A hernia of the esophagus is a condition in which some internal organs move from the abdominal cavity to the chest cavity through an enlarged esophageal opening in the diaphragm. The stomach, the lower part of the esophagus, the loops of the small intestine can move.
Symptoms of a hernia of the esophagus
Hernia of the esophagus can be congenital and acquired. One of the causes of the disease is an increase in the elasticity of the tissues bordering the esophageal opening of the diaphragm. Often, a hernia can manifest itself under the influence of conditions that increase intrauterine pressure (for example, hard physical labor). Sometimes the cause of the disease can be pregnancy, constipation, overeating, overweight, pathology of the gastrointestinal tract. The symptoms are similar to those of reflux esophagitis, which is considered the initial stage of hernia of the esophagus.
The main symptom of a hernia of the esophagus is pain. Because they can be confused with symptoms of other diseases, a chest x-ray is taken to establish an accurate diagnosis. Pain can occur after eating, during physical exertion, when bending over, in a supine position. Another major symptom of a hernia of the esophagus is belching. Due to the ingestion of stomach contents into the esophagus, it can be sour or bitter. With heavy physical work, overeating, at night, the patient develops heartburn. It is caused by the ingress of acidic stomach contents into the esophagus due to insufficient function of the lower sphincter.
Patients may also experience hiccups, which can persist for several weeks or months.
Signs of a hernia of the esophagus are bleeding and dysphagia (swallowing disorder). With an exacerbation of the disease, partial or complete obstruction of food through the esophagus is likely for some time. The appearance of anemia in a patient indicates the presence of bleeding. With a hernia of the esophagus, pain in the tongue (glossalgia) and hoarseness of the voice may appear. This is due to the appearance of a peptic burn due to the throwing of the contents of the stomach and duodenum into the oral cavity.
How to treat a hernia of the esophagus
When a hernia of the esophagus appears, factors that can lead to the further development of the disease should be excluded. After a complete examination, the patient is prescribed medication, a strict diet. You need to eat a little and often. Fatty, spicy, salty, fried foods, alcohol, coffee should be excluded from the diet.
After a course of therapy, patients must constantly follow a diet.
The patient should take drugs that reduce the acidity of the contents of the stomach, as well as drugs that reduce gastric secretion, drugs that protect the mucous membrane of the esophagus. A course of therapeutic exercises is also prescribed, aimed at strengthening the diaphragm and abdominal muscles. A hernia of the esophagus with advanced or complicated forms is treated with surgery.