Hiatal hernia palpitations

Hiatal Hernia Causes Palpitations through

Many of my patients with hiatal hernia are having palpitations problems. 

In the following paragraphs, I will try to explain how hiatal hernia palpitations are related and what measures to take to ease the symptoms of both of them. 

Let me start with:

What is hiatal hernia? 

A hiatal hernia is a part of your stomach that pushes up to chest cavity through the opening of diaphragm called hiatus where esophagus goes through to get attached with stomach.

It may be a sliding hernia(stomach and the part of esophagus it slides up to chest) or next to esophagus called paraesophageal (only stomach pushes up to chest without the esophageal portion that attaches with it ) which are more dangerous because they can lead to stomach incarceration or ischemia of stomach tissue.

What symptoms of hiatal hernia you should look for?

These are surgery emergencies but if there are no symptoms at all, these type of hernias are just monitored to check their progression. The sliding type is more common and is a high risk for developing gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Hiatal hernias can give the sense of heartburn (caused by reflux), pain or pressure in the chest or in the upper abdomen due to the trapped stomach in the hiatus. Pain can be similar to a heart pain or angina with radiation in arm and the situation must be carefully evaluated. All the cases with a chest pain must be seen by a doctor, do not neglect it.

Difficulties in swallowing, hiccups, coughing and belching are common. Hiatal hernia palpitations and shortness of breath are also common.

What about hiatal hernia palpitation link?

Hiatal hernia palpitations are caused by the irritation of the vagus nerve. Vagus is part of the parasympathetic system and lowers the heart rate causing bradyarrhythmias. Larger hernias compress the left atrium causing ischaemia and anatomical block thus increasing the chances for developing atrial fibrillation. It is thought that even gastroesophageal reflux contributes to hiatal hernia palpitations but yet this is not clear.

Hiatal hernia palpitations - Treatment options

Treatment consists in correcting the hernia. Hiatal hernia palpitations happen when the hernial mass is huge and give important symptoms. Hernia can be corrected with surgery or in laparoscopically techniques. During the procedure surgeon makes sure to prevent re-herniating. He may perform a fundoplication (the fundus part of stomach is wrapped around the bottom of esophagus). This is considered as gold standart in preventing reflux and hiatal hernias.

For any kind of situation you must discuss with your doctor to decide whether you need or not surgery and of what kind. If you have hiatal hernia which is asymptomatic but you know you have it you must take action in how to prevent its progression or if you are in high risk in developing such hernias eliminate the risk factors (obesity).

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