People who suffer from a hiatal hernia have a displacement of the stomach, which then penetrates the chest cavity through an opening known as a hiatus. The most common symptoms are heartburn, acid reflux, and pain or difficulty swallowing.
Did you know that up to 20% of the population could have this disorder? And most importantly, were you aware that with a good diet and some simple exercises, you can treat a hiatal hernia naturally?
About hiatal hernias
Hiatal hernias can occur at any age, but most commonly people who are affected by them are over the age of 50. Several factors contribute to the weakening of the diaphragm, which causes this disorder:
To treat this disorder naturally, in addition to following the tips in this article you should also avoid the risk factors mentioned above.
How do we treat it?
For a complete and effective treatment you need to focus on two issues: the causes and the symptoms:
- Toning of the weakened muscle in the diaphragm
- Getting relief from heartburn, gastroesophageal reflux, and pain and difficulty swallowing
Learning to eat correctly
One of the everyday causes of a weakening of the hiatus might surprise you. Most people with a hiatal hernia share one characteristic: they eat without chewing their food thoroughly or too quickly, putting additional stress on the entire digestive system and especially the stomach.
So the first step is always to eat while sitting down, unhurried, without distracting conversations or waiting until you’re absolutely starving. And remember not to swallow your food until you’ve chewed it thoroughly.
This will also help avoid heartburn and gastroesophageal reflux.
Stimulate the diaphragm
The diaphragm muscle can be toned. Singers and people who engage in activities like yoga or other breathing techniques learn to control their breathing using their diaphragm. Instead of taking in air to the upper part of the lungs, you should concentrate on filling the abdomen and sides of the body.
Something else you can get into the habit of before each meal is to take short breaths, followed by pushing inward toward the area of the diaphragm. This simple exercise helps to tone this muscle.G
Food to alleviate heartburn
Finally, to relieve the symptoms of hiatal hernia such as heartburn and acid reflux remember to be careful with what you eat, avoiding acidic foods as well as those that simply don’t sit with you well.
Avoid or limit, in general:
- Red meat and sausages
- Fried foods
- Refined foods and ingredients
- Bakery products
- Spices like cinnamon, cloves, ginger and pepper
- Certain teas
- Fast food
Oh the other hand, it’s a good idea to up your intake of foods that help neutralize excess stomach acids:
- Grapes: grapes are one of the more alkalizing fruits, but try to find organic ones to avoid high contents of pesticides.
- Pineapple: pineapple aids in digestion with its proteolytic enzymes, but you shouldn’t mix it with certain carbohydrates (breads, pasta, pastries, rice, etc.).
- Cabbage: cabbage helps heal ulcers, but there are many people who can’t digest it well if eaten raw. Cook cabbage with a pinch of cumin, or try it raw and shredded with a vinaigrette dressing, or as sauerkraut.
- Peppers: peppers belong to the solanum family, which are excellent for healing the stomach.
- Potatoes: potatoes are a great natural antacid. Their juice works well to counteract heartburn.
- Lemon juice: despite being a citrus and acidic fruit, lemon has a neutralizing effect on stomach acids so we recommend consuming it on a regular basis – combined with meals or simply mixed with a little water.
- Millet: Millet is the only kind of cereal that’s alkalizing, so it’s a good idea to consume it more often than other grains like rice, wheat, etc.
Finally, there are oral tablets and pastes sold in herbal or dietary stores that are natural antacids. Dissolve any one of these into a glass of water, and drink after ten minutes.