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People with a hiatal hernia may be more likely to have acid reflux. Find out why.

Acid reflux, hiatal hernias, vomiting, complications from radiation therapy, and certain oral medications are among the reasons the esophagus can develop inflamed tissue. Esophagitis can usually heal without intervention, but to aid in the recovery, eaters can adopt what’s known as an esophageal, or soft food, diet.

diet for gerd and hiatal hernia

Here’s what you need to know. In serious cases, a hiatal hernia can cause bleeding, strangulation, and perforation of the stomach, says Castro. According to the book, Hiatal Hernia Surgery, published in August 2017, suggests that the relationship between these conditions is relatively intertwined and has clinical significance.

When irritation occurs in the throat or lower chest when eating certain foods or following a medical procedure, an easily digestible esophageal soft food diet may be necessary to make eating easier. Large hernias, on the other hand, are readily apparent and some require surgery. In addition, a larger hernia can cause stomach acids and food to travel up into the esophagus. Acid in the esophagus can lead to discomfort and heartburn.

If you are overweight or obese, water intake should be even greater. A simple rule of thumb is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water. For example, if you weight 200 pounds, you should drink no less than 100 ounces of water per day (or roughly three-quarters of a gallon). Always eat at a table.


While the diet recommendations are aimed at reducing the cause of GERD, there are also some foods that may irritate an already damaged esophagus from reflux or aggravate these symptoms. Straining at stool over time may force part of the stomach up into the chest, contributing to GERD acid reflux disease. This may explain why hiatal hernia is extremely rare among populations eating high-fiber diets. Hiatal hernia also causes symptoms of discomfort when it is associated with a condition called gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly called GERD. This condition is characterized by regurgitation of stomach acids and digestive enzymes into the esophagus through a weakened sphincter that is supposed to act as a one-way valve between the esophagus and stomach.

A hiatus hernia itself rarely has any noticeable symptoms. However, it can cause a problem called gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD).

Quality CareFind out why Mayo Clinic is the right place for your health care. Make an appointment. Sometimes acid reflux presents without heartburn, causing what is known as silent reflux.

Lifestyle Changes

Signs and symptoms of esophagitis include cough, mouth sores, chest pain, bad breath, sore throat, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing. EndoscopyEndoscopy is a broad term used to described examining the inside of the body using an lighted, flexible instrument called an endoscope.

For those who do, heartburn and indigestion will be the most common ones experienced. While medications may provide some relief, effective coping strategies are rooted in mitigating discomfort in the first place. If you have a hiatal hernia, some basic approaches-from diet changes to weight loss to hydration-can go a long way in helping you manage your condition and overcome the occasional flare-up. Not everyone has the same triggers for acid reflux, so keeping a food journal and noting any symptoms can be helpful. Certain foods that bother one person may not affect someone else.

The goal of this kind of diet is to make eating less painful and to keep food from lingering in the esophagus and causing irritation. It is important to note that roughly half of the people who have hiatal hernias do not experience symptoms, and many of the symptoms mimic other health problems. Make sure to get regular checkups with your physician in order to get a proper diagnosis. Before starting any diet or exercise program, it is critical to discuss the available options with your doctor. Any changes in lifestyle should be discussed as well.

diet for gerd and hiatal hernia

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