What Does a Hiatal Hernia Attack Feel Like? [Video]

Video: What Does a Hiatal Hernia Attack Feel Like?

Dr. Vikki reviews what patients feel when they have a hiatal hernia attack. The hernia itself does not cause symptoms. However, the factors that normally prevent stomach acid from refluxing into the esophagus may not work so well when you have a hiatal hernia. This puts the patient at risk for inflammation of the lower part of the esophagus. Watch the video as Dr. Vikki explains how this can cause other symptoms.

Transcript of the video

Hiatal hernia attack: classic symptoms

hiatal-hernia-attackDr. Vicky Peterson here. I’ve been asked to review what does a hiatal hernia attack feel like? It’s a really good question, and it’s not a single thing. There’s a variety of things, which makes sense when you consider that Hiatal Hernia Syndrome embraces about 20 different symptoms. But the classic [symptom] is definitely severe acid reflux, severe heartburn, which is pain in the chest and the esophagus area. And it can get so bad that the acid is up into your throat. Sometimes people have to spit that out, sometimes they vomit because there’s so much acid.

These are all variations on the theme of what the severe acid reflux can do. Now, a lot of times, because during the day gravity is pulling everything down to the ground, you’re getting some of gravity helping to keep your stomach down and your diaphragm moving better.

But when we get horizontal at night sleeping, then gravity is no longer helping. And that elevated stomach and that elevated diaphragm can cause you to wake up with the really horrific symptom, which is having a panic attack. You’re short of breath, your heart is racing, you’re anxious, panic, you have no idea why you have trouble breathing.

Should I go to the ER?

This is a profile that usually sends people quickly to the ER. I’ve definitely heard from those of you who have watched some of my videos before, of how many times you’ve been to the ER because you don’t want to ignore such a violent kind of attack.

But once you find out your heart is fine, your lungs are fine… a lot of times you’re told you’re just having a panic attack, which there’s no, just about it’s a pretty miserable experience. But that is a classic during the night.

sleep-problem-hiatal-hernia-attackNow, it’s not to say during the day you can’t feel shortness of breath or have some heart palpitations and a feeling of anxiety, but there’s the intensity of — during the night you’re sound asleep and you wake up gasping for air, and all of this kind of cascades, sometimes the acid can get so bad and the irritation so bad and the esophagus, people have trouble swallowing because your stomach, here’s your diaphragm, your stomach’s a bit on the left side… So when the stomach spasms, it can’t easily as accept food as well as if it was in its relaxed state — which is as it should be. So, people remark that: “I just can’t eat very much. I can’t eat a normal meal. I’m taking very small bites and I just get full really fast”.

Another thing is that distension feeling just under your ribs — typically it’s on the left. It doesn’t have to be, it can be on the right as well. The diaphragm is on both sides, but the stomach is on the left. But you get this distension feeling and really uncomfortable bloating. That’s another symptom associated with an attack.

So it’s not a single thing like a stabbing pain, right where my stomach is. There’s several issues associated with it.

Sometimes people have tingling down their arm. That’s usually if they’re having the panic attack or anxiety, shortness of breath, they can get that feeling as well. But the major ones are the ones that I just reviewed, and hopefully that will clarify if you’re having one.

Now, it’s not to say those symptoms can’t be associated with other things as well. They certainly can be.

Hiatal Hernia Syndrome: The Book

Dr Vikki Petersen's book: Hiatal Hernia SyndromeAnd that’s really why my new book is called Hiatal Hernia Syndrome, and its subtitle is “Many Symptoms One Cause“. Because it is that long list of symptoms that have this one root cause that very often is misdiagnosed. A lot of times, people are told “You have a small hiatal hernia, it couldn’t possibly be causing all these problems”. That is absolutely incorrect. “You have acid reflux, but we’ll just give you an antacid”. So this is where the importance comes in, and really delving in, and finding out if you do have this syndrome because it will replace antacids if you get to the root cause.

It will certainly replace anti-anxiety medication, antidepressant medication, if you were put on it for that reason. If you were put on sleeping pills because you’re waking up with these panic attacks. There are so many directions it can go erroneously because the actual Hiatal Hernia Syndrome is not being diagnosed.

An invitation

If you feel like this [hiatal hernia attack] is you, and you want help, we truly have become experts in this field in the last decade. I don’t know anybody who knows as much about this as my team does here in Florida. So please, reach out. We’d be more than happy to talk with you, and offer you a free consultation, and see what the best approach is for you. Give us a call at (408) 733-0400.

Additional resources:

Finding Natural Relief for Hiatal Hernia
Hiatal Hernia Syndrome and Gluten: Connecting the Dots
Hiatal Hernia Diagnosis: Why Often Missed? 

Why Root Cause Medical Clinic?

The medical approach used at Root Cause Medical Clinic seeks to uncover the underlying root cause creating your body’s ill health or malfunction. If you have hiatal hernia attacks, just like for other pathologies, we develop a personal program to end the discomfort and return you to health.

Lobby of Root Cause Medical Clinics in Clearwater FLOur main objective is to identify the stressors overwhelming your body. They may be lifestyle- or diet-related. They may stem from a malfunction of a system, such as the central nervous system.

These stressors are inhibiting the ability of your body to heal itself.

Be assured that if you have hiatal hernia attacks, there is a root cause for it. Let’s find it.

Our clinical team share the same philosophy on health. They combine their experience in functional medicine, nutrition and dietetics, physical therapy and chiropractic to go to the root cause and help you heal faster.

Root Cause Medical Clinic is located in downtown Clearwater, FL at the corner of Ft Harrison Ave. and Magnolia.

We also offer telehealth medicine services if coming to our clinic is not convenient. If you live in another state, please call us to see if we can serve you.  Your first consultation is on us.


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