Need advice on Hiatal Hernia....

love2sewJune 19, 2008

A severe attack of my hernia landed me in the hospital for 1 week. I can say I have had my 10 yr. checkup with all tests having very good results.

I guess acid reflux goes along with a hiatus hernia, but it is the hernia giving me the most pain. I have extreme pain in my stomache and diaphram and it really hurts when I walk so I can only walk maybe 1/2 block. It also is affecting my breathing and if I walk to fast or to far, I am short of breath.

I have been on medication 2 weeks and I am strictly following the DO NOTs and SHOULD DOs right down to the apple cider vinegar. I am a bit overweight, but that will be resolved soon as I feel I am going to starve to death. It is hard to figure out what bland food to eat.

I feel it is important to do all this for at least one month to see how much the medication is helping. I am wondering any of you suffer in this way and what kind of meal plan do you do. How long does one need to be on diet and medication to heal this up, or does it ever heal? Have any of you had the operation?

When I can't lay down due to the reflux, I have read hours on this topic. Any information and advice you have to offer will certainly be appreciated.
Jean

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michelle_phxaz

Oh, I feel for you. I am on disability right now because it it. First, I prefer Nexium for the acid reflux. My insurance won't cover it, they want to give me a different brand, but there was a huge difference in that the new meds didn't do anything so I insisted on the Nexium. I also take Costco's Kirkland brand of acid reducer pills, they help a lot.

I never tried the vinegar, does it help do you think?

As for food, I found that the best for me is bananas, yogurt, plain rice or pasta, peanut butter sandwiches on whole grain bread, and applesauce. Tomatoes or anything with tomato sauce needs to be cut out immediately, I can now (it has been two years since I was diagnosed) eat it in small amounts. Milk or any dairy can he a culprit, I am okay with it but not everyone is. I like the Nutrigrain bars, they are pretty easy on the stomach too. You probably know to cut anything spicy out of your diet.

You will lose a lot of weight, which is a good thing! When you feel hungry eat a banana or a cup of yogurt. It is a pretty bland diet, but these were the foods that were easy on my stomach and tasty and filling enough. Take vitamins, Trader Joe's multi vitamin is rated one of the best because it dissolves completely and you get 100% of the nutrients absorbed into your system as opposed to other brands which end up out of your system before they are absorbed.

Prop the head of your bed up; we bought a 2x6 and put it under the legs at the head of the bed, it doesn't lift it up that much but it does make a difference.

Go to sleep on an almost empty stomach. The acid is worse when you lay down, if there is nothing in there it won't be a problem. I am hypo-glycemic (unrelated to the illness) and have to have some glucose in my system. The applesauce or banana provide enough to get me through the night, and I have Nutrigrain bars by the side of my bed if I wake up.

I hope this helps, I totally feel for you, it is really scary when you have a attack and it feels like a searing knife through your esophagus. It will be trial and error finding your balanced diet, I wish you the best of luck!

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 8:22PM
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love2sew

Thanks Michelle for your comforting words and suggestions. I just bought the Nutrigrain bars today and I found Jello at 10 cal./serving. Never thought of applesauce, don't know about peanut butter and yougart as I can't handle the fats.

Haven't done the bed yet but I can see it would help. I feel like my throat is choking sometimes.

I know it is important not to aggrivate this condition. You mean I will not eat a fresh tomatoe out of my garden this year...or many years! I am sorry you are off work with this, but you obviously are doing well coping with this condition. Please be my mentor.

I started out on Nexium but my healthcare won't pay for it so I am on the cheap stuff and it is actually working better for me. I only bought the vinegar today and took one spoon...pretty powerful. Anything is worth trying. I drink Liptons Ginger Tea which I like very much and find it soothing on the stomache. Can't do the caffine any more.

Have you seen a GI specialist? I was wondering if it is important to see one as they can do more specialized tests.

Thanks again and pop on my thread any time.
Jean

    Bookmark   June 19, 2008 at 11:26PM
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michelle_phxaz

It takes time to find the right diet for this. Many yogurts are fat free so try some of those, and fat free peanut butter (it might not taste as good though) but make sure you are getting enough protein.

I have a GI that I see on a regular basis. I have had two endoscopies and one colonoscopy. I had my gallbladder removed (the hydascan put my output at 0%, they had to redo the test because they had never seen anyone have a zero output!) and that was sucky, but it helped.

Rest, drink lots of fluids, stay elevated, and yes, sorry, stay away from your tomatoes! I love fresh tomatoes too, that was one of the things I hated to give up.

Oh, most non-citrus fruits are good too, apples, peaches, nectarines.

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 8:03PM
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love2sew

Hi Michelle,

This is day 2 of sleeping on my 2 1/2" elevated bed and day 2 of not having pain in my stomache! Is this for real...it is not much elevation but seems to help. DH will raise it more if I need it. He likes it too...seems to help his sinuses.

Three days of taking the apple cider vinegar..just 1 spoon at night. Don't know if it is helping the guts but my throat feels much better and I haven't coughed for 2 days. I found some real tasty applesauce by Motts. Enjoyed that today with toasted rye bread. I eat oatmeal for breakfast and am not a big bread eater..I like speciality breads best.

I am one up on you...I'm having my third colonscopy in Aug. and 1 endoscopy. The GI specialist I see for the colonoscopy is not local but I think I will ask my GP to refer my hiatus hernia condition to him as well. If anything developed I would want him taking care of it...he's very thorough. What is a hydascan? I have never had any major surgery.

With just DH and I to cook for, our meals have suddenly become sporatic. He likes fried food..not on my list so we are worse than a restaurant. It will settle down and I hope he learns to eat more my style...it will be healthier for him. Thanks for all the food suggestions, it has really helped.

I hope you are enjoying a lovely summer weekend and felling well. Keep in touch. If anyone else wishes to contribute ideas or their experiences with acid reflux, please do so.
Jean

    Bookmark   June 22, 2008 at 9:54PM
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PeterGeek

Reading the above is very similar to myself. I have found elevating the bed to be really helpful. More helpful than I thought for such a little increase in height. In bed I hardly notice the difference.

Diet has taken a little longer to perfect, just knowing how much of something I cant eat and how much is too far. I found: www.teammead.co.uk/hiatushernia really helpful. Foods that I didn't think would upset my stomach are listed here, so I try to avoid these now as well. It has helped me alot though. Happily enjoying the small treats. i do find though that the Omeprazole does sometimes leave me feeling a little sick in the morning, however aftre maybe 1 hour it tends to die down. Somebody suggested to me that I try taking it at evening, instead of first thing in the morning, but im worried having an empty stomach overnight will cause worse feelings than I get in the morning with feeling sick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hiatus Hernia: Help and Advice

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:25AM
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PeterGeek

Reading the above is very similar to myself. I have found elevating the bed to be really helpful. More helpful than I thought for such a little increase in height. In bed I hardly notice the difference.
Diet has taken a little longer to perfect, just knowing how much of something I cant eat and how much is too far. I found: www.teammead.co.uk/hiatushernia really helpful. Foods that I didn't think would upset my stomach are listed here, so I try to avoid these now as well. It has helped me alot though. Happily enjoying the small treats. i do find though that the Omeprazole does sometimes leave me feeling a little sick in the morning, however aftre maybe 1 hour it tends to die down. Somebody suggested to me that I try taking it at evening, instead of first thing in the morning, but im worried having an empty stomach overnight will cause worse feelings than I get in the morning with feeling sick.

Here is a link that might be useful: Hiatus Hernia: Help and Advice

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 6:29AM
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emma

I have the same problem and really, really feel your pain. Fortunately I have found part of the problem with my indigestion, I am lactose intolerant I guess. I drink a lactose free milk and I am 95% better. As far as the hernia goes, I just need to eat small meals and I don't have a problem with that. The trouble is easting small meals when I have a long habit of eating only one meal a day with a snack for supper.

It has been to cold her to walk so don't know how that will be, but it has been a long time since I have been able to walk. I am careful because that kind of pain could cover up a heart problem.

    Bookmark   January 21, 2013 at 11:06AM
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celly123

How do you take the apple cider vinegar? I am new to this...symptoms just recently started....having some of the same issues....please advise...

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 9:59AM
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emma

I have the same problem...HH and acid indigestion. I haven't had a long walk because of pain in over a year. I can't even put on clean sheets without putting one on resting and then the other one. Luckily I don't have trouble reclining, but I don't eat before I go to bed. My doc scheduled me for some heart tests and before that came about I solved my own problem. I started treating my indigestion with a half tps of soda in warm water immediately after a meal. I drink that and finish it off with more water. The freedom from pain is wonderful. I have had acid indigestion all of my life and belched a lot. For some reason I can't belch anymore and I think that causes the gas to be trapped, probably in the hernia.

I must warn you about vinegar. My sis had our Mom drinking water with a little vinegar in it and her feet and legs were swelling. I took her to the doctor and told him about the vinegar and he was one unhappy doctor. He said: "Mrs Smith I have you on lasics to prevent water retention and you are drinking vinegar which causes you to retain water. Swelling can lead to congestive heart failure." After Mom quit drink it, she never had a problem with swelling again.

    Bookmark   September 4, 2014 at 10:23AM
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sunnyca_gw

Baking soda is 150 mg sodium per 1/8 tsp so using 1/2 tsp soda in water is putting 600mg sodium in your body & that will cause swelling sooner or later. Reason I mention it is my FIL used soda after every meal & was picture of health to look at him but had massive heart attack & died before they could get him to hospital. He was using tsp or 2 of soda after each meal x3=3,600 mg sodium. Double what you should have in your food. I think that greatly affected his body. He had tried antacids dr. recommended even prescription stuff(it was before Nexium) he thought soda worked better. So do be careful with the soda, especially not to increase it.

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 3:16AM
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emma

It would take an autopsy to prove that your FIL's death was caused by sodium. My neighbor's mother almost died from the lack of sodium....I am 77 years old and having a massive heart attack is a much better way out than what I have seen others go through before they die.

Sometimes you have to choose the lesser of the two evils. I am allergic to PPI's and every antacid med I check out has aluminum in it. Tums is all that's left and to many of them can cause stones and other problems. I can't take long walks, work in the flower beds, vacuum floors, all I can do is sit in a chair because of pain if I do anything that is strenuous, I don't have a lot of choices.

This post was edited by EmmaR on Fri, Sep 5, 14 at 10:45

    Bookmark   September 5, 2014 at 9:20AM
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