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GERD (Acid Reflux) Community
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Avatar universal

What are the symptoms of a Hiatal Hernia?

I had pretty bad reflux but more worrisome is the Irregular heartbeats. Cardio DR says there benign so now I'm wondering if the whole acid reflux/hiatal hernia is putting pressure on my heart or vagus nerve thus causing the palpitations. Is it worth going to a gastro Dr for further testing about this theory?
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Have you actually been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia? This post doesn't make it clear.

It's fairly unlikely that the hiatal hernia is putting pressure on your heart. Some trouble breathing occasionally? Sure, it might be the hernia. If your doctor says this is a non issue then it's very probably a non-issue. Have you been having more caffeine (or other stimulants) than usual? Or have you been under much stress/feeling anxious? This could cause those irregular heartbeats. When I asked about a similar question, my doc described it to me this way: your heart has what essentially amounts to a backup battery. If it stops beating right, the backup sends it a signal to get it moving again. Sometimes it sends that signal by accident, causing that weird heartbeat feeling. This can be caused by a variety of causes and is not something to worry about.

Although usually a hiatal hernia doesn't cause any symptoms, here are some that may appear:
    * Chest pain or pressure
    * Heartburn
    * Difficulty swallowing
    * Coughing
    * Belching
    * Hiccups
    * Pain: At times, a hiatal hernia causes chest pain or upper abdominal pain when the stomach becomes trapped above the diaphragm through the narrow esophageal hiatus.

It also makes GERD worse.

If you feel you may have a hiatal hernia, ask your doctor about either an EGD or a barium swallow test, both of which will show any structural anomalies.

Good luck.
Avatar universal
To clarify: the hiatal hernia can cause a chest pressure feeling, but it's not because it's actually pressing on the heart. As for the Vagus nerve, I can't say whether that could be causing heart issues (unlikely). Any structural difficulties would probably give other problems, like problems digesting.
Avatar universal
No I haven't been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. I just get really bad reflux and have read similar posts that relate irregular heartbeats with stomach issues. I guess I'm just looking for answers on what triggers my palpitations.

Thanks!
Avatar universal
I HAVE HAD GERDS FOR MANY YEARS...THESE ARE MY SYMPTOMS, CHEST PAINS, CANT LAY FLAT, I SLEEP WITH ABOUT 4 PILLOWS, I JUMP UP IN THE MIDDLE O THE NIGHT TO THROW UP WITH BURNING IN THE THROAT, EARS ETC...I SPIT MUCUS UP FOR HOURS AFTER THROWING UP AND BURNING...NON OF MY FOOD FEELS AS IF IT DIGEST....IT FEELS AS IF IT SITS IN MY CHEST, AS WELL WHEN I DRINK WATER IT FEELS NOT TO GO DOWN....I AM MISERABLE...AS WELL I HAVE TAKEN MANY TEST....ALL RESULT IN GERDS..AS WELL AS I HAVE A HIATAL HERNIA, AND I HAVE BEEN ON MEDS FOR YEARS SUCH AS PROTONIX, RANITIDINE...ETC....I WANT THE SURGERY...WHAT DO I HAVE TO LOSE....I HAVE PAINS SO PAID I THE TUMMY AND HAVE FITS WHEN ITS TIME TO DO NUMBER TOO...I AM IN AGONY WITH EMBARASSEMENT...ANYONE HAVE IT THIS BAD...IF SO PLEASE SHARE...
Avatar universal
First, don't sleep with 4 pillows. Either get a wedge that lifts you from the hip, or tilt the head of your bed up about a foot.

Second, find out to see if you're a good candidate for the surgery. If you are, I'd say go for it.

Good luck.
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