Our expert says:
I am sorry to hear that you a hiatus hernia. I trust that the doctor who diagnosed your hernia is treating you with so-called proton pump inhibitors (Zantac, or Losec, etc) to prevent the heartburn and acid reflux that are usually associated with this condition. The heartburn and acid reflux which accompany a hiatus hernia are caused by excess acid production in the stomach that pushes up in the oesophagus. If the patient has food in the stomach this give the acid something it can work on instead of attacking the lining of the digestive tract. In fact, the use of 6 smaller meals a day is a good idea when suffering from hiatus hernia because this would mean that you practically always have some food in your stomach to prevent acid erosion. You should try to split up your main meals into 2 smaller meals each. If you suffer from acid reflux, you will have to experiment with the foods you eat that may cause problems (raw onions, garlic, cucumber, green peppers, very spicy foods and condiments, gas-cold drinks, very fatty foods, etc and all alcohol). This is often an individual reaction and you will have to keep a food diary to see what foods cause this problem and then cut them out. If you find that this is too difficult, then please consult a registered dietitian (visit the Association for Dietetics in SA Website at: www.adsa.org.za and click on "Find a Dietitian" to find a dietitian in your area), who will help you to pinpoint trigger foods and work out a diet that avoids them. One of the most important factors in excess acid production is stress. To relieve stress I would recommend that you should learn relaxing techniques and how to do deep breathing exercises.
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