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Doctor insights on: What Are Some Causes Of Hiatal Hernias

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What are some causes of hiatal hernias?

What are some causes of hiatal hernias?

Enlarged opening: A hiatal hernia occurs when the normal opening in the diaphragm that allows the esophagus to pass through stretches out and allows the stomach to herniate in to the chest. While genetics, trauma, and obesity can be contributing dactors, it is generally not possible to determine why some people develop them and others don't. ...Read more

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Dr. Barry Rosen
1,663 doctors shared insights

Hernia (Definition)

A hernia is a hole in the abdominal wall thru which the inner lining protrudes thru, creating a sac. Organs from within the abdominal cavity, such as the intestine, can protrude thru the hole and get stuck in the sac. Many hernias develop during fetal life and become evident in childhood or as an adult. Some develop following a prior abdominal operation. The cornerstone ...Read more


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What causes a hiatal hernia?

What causes a hiatal hernia?

Unknown: The hiatus is the normal hole in the diaphragm muscle thru which the esophagus passes to go from the chest to the abdominal cavity. A hiatal hernia is an enlargement of this opening thru which the stomach can slip up into the chest. This is found in 15% of people & rarely causes symptoms. It is unclear if this develops before birth and/or develops in response to elevated abdominal pressure. ...Read more

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What causes hiatal hernia?

What causes hiatal hernia?

Stretched diaphragm : There is normally a hole in the diaphragm through which passes the esophagus. The diaphragm separates the abdominal and chest cavities, and the chest cavity is like a vacuum. When the normal opening stretches out and becomes large enough, the stomach gets "sucked" into the chest slowly. Why some get this and others don't is largely a mystery. ...Read more

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How does a hiatal hernia cause gerd?

"Yo-Yo" stomach.: One mechanism that prevents reflux of food or acid from the stomach up the esophagus is the fact that the pressure within the abdominal cavity is higher than the pressure in the stomach. If the stomach "yo-yo's" into the chest cavity through a hiatal hernia, the negative pressure within the chest cavity changes this pressure gradient, favoring reflux. ...Read more

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Can a hiatal hernia cause pains or discomfort? My dr says I have one but it isn't causeing my intestinal issues. That is unknown still.

Sometimes: A large hiatal hernia can cause pain and discomfort in your upper stomach. It also can make symptoms of reflux worse. If your pain is lower or more diffuse then likely not caused by your hiatal hernia. ...Read more

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Do hiatal hernias cause headaches? If so, how do patients describe them?

No they don't: Hiatal hernia is an internal defect nights diaphragm through which your stomach can slip into the chest and cause reflux. But headaches are not associated with this process. ...Read more

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What causes an irregular z-line other than barrett's esophagus or a hiatal hernia?

Normal variation: The z-line, where the esophagus lining connects to the stomach lining varies quite a bit from person to person. Not everyone has a straight circle -- that's why it's called the "z"-line, because an irregular border is normal. Some things that can make it more abnormal could be reflux of bile or acid into the esophagus, poor esophageal squeezing, or just a normal variation. Good health! ...Read more

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