Looking for a Good Hiatal Hernia Diet?

November 12, 2012

Looking for a Good Hiatal Hernia Diet?

Perhaps you’ve just recently been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. A hiatal hernia occurs when you stomach passes through your diaphragm into your chest. If you remember your anatomy, you know that the diaphragm is muscle that separates your stomach from your chest. The hernia goes through the diaphragm at the place called the hiatus. This happens to be the opening in the diaphragm that the esophagus goes through. And, recall that the esophagus is a long tube that connects the throat to the stomach. Although there are several types of hiatal hernias, the most common is the sliding form. This often occurs when muscles around the hiatus have weakened. Fortunately, most people do not have symptoms. However, sometimes hiatal hernia is accompanied by gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or heartburn causing a feeling of warmth or burning in the upper chest region. The symptoms often occur after eating or when you are sleeping. If your symptoms are mild, your physician may suggest changes in lifestyle such as diet and nonprescription medications.

Finding a good hiatal hernia diet can be difficult simply because it has to meet the needs of each individual. In other words it must be personalized. If you’ve been looking at diets for some time, you may have found that you can eat some foods that are on the don’t eat (avoid) list and foods that you can’t eat that are on the do eat (safe) list. The only thing you can do is experiment, that’s the key. Try as many foods as you can and make sure you keep a diary (food log) of everything you eat for a 2 to 4 week period along with any symptoms that occur and when they occur. This list is not only for you but for you doctor as well so you will know where you need to make any changes. Some people have very specific foods that will trigger heart burn while others may have to completely alter their dietary habits and it may take some time to get something to work.

There are a whole host of things you can to to change your diet. You can change what you eat, how much you eat, when you eat and how often you eat. The following list provides examples for you to try.

  • You’ll want to try eating 5 or 6 small meals (no big meals)

  • Drink a glass of water before you eat, you’ll eat less

  • Eat slowly and chew your food well

  • Don’t lie down after you have eaten

  • Wait for 2 or 3 hours after you eat to go to bed at night

  • Try to avoid chocolate, mint and alcohol

  • Stay away from spicy foods that have acid in them

  • Stay away from coffee

  • Do not chew tobacco

  • At night, try raising the head end of your mattress

  • Make sure you don’t wear tight clothing around your torso

An hiatal hernia diet can contain some fruits. Fruits that seem to work for most people include bananas and avocados. Probably not a good idea to eat tart apples such as the Granny Smith green ones. Some suggest that papaya and pineapple are good as well because they tend to neutralize acids in your stomach. On the other hand it’s probably not a good idea to eat green grapes. Nevertheless, you’ll need to try it before you condemn it and make sure you keep a record.

There are a number veggies you can try for example, broccoli, carrots, green beans and pea and meats such as lean beef, chicken and fish are excellent. Dairy wise try low fat cheeses and milk and for grains try rice, various bran or oatmeal cereals and multi-grain breads. Beverage wise you just can’t go wrong with water otherwise you might try cranberry juice no sugar added.

The best hiatal hernia diet is ultimately designed for you. Trial and error is necessary and make sure you keep a food diary so you know exactly which foods cause problems and when they cause problems. Your hiatal hernia diet can actually remove your heartburn symptoms and can do so quickly.

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