Friday, March 20, 2009 12:15

Hiatus hernia is a weakness in that part of the diaphragm where the gullet passes through. It is very tiring and often painful. Regurgitation of acid burns when you want to lie down. Gas gets caught in the upper bowel and causes flatulence. Loads of antacid mixtures are often taken in an effort to relieve the distress.

Kindergarten teachers are prone to this condition. You can see why, when you imagine all the bending over they do each day looking after small people. Their abdominal organs are squashed up and the diaphragm can and does become slack in this area.

Heavy lifting, above your own normal limit, can also weaken the diaphragm. This then causes a small part of the stomach to squeeze up into the chest cavity. Hiatus hernia can also be a result of large babies or a multiple pregnancy.

There are many aggravations — tension, yeast foods, breads, trifles and sponges, soda water and gassy drinks that fizz like champagne. All these can bring on an attack of pain. The gas builds up and causes distension. You arch the back to ease the pain.

You can’t bend forward, you have to sleep sitting up on pillows, tight belts are unbearable. Life is miserable. You’re exhausted, cranky, your abdomen swells and you feel fat even though your weight is the same!

We do a downward abdominal massage which gradually eases the pain. The massage is very gentle, respecting the position of the stomach and artery. The built-up gases, which are causing you agony, disperse – sometimes to your embarrassment, but not unexpectedly. You can burp and feel good again! Your stomach muscles relax and you wonder why you put up with the discomfort for so long.

Slippery elm powder or tablets are recommended, along with foods that don’t cause gas. Aloe vera is safe to use. Faulty digestion also has to be attended to. Buy digestive enzyme tablets and be impressed with the decreased flatulence. The combination of foods is important, as mixing certain foods is a recipe for abdominal disaster. (See the Hay diet rules under Indigestion in this section).

Homoeopathically, carbo vegetabilis saved my mother much colic from gas pain suffered for many years following an operation for a strangulated hiatus hernia. This combined with nux vomica gave her decided relief. After this, breakfast was always rolled oats with millet, bran and slippery elm.

Acupuncture is a very effective therapy as it relaxes the stomach and allows a return to normal function. Balancing the pulses gives an added sense of wellbeing which is often commented upon.

Trixie’s story-A dear friend was constantly in pain from a hernia. We would settle it down and then, back she would come again. Occasionally she would need her ribs adjusted to free the abdominal spasms, but most times it was just a matter of easing the stomach down.

Then it dawned on her that her hiatus hernia was being aggravated by the action of pulling down the heavy garage door to get the car out.

Don’t let the situation become so bad that a strangulation occurs and you vomit after eating! It is then a medical emergency, and you are out of our hands.


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