Any time an internal body part pushes into an area where it doesn’t belong its called a hernia. Hiatal hernia is also known as hiatus hernia. The hiatus is an opening in the diaphragm. A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach pushes upward through your diaphragm. Your diaphragm commonly has a small opening through which your food tube passes on its way to attach to your stomach. The stomach can push up through this opening and cause a hiatal hernia.
There are two types of hiatal hernias : paraesophageal and sliding
In a sliding hiatal hernia, the stomach and the section of the esophagus that connects the stomach slide up into the chest through the hiatus. This is the most common type of hernia.
The paraesophageal hernia is more cause for concern but it is less common. The esophagus and stomach stay in their normal areas, but part of the stomach squeezes through the hiatus, landing it next to the esophagus. Although you can have this type of hernia without any symptoms, the danger is that the stomach can become “strangled,” or have its blood supply shut off.
Possible causes of hiatal hernia :
- Injury to the area
- Being born with an uncommonly large hiatus
- Intense stress and persistent on the neighboring muscles, such as when vomiting coughing or straining during a bowel movement, or while lifting heavy objects
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