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A 24-year-old member asked:

Does hiatal hernia cause shortness of breath?

5 doctor answers15 doctors weighed in
Dr. Geoffrey Rutledge
Internal Medicine 41 years experience
Not usually: Hiatal hernias are usually without any symptoms. When they do cause symptoms, it is usually heartburn or gerd, gastroesophageal reflux disease. Sometimes nausea accompanies heartburn. Occasionally, people with severe heartburn may have a sensation of being out of breath, but it is not caused by an impairment of lung function.
Dr. Barry Rosen
General Surgery 34 years experience
Asthma-like symptoms: Some people with hiatal hernias may develop gastroesophageal reflux disease (gerd), which usually causes heartburn. With severe gerd, stomach acid can reflux all the way up the esophagus and then down the trachea, causing asthma-like symptoms.
Dr. Vivek Huilgol
Gastroenterology 35 years experience
Also, acid-producing mucosa (lining) can be found at the top of the esophagus.
Oct 20, 2011
Dr. Vivek Huilgol
Gastroenterology 35 years experience
There are several other potential mechanisms. Reflex cough from reflux within the esophagus
Oct 20, 2011
Dr. Matthew Lublin
General Surgery 25 years experience
Rarely: If a hiatal hernia is very large, it may cause shortness of breath by impinging on the lungs. If the stomach gets caught in the chest through the hernia, this is a serious complication of a hital hernia and may lead to shortness of breath. Both of these scenarios are unlikley.
Dr. Matthew Lublin
General Surgery 25 years experience
Likely scar tissue: The most likley reason is residual scar tissue left over from the blood that accumulated there. If the lump is soft and moves freely, it is likely nothing to be concerned about. However, i would show it to your doctor at your next scheduled visit.
Dr. John Bodell
General Surgery 50 years experience
Inreased Pressure: If you have a large abdominal content protuding thru the opening of the diaphram this may redue the capacity of the lung to expand causing shortness of breath.

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Similar questions

Fishertown, PA
A 28-year-old male asked:

Can a hiatal hernia cause constant shortness of breath?

3 doctor answers4 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sanober Butt
Pulmonology 20 years experience
Yes: Hiatal hernia is a mechanical reason for shortness of breath. Depending on how big it is and how much of a mechanical disruption is there surgery may be warranted.
A 40-year-old member asked:

Can hiatal hernia cause shortness of breath on stairs?

3 doctor answers14 doctors weighed in
Dr. Sharmila Dissanaike
General Surgery 21 years experience
Not likely : Hiatal hernia usually causes acid reflux and indigestion. It may be associated with asthma like symptoms in the mornings, sore throat and inability to lie flat. However shortness of breath on mild exercise is usually a sign of heart or lung disease and should be evaluated by your doctor. It may simply be a sign of poor fitness but should still be checked out.
Silver Spring, MD
A 28-year-old male asked:

What is the likelihood of having shortness of breath AND cough from hiatal hernia?

2 doctor answers6 doctors weighed in
Dr. Ira Friedlander
Cardiac Electrophysiology 42 years experience
Possible: In general a hiatal hernia would not cause these symptoms but if you have a large hiatal hernia and you are refluxing from it and aspirating chronically it could definitely cause shortness of breath and cough. This can eventually lead to serious pulmonary problems. Get checked out by your local health care provider. It is treatable.

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Last updated Mar 1, 2021

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