Digestive Disorders / Gastroenterology Expert Forum
Hiatal Hernia and Movement
About This Forum:

This is a place to ask questions about digestive problems and receive a personal answer from a highly qualified doctor. You will also find support from other members who share your interest in digestive disorders. Digestive Disorders include: Anal and Rectal problems, Barrett’s Esophagus, Bleeding in the Stomach and Digestive Tract, Constipation, Crohn’s Disease, Gastritis, GERD, Heartburn, Proctitis, Short Bowel Syndrome, Ulcers, Whipple’s Disease, Zollinger-Ellison Syndrome (and many more).

Font Size:
A
A
A
Background:
Blank
Blank
Blank
This expert forum is not accepting new questions. Please post your question in one of our medical support communities.
Blank Blank

Hiatal Hernia and Movement


  Do any types of exercise or physical movement affect the
  condition of a hiatal hernia?  For instance, does weight-lifting
  or situps, worsen or aggravate a hiatal hernia?  How about
  aerobic exercise?  Does lifting the knees to the chest worsen or
   aggravate a hiatal hernia? Or do any movements help a hiatal
  hernia?  Are there any certain types of movement or exercise
  that are recommended to avoid if you have a hiatal hernia?
  Thank you very much for providing information on this forum.
  Neil Tuchin
____________________________
Dear Neil Tuchin,
Thank you for your letter regarding hiatal hernia and exercise.  As you know, a hiatus hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach is displaced into the chest.  The condition is very frequent.  It has been estimated that 250-500/1000 population in the North America have a hiatus hernia. Hiatal hernias are considered important, because of the erroneous perception that a hiatus hernia predisposes to esophageal reflux.  We now know that acid reflux into the esophagus is usually due to inappropriate relaxation of the lower esophageal sphincter, the muscle barrier between the stomach and esophagus.  The hiatus hernia is an incidental finding that is not related to the development of the clinical problem.  
Individuals who exercise will often have heartburn due to acid or food refluxing into the esophagus.  When you lift weights or do situps you strain and bear down increasing the pressure in the abdomen.  This increased pressure can overcome the pressure in the lower esophageal sphincter causing material to reflux into the esophagus.  Therefore, although exercise does not make a hiatus hernia worse, it can cause symptoms that are often considered by the lay public to be associated with a hiatus hernia.  
The only way that you can prevent reflux is to avoid exercises that increase intraabdominal pressure, not a realistic option for most people who exercise.  The good news is that the reflux episode usually lasts a short time and there is no long term consequences of the reflux.  However, if you are in the minority of patients who have severe reflux symptoms associated with exercise, you may consider taking one of the over-the-counter H2 receptor antagonists e.g. Pepcid AC, Tagamet HB etc.  If your symptoms are very bad, you should be evaluated by your physician.
This response is being provided for general informational purposes only and should not be considered medical advice or consultation.  Always check with your personal physician when you have a question pertaining to your health.
HFHSM.D.-rf
*keywords: hiatus hernia, esophageal reflux
0.4




Related Discussions
0 Comments
Blank
Avatar_n_tn
A related discussion, What to do? What to do? was started.
Blank
Avatar_m_tn
A related discussion, consequences of the reflux was started.
Continue discussion Blank
This Forum's Experts
351246_tn?1379685732
Dr. Kokil MathurBlank
Consultant
,
MedHelp Health Answers
Blank
Weight Tracker
Weight Tracker
Start Tracking Now
RSS Expert Activity
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
The 3 Essentials to Ending Emotiona...
Sep 18 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Control Emotional Eating with this ...
Sep 04 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank
242532_tn?1269553979
Blank
Emotional Eating Control: How to St...
Aug 28 by Roger Gould, M.D.Blank