a condition in which the upper part of your stomach moves up into your chest, which happens to be very common for people at the age of 50 or above. Check out what you might need to know about hiatus hernia cough.
The Facts About Hiatus Hernia Cough
When the upper portion of your stomach bulges across the large muscle separating your belly and chest (diaphragm), that’s when a hiatal hernia develops. Your diaphragm is designed to have a small opening called hiatus through which the esophagus passes prior to binding to the stomach. In a hiatal hernia, your stomach pushes itself up through that opening and into the diaphragm.
Typically, a small hiatus hernia doesn’t cause you any problems, and you might not even know it exists unless your healthcare provider accidentally discovers it while checking for another condition. However, a large hiatal hernia allows the acid and food from your stomach to go back up into the food tube, which can lead to some conditions such as heartburn, digestion problems, and hiatus hernia cough.
As mentioned before, a small hiatus hernia can produce no symptoms or signs, but a larger hiatus hernia can have a variety of symptoms:
- Trouble swallowing (experiencing pain when swallowing)
- Shortness of breath (feeling hard to breathe)
- Abdominal or chest pain
- Heartburn (have a painful burning sensation in the chest, usually after eating)
- Regurgitation of liquids or food into your mouth
- Acid reflux (the stomach acid backflow into the esophagus)
- Passing of black stools or vomiting blood which might be a sign of gastrointestinal bleeding
Also, these symptoms can become more painful and worse on certain occasions, such as lying flat after meals which can be resolved by sitting up or walking. In some cases, the condition can cause hiatal hernia, cough, and even spasm of the airway in your lungs which is nervous reflexes.
What Are the Causes of Hiatus Hernia Cough?
Though rare, some people with hiatus hernia can experience asthma, coughing spasms, or repeated lung infections such as bronchitis and pneumonia. All this is due to the aspiration or inhalation of reflux acid droplets into the lungs.
There aren’t any exact causes for hiatal hernia, but it may be caused by:
- Being born with an unnaturally large hiatus
- Injury to the area such as after certain kinds of surgery or trauma
- Age-related changes to your chest (diaphragm)
- Additionally, people who are obese and/or older than 50 are more likely to develop hiatal hernia.
How to Stop Coughing from Hiatal Hernia
To treat hiatus hernia cough, you should start with the source itself by following these treatments:
- Stop smoking: smoke from cigarettes can irritate the digestive system and worsen symptoms.
- Get some medication: consult your doctor or pharmacist.
- Change your eating habits: have smaller portions, don’t skip meals, and do other things that help with treating GERD.
- Surgery: the worst-case scenario is that all the others’ treatments haven’t worked, and the symptoms are getting worse.
In any case, a hiatal hernia is a serious condition and should be dealt with as soon as possible. If your condition is left untreated, it can cause extremely bad complications such as fatigue, loss of appetite, loss of weight, difficulty doing daily activities, and hiatus hernia cough. The best route of action is to seek help from healthcare providers and look into a suitable treatment for you.
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Have you tried health tracking apps? What was your experience? Share your thoughts in the comment section below!