When to call the doctor
When to go to the hospital
- When the symptoms of hiatal hernia are new, persistent (won't go away), or severe
- When it is not clear what is causing your symptoms
Self-Care at Home
- When you have chest pressure or pain, especially if you have known heart disease or these coronary risk factors: diabetes, smoking, high cholesterol, blood pressure, older than 55 years, male gender, or family history of early heart attacks or angina (before age 55 years)
- Vomiting blood
- Dark, tarry stools
- Palpitations (feel heart beating in your chest) or feeling faint
- Cough and fever
- Shortness of breath
- Inability to swallow solid food or liquids easily
Lifestyle changes are often necessary to avoid symptoms of hiatal hernia.
- Modify your activities:
- Minimize heavy lifting, straining, bending over.
- Improve seated posture ; don't slouch.
- exercise more.
- weight loss.
- Sleep on an incline, with head of bed raised 4-6 inches on blocks.
- Choose standing activities after a meal rather than sitting or reclining.
- Modify your diet. Avoid the following:
- Fried or fatty foods
- Meals within 2-3 hours of bedtime
- Large meals (eat smaller meals more frequently)
- Try over-the-counter remedies. Check with your doctor or pharmacist first if you are taking other medications, are pregnant, or have other medical conditions, before starting therapy at home.
- Antacids such as Mylanta, Maalox, Gaviscon, or Tums for acute symptoms
- Antacids such as Zantac, Tagamet, Pepcid, or Axid to prevent symptoms
- weight loss, if overweight.
- Avoid excessive straining, bending, and slouching.
- Try the other lifestyle changes suggested under Self-Care at Home.