A hiatal hernia is the protrusion (or herniation) of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm.
There are two major kinds of hiatal hernia:
The most common (95%) is the sliding hiatus hernia, where the gastroesophageal junction moves above the diaphragm together with some of the stomach.
The second kind is rolling (or paraesophageal) hiatus hernia, when a part of the stomach herniates through the esophageal hiatus and lies beside the esophagus, without movement of the gastroesophageal junction. It accounts for the remaining 5% of hiatus hernias.
I have treated children and adults with this condition. More commonly it is with women but men also can have it. There are a variety of causes which will be discussed later.
The symptoms are varied. I have found in my practice that the section below from Wikepedia ia quite accurate it’s description.
Hiatal hernia has often been called the “great mimic” because its symptoms can resemble many disorders. For example, a person with this problem can experience dull pains in the chest, shortness of breath (caused by the hernia’s effect on the diaphragm), heart palpitations (due to irritation of the vagus nerve), and swallowed food “balling up” and causing discomfort in lower esophagus until it passes on to stomach.
In most cases however, a hiatal hernia does not cause any symptoms. The pain and discomfort that a patient experiences is due to the reflux of gastric acid, air, or bile. While there are several causes of acid reflux, it does happen more frequently in the presence of hiatal hernia.
What is NOT accurate in Wikipedia is treatment. Chiropractic and visceral manipulation is very effective with no side effects. Sometimes only a few treatments are necessary. I encourage anyone with those symptoms above to be checked out and if applicable treated.