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Hiatus hernia anyone?

(8 Posts)
nellyitsme Wed 30-Oct-19 12:22:31

Hi I got diagnosed with a hiatus hernia and oesophagitis about 6 months ago with an endoscopy and I'm wondering if anyone else has this and how you cope with it, what helps it and what makes it worse, what you eat and lifestyle changes you've made.

I'm on 20 mg of omeprazole daily and this helps with the symptoms - it's taken this long to get a working balance that suits me - I was off them, then on them short term and now my GP thinks a daily low dose is best as I had a suspected ulcer too, which cleared up.

I don't know what is best for me to eat, or if I'm honest, I do know but I keep pushing the boundaries and having cakes and scones etc, thinking the pills will stop any symptoms, and then it catches up with me and I get a flare up and have to take gaviscon as well for a few days at night.

I know I need to lose some weight and all the advice says excess weight makes the hiatus hernia worse but I can't get myself motivated or I don't know what diet to follow - I do know that fasting diets won't work for me. Has anyone successfully lost weight with HH and acid reflux etc. How did you do it? Thanks for any advice

OP’s posts: |
MangoSalsa Wed 30-Oct-19 12:45:19

I’ve lost weight with a hiatus hernia and it’s really, really lessened the symptoms, so it’s really worth it. So far I have lost nearly 3 stone, I have 1.5 stone to go.

Cut out sugar and cakes/biscuits. Only sweet thing I eat is fruit. Also have much smaller portions and rarely snack, cut back on fat. I do sometimes eat crisps/tortilla chips as a treat, but do so with a variety of homemade dips (guacamole, salsa, sweet potato) so I can treat it as a small meal. I also don’t eat meat/fish at every meal. Make a lot of veggie soups as I think these are easier to digest.

When I first started I did 4 or 5 small meals a day, 3-4 hours apart and that worked well for me too. I couldn’t do fasting at first- got way too hungry. But that changed over time. NowI have two meals a day. Something that really helped lately leaving 4-5 hours between meals and eating last meal 4-5 hours before bed. So my tummy is empty before bed and so much less chance of reflux. It’s pretty much 16:8.

Usually track meals/calories on MyFitnessPal. It really helped me work out sensible portion sizes.

At first I got a step counter and upped by steps each day. I aim for 10-12 thousand a day. After I lost 1 stone I took up running and after 2 stone added in some yoga. When I lose 3 stone I will add in another form of exercise- probably using a cross-trainer. This is because I think it gets harder to lose the more you have lost. I exercise most days- if I miss a day I make a big effort to exercise the next day so it doesn’t turn into a streak. I don’t exercise if I’ll though- had a cold recently and let my body rest.

My bed is propped up by 12” at the head and that really helped too with the reflux. It’s really improved my sleep and that has helped with weight loss too.

It’s been hard at times but the results are so worth it.

Good luck flowers.

smemorata Wed 30-Oct-19 12:49:54

I have a hh but my dr told me not to take medication every day just when the reflux is bad. The problem is I'm still not sure what triggers it except maybe stress. I am not overweight. Following for tips!

leckford Wed 30-Oct-19 12:50:56

It is possible to have a hiatus hernia repaired if it affects you badly, I had one and a repair.

Don’t think you can get it done on NHS

nellyitsme Wed 30-Oct-19 13:24:18

Wow thanks @MangoSalsa that's really helpful. I know I would be better if I ate smaller meals and cut down the carbs - It's good to hear it from other people as I'm my worst enemy at the moment and I know it's not doing myself any good. Did you follow any particular diet like the Mediterranean diet or weightwatchers etc
I know that stress exacerbates my symptoms too @smemorata and I had a very stressful time last year and I was eating too much processed rubbish and that always affects my digestive system

@leckford the hospital consultant seemed to think my HH didn't need an op. I'd like to manage myself if I can - although from reading my post it's clear I'm not doing very well

OP’s posts: |
MangoSalsa Wed 30-Oct-19 13:46:54

Hi @nellyitsme didn’t follow any particular diet, as I do low FODMAP for IBS which is already a lot of think about.

I did read Jillian Michaels’ “Master Your Metabolism” for some general lifestyle advice and background knowledge. It was very helpful, but it’s not a diet per se. I’ve been going for the adopt a healthier lifestyle I’ll stick with permanently approach rather than a diet. The book is a very sensible approach, it’s a good read.

I did look at lots of diets online for ideas and tips, and have gradually put together something that suits me. I enjoy the way I eat now.

BlackInk Wed 30-Oct-19 15:17:32

I also have a hiatus hernia. Apparently it's 'small' and unlikely to be causing me symptoms... although I have a multitude of nasty gastric symptoms, not specifically acid reflux, more discomfort, pain and bloating in upper stomach.
I'm not overweight and already eat a fairly sensible vegetarian diet. The more I eat the worse I feel, and I feel worse as the day goes on usually. I haven't been able to pinpoint any specific foods that make me feel worse.
PPIs like Omeprazole should only be taken short term and with caution as they can have an impact on how well nutrients from foods are absorbed -- we need high acidity in our stomachs to digest our food properly.

Walnutwhipster Wed 30-Oct-19 15:24:44

I've had one for years. I wouldn't even have known I had it if they hadn't told me. I don't produce any acid at all (I had a total vagotomy) so that probably helps but I was advised that surgery isn't considered unless absolutely necessary. I've had four major abdominal surgeries and am about to have a different type of hernia operated on because it's a high risk of strangulation.

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