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Can a "small" hiatal hernia cause problems?


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#1 bluewillow

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 08:50 PM

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Hello to all! I recently had an EGD and Colonoscopy and my doctor told me that I have a "small hiatal hernia". However, some days I feel like there's some kind of pressure (could be due to my GERD also) and just something internally that doesn't feel quite right. Could this be the "small hiatal hernia" causing problems? I still have a sensation of food coming back up and wonder if that could be due to the hiatal hernia? Many thanks and take care, everyone!
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!


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#2 Kathleen M.

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Posted 06 February 2007 - 09:23 PM

They are weird things.Some people seem to have lots of symptoms from them, other people do not and they find them when they are looking for other things.I think hiatal hernias can make GERD worse, so it might be something that is worth getting repaired at some point. I know for some things the size doesn't always relate to how likely it is to be causing problems.I'd discuss with the doctor whether it could be or shouldn't be increasing the symptoms .K.
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#3 bluewillow

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 01:01 PM

Thanks so much, Kathleen. Do you know if a HH could possibly cause periodic chest pain, like between the breasts, just above the sternum? I don't get them often, and the pain is very brief and not too severe, but very annoying. Could be caused from the reflux though.
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#4 Kathleen M.

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Posted 08 February 2007 - 03:02 PM

Chest pain is listed, but it is usually hard to know if that is just because the hernia makes the reflex bad enough to cause pain. They seem to think it is mostly from how it interacts with the GERD.They do say here http://www.emedicinehealth.com/hiatal_hernia/page3_em.htm that you can get pain if the stomach can slip up into there, but I don't know if that would be you. If you get really severe pain go to the ER as if the stomach gets strangulated by the hernia you tend to need surgery right away.Since it sounds pretty mild I wouldn't worry too much about it, but I would make sure the doctor knows it happens once in awhile.K.
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#5 Sue1420

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Posted 10 February 2007 - 05:02 PM

BluewillowI was told I had a small hiatal hernia as well with my GERD. I too get that "periodic chest pain, like between the breasts, just above the sternum". Not sure what to attribute it to the HH or the GERD. Do you ever get pain on your left side like under the left breast along the bra-line? Sometimes a throbbing, sometimes a twisted feeling. That is often a problem for me and then it kind of moves into the area under the left breast but above my waist - think that's your abdomen right - not the belly. It sometimes helps if I massage it. GI not sure what it is. She thought it might be gastroparesis but I just had the gastric emptying scan and it didn't show complete gastroparesis only a slow start for the food to move out of the stomach.

#6 bluewillow

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 08:33 AM

Hi Sue and thanks for your reply! I'm glad I'm not alone in these crazy pains-- they don't last long at all, just a few seconds, but they are so annoying! I do get a pain along my bra line, and have even wondered if my bra was constricting a muscle or something... I also get a pinchy pain in the top of my left breast and just a generally uncomfortable feeling in my chest, but it usually doesn't last very long, thankfully. If I really watch what I eat, I feel much better, but when I start "testing the waters" to see if I can eat things I know have bothered me in the past, it's like I pay for it physically, in some way or another! Posted Image
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#7 madge

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Posted 12 February 2007 - 10:56 AM

bluewillow, I just noticed that you take zantac and xanax. I take clonazepam (same family as Xanax) at bedtime, and my nephew (a pharmacist) says that sometimes medications in that family can stay in the bloodstream longer (have a somewhat stronger effect) when a person takes Zantac or ranitidine. Happens to some people but not to others. So I was wondering whether you take the Xanax and the Zantac both later in the evening, or whether you take the two several hours apart. Just curious. If I do eventually take ranitidine, I'd try to take it earlier than bedtime, because of the clonazepam. Clonazepam lasts about twice as long as Xanax does.

#8 bluewillow

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 10:22 AM

Hi Madge, I normally take the Zantac at bedtime, and I was taking the Xanax about an hour before bedtime (just about an hour apart), and I sure didn't know about the medicine reaction that your nephew was talking about- I appreciate that information! I actually haven't taken the Xanax in about two weeks because the Premarin is helping so much with the anxiety (because I just feel better), and I am trying to get off as many meds as possible right now. Does the clonazepam work well for you? Sounds like it would be wise to take it a couple of hours apart. If I ever need to take the Xanax, and I very well might need it again, I will certainly space my Zantac dose further apart. I'm determined to try to get a hold of the anxiety without meds, if I possibly can. I've not been as worried about my health as I was-- I still don't feel totally like my old self, but I'm getting there!
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#9 Lindalu

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Posted 13 February 2007 - 11:53 AM

Hello bluewillow,I have had a hiatal hernia as well. I use ta be a machinist and did a lot of weight lifting, I made mine bigger and bigger. I also had all the heart burn and all that goes with it.Lots of chest pain. I finally had it fixed with a nisian frontal lubcation (spelling)You know where they wrap your stomach around your esophagus. Well my stomach never did settle down always in spasm. Well I had problems with it, and really didn’t know it was from the surgery but a while later I ended up in the hospital with a blood transfusion, it took some time for them to figure out it was my stomach bleeding cause it was up in my chest.So the second time they fixed me they put mesh in to hold it in place, cause its hard to sew up organs like liver, the stitching just pulls out. I still feel where they did the wrap; I know it’s on my right side cause that’s where it hurt after surgery. I no longer have heart burn.Oh yea what made me decide it was time to get fixed in the first place was when I woke up in the middle of the night drowning in my own reflux, scared the heck out of me. Posted ImageLindalu

#10 Rowe2

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Posted 14 February 2007 - 08:40 PM

I've also been told I had a small HH, and what took me to the doctor several years ago with it was I would eat and start feeling like I couldn't get a good deep breath. Tonight, I had Mexican food and before I got up from the table I felt like I was struggling to get a deep breath. Anyone else do this?

#11 bluewillow

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 08:02 PM

Thanks Linda for writing about your experience! Sounds like you've had some rough days, but thankfully you don't have heartburn any more!Hi Rowe2 and thanks for responding! I too have experienced difficulty breathing and if I get too full, I am totally miserable. I just know it's the HH, even though the doc said it was a "small" one. It seems to me if there is something in side you that isn't supposed to be there, even if that something is "small", it's going to let you know it's there! And if I don't sit up straight, especially at work while at the computer, I am really uncomfortable. Thanks again to all and take care!
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#12 biggbill1

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Posted 19 February 2007 - 05:58 PM

Wow, reading all these posts reminds me of...me. I too have all the terrible symptoms. I was told I have a small HH back in early 2000 but recently was told I have a sliding HH. I'm not sure what the difference is, but they both feel awful. I'm trying to eat less, stay away from foods that I know are trouble. I take Prilosec OTC and occasionally Tums. Never really tried drugs for depression and anxiety, would like to try Cognitive Behaviour Therapy first. Trouble is, like many of you out there, I have no insurance. Hang in there people! You are all wonderful!

#13 bluewillow

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Posted 20 February 2007 - 01:38 PM

Hi Bill and thanks for replying! Could you please describe your symptoms with your hernia? How long after you were diagnosed with a "small" hernia did it take it develop into something more miserable? I thought I was getting better but stopped taking my Protonix (ran out-- couldn't afford the refill) and I have been in misery for the past 2 days! I have insurance, but I am having to obtain authorization to pay for it, and if it doesn't, I can't afford to take the medicine that helps. So, insurance is sometimes no better than no insurance, if that makes you feel any better... take care and write anytime!
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#14 Rowe2

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Posted 26 February 2007 - 08:14 PM

Hi..just checking back to see how you were doing. I talked to my mom since I posted last and asked her if she had ever experienced any shortness of breath or smothering feeling. She replied she had and it was due to a HH. I've gained a good bit of weight around my stomach, so I'm hoping this is all it is. I am trying to start a daily walk and lose weight. I think it would help. I can lie down and get relief with the breathing. I really get tired trying to deal with this though.

#15 bluewillow

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 08:47 AM

Hi Rowe and thanks for checking on me! I'm doing much better, thanks, but I still do believe the HH is causing my breathing problem, but anxiety is also a big cause too. It's like I have a conspiracy going on in my body sometimes... Posted Image I have lost quite a bit of weight but have also lost some muscle tone, including around my stomach and I think exercise will help me a bunch too. Here in NC it's either been very cold or raining buckets, so when the weather improves, I'm going walking! I hope you're doing better too and thanks for passing your mom's info along!!
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#16 madge

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 09:08 AM

Hi, bluewillow! We have wintry weather here in Wisconsin also, too cold to walk. And I hate treadmills. I'm hoping my stress test in a few weeks won't show anything heart problem. I'm having it because when I walk a mile or more, I get aching in the muscle in my upper left chest. It stops when I stop walking. Sounds kind of scary, doesn't it? But I need to know. (Heart procedures, even something like angioplasty, is dangerous for me, because I can't have any of the antibiotics they routinely use. They close my throat.) So I'm kind of afraid they may find something. Will be glad when the stress test is over. I'd like to be back outside walking when the weather warms up if I can. I love it.I wanted to add that I often get the chest aching that you describe. And I don't have a hernia, just reflux. Anxiety can cause this. As for the breathing, I'd guess that the HH might be responsible. What does your doctor say about the shortness of breath thing? Wishing you a good day, my friend.

#17 mlr1969

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 10:42 AM

I was diagnosed with a small hiatal hernia, GERD, and IBS 2 years ago. I have since had numerous tests done, anxiety problems, pain in my left side, and most recently problems with post nasal drip, constant belching and growling noises coming up my throat and an awful taste in my mouth. I had several gastric emptying scans done. My doctor interpreted the varied results to be a result of my different medications either speeding up or slowing down my system at different times. However, when I asked him about whether the most recent upper digestive discomfort could have something to do with my hiatal hernia he said probably not. I'm confused and frustrated and just want to feel better. I'm having a third endoscopy done on Tuesday. I'd appreciate anyone's opinion on whether or not these symptoms of belching, growling, post nasal drip and sour taste in mouth and throat could have something to do with GERD or hiatal hernia.

#18 bluewillow

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 11:37 AM

Hi MLR- I almost could have written your post, except I have never had the gastric emptying scan. I did have a gall bladder ultrasound but it came out clear, and typically GB pain is on the right side, rather than the left. Last week, I went back to my gastro doc for a follow-up and I asked her about my constant belching and a lot of noise coming from the left side of my stomach resulting in a belch, and she said the belching was definitely GERD, but the stomach noises may or may not be but at any rate they are perfectly normal. I am just not convinced, because sometimes I have the growling and sometimes I don't, and it seems to be worse at night. I almost think it is related in some way to my anxiety. Could it be that for you? I hate when everyone blames things on anxiety, but it is real and I wish I could figure out how to get a handle on mine. I'm a menopausal female, so that's partly to blame I'm sure. Sorry if I got too personal there, but I really don't have anything to have anxiety about (great job, great husband, great life, etc.) but I think it's a biological response to something going on that we can't control. And oh, I do have post nasal drip a lot, and I forgot to ask my gastro doc what causes that, but I know it is common with GERD. Have the bad taste as well. I do have a small HH, but doc says she doesn't think it could cause any problems. Seems as if it could if it's not supposed to be there! Hope this helps some and sorry if I rambled a bit... Posted Image
GERD symptoms with lots of anxiety, endo and colonoscopy for 01/29/2007, Zantac, Ativan, breast cancer survivor diagnosed 06/2007, made it thru chemo and radiation and doing great!

#19 mlr1969

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Posted 25 March 2007 - 05:48 PM

I've found that the Clonazepam helps me be able to deal with these stupid growling noises and indigestion feeling coming up my throat and also helps me to sleep better. So yes, I think anxiety is definitely part of our problems, but I don't think it is the whole thing. I had some hormonal tests done last year and they showed that I was not pre-menapausal, but I bet part of your problems are definitely hormonal. If you take Premarin, then that should be helping for that though, shouldn't it. I'm going to an Ear, nose and throat doctor for the post nasal drip. I think it is having an effect on my stomach and my GERD. My family doctor gave me an antibiotic and decongestant. It helped for a couple of days but then everything got worse again. I hope things get better for you. It sounds like we are kind of in the same boat, and I really feel for you.





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