Patient Comments: Hiatal Hernia - Symptoms


What symptoms have you experienced with hiatal hernia? Submit Your Comment

Comment from: CrazyMe, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: November 13

I am 57 years old and I've been diagnosed with a sliding hiatal hernia 12 years ago. I suffer with pain in my chest, my esophagus feels like I have cuts in it and I have breathing problems when I eat too much. I feel nauseous when my stomach is empty and even after I eat. I feel bloated after I eat and can't get comfortable when I sit. With COVID pandemic my endoscopy was postponed twice. I'm scheduled one in December.

Comment from: Kpcakes17, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: October 29

I have suffered greatly with a combination of hiatal hernia and GERD in the past 6 months. Years ago I was diagnosed with a small hiatal hernia via endoscopy and CT scans. Recently, I have had bouts of stomach ache, nausea, upper back pain, burping and indigestion with certain trigger foods. As I am lactose intolerant this adds to my pain. I used to be suffering every 2 weeks, but past week daily and at night. I cannot take much more.

Comment from: Rockinswife, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: July 28

I was diagnosed with a sliding hiatal hernia 12 years ago and it's been really painful and stressful. I’ve been having pain every day for the past 6 months. I have been struggling with shortness of breath for 5 years and seen the pulmonologist, and he said that I could be developing asthma. I didn't know that a hernia can cause shortness of breath! I also have been experiencing pain in my esophagus. I am hoping to have an endoscopy soon and see if my hernia is big enough to repair.

Comment from: Kurka35, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: June 30

I am pretty sure I have a hiatal hernia. But I wonder if you are supposed to feel it when you lie down! My stomach hurts when I even touch it or when wearing pants, and I am always short of breath. I can’t bend over, always feeling like something is clicking or hitting, very uncomfortable. My heart races, I have awful indigestion, chest pain, shoulder pain, headaches, and terrible time swallowing, feels like always something in my throat! Wonder if anyone else feels this.

Comment from: BettyBoop, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: March 03

I was diagnosed with a hiatal hernia 2 years ago. My symptoms were, whenever I would drink water, tea, or juice, I would always get a sharp burning in the middle of my chest. It is so uncomfortable, but doesn't last too long. The pain would only last about 2 to 3 minutes, and go away. I have that pain, maybe 3 times a month. My doctor is not recommending any type of treatment yet.

Comment from: Cal, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 10

I’ve had GERD for many years, took many stomach drugs which worked temporarily. I had an endoscopy for gastritis and was found to have a hiatal hernia. I am getting off PPI (proton pump inhibitor) drugs because they deplete your calcium. I take slippery elm, eat small meals, don’t lie flat, and am losing weight. Also I’m eating more organic food. I’m feeling much better except for shortness of breath at times and reflux when I eat spicy foods.

Comment from: GG, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 31

I have severe central chest pain between my breasts, trouble swallowing, nausea, and profuse sweating from hiatal hernia.

Comment from: Brandy, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: October 28

I also have a hiatal hernia and have many of the symptoms mentioned by others. The one symptom I have had, not mentioned by others is a racing heart or heart palpitations. Wonder if there is anyone else that has experienced this.

Comment from: Lee, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I was diagnosed with hiatal hernia 2 years ago and my symptoms were similar to when I had gastric ulcers. Since January this year I have experienced lots of chest pain that goes into my left arm, face, back and under my left rib. I have lots of pressure in the middle of my chest, sometimes like something is sticking under my rib, and the pain is on the left side of my stomach. Episodes can last weeks! I have been to the emergency room 5 times this year. I have had numerous ECG, and 2 heart scans that were normal.

Comment from: Steele003, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 24

I grew up eating small portions or one meal dish because of my hiatal hernia. I always feel full. I had pneumonia at 16. If I was so hungry, I ate too fast or ate too much, I always fought with vomiting, tummy ache, and constipation. I tried gluten-free food and I felt better. I will have one more test before the surgeon and I will discuss more afterward about hiatal hernia. My back itching and sweating get worse, maybe it is from menopause or worried if it is a cancer sign.


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Comment from: Hunter420, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

I've had hiatal hernia symptoms of coughing up my pills, vomiting, and difficulty in burping. I have saliva build up in my throat, especially at night. It takes hours to fall asleep. I also feel like I have trouble breathing, and at times it is also very bothersome to put any weight on my abdomen, back and sides. I had upper endoscopy last week and the doctor said everything looked ok, so I don't know what to do.

Comment from: EdnaM, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: September 18

My hiatal hernia symptoms are acid getting into my lungs, coughing and asthmatic symptoms brought on by fluid in lungs, acid in mouth, and nausea.

Comment from: Jim, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: August 14

With my hiatal hernia I have pain and hardness from the sternum radiating up to my jaw, difficulty swallowing, frothy saliva, and shallow breathing.

Comment from: Deb, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 25

I was diagnosed with a large hiatal hernia 6 years ago when I went to the emergency room thinking I was having a heart attack. I hate the surgery, and trying to manage by lifestyle. Stress seems to have a negative effect. When it acts up, my chest, throat, upper abdomen, back, and even teeth hurt a lot. Usually, the application of heat helps. I curl up in a ball, with heat strips around my mid-section, and pray for relief.

Comment from: Hotdogs, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

My hiatal hernia is most likely caused by pregnancy. I have lump in the throat, volume reflux and heart burn, gas and regularly catching stomach bugs. I am burping all the time but you don’t notice it until someone tells you to take note. I have chest pain which is what makes you think it’s something more serious. When I got stressed it made it worse and I also have a weird irritating cough.

Comment from: girlie, 35-44 Female (Patient) Published: July 03

I have severe heartburn and a constant burning sensation under my right rib from hiatal hernia. I thought it was gallbladder symptoms at first until I had a CT scan. I sometimes feel like my muscle is caught between my ribs.

Comment from: Kenna Hooper, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 11

I have heart burn and acid reflux from hiatal hernia, food gets caught and I can't breathe. I throw up every night, and I have under ribs cramp from burning in my stomach all the time.

Comment from: Bobboe, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: February 27

I was sent to a medical center for a large liver cyst. It was discovered I also had hiatal hernia with over 40 percent of stomach in my chest. I had also had low iron and low blood which my regular doctors did not link to hernia. First thing the doctor at the medical center said was he knew why blood and iron were low. I had to wait until I could get a surgeon to do both liver and hernia at same time. I was taking Tums often and would have some chest pain sometimes but never expected hernia. I stayed one night in the hospital and stayed on liquid diet for 6 weeks. I lost 25 pounds. I still eat smaller portions. I still have some discomfort where stomach was pulled down and stitched. I would do it again. Blood and iron back to normal and no more antacids.

Comment from: vinod s., 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

I was troubled by acidity, and gas problems in the stomach for almost ten years. Due to the stomach gas, there was also a pain in the chest twice in the month. Various investigations revealed that this is happening due to the problem of gallstones 22 mm and hiatal hernia. I did both of these surgeries in January 2016. After this I stopped having acidity. That means the burning of the throat stopped, but the stomach gas has increased, and the problem of pain in the heart also started very soon. There is the problem of gas even if I eat a little food. I have problems eating beans, pulses, dessert, curd and milk products. Earlier there was pain in the heart, now there is pain in the jaw, along with heartache. Before surgery I was in a better position, life has become more difficult after surgery.

Comment from: Thisbe, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: December 22

My hiatal hernia was discovered in 2009 during the EGD (esophagogastroduodenoscopy) prior to my vertical sleeve gastrectomy surgery in (for weight loss). I had been suffering from GERD for several years, but this was a surprise. The surgeon repaired the hernia, and I have been on a PPI (proton pump inhibitor) ever since. They also said I had Barrett's esophagus, so I am on a 3 year schedule for EGDs. At the last one, the gastroenterologist said the hernia was back, but was still rather small, and because of scar tissue from the last surgery, he did not think it needed repair. Since then, I have been dealing with the GERD that is triggered by the hernia, and asthma that is triggered by the GERD; a vicious trifecta. Yesterday, I had a pulmonary function test for my asthma, and a resulting coughing fit aggravated the hernia. I felt like I had a large marble caught in my throat and could barely swallow. I will be seeing the gastroenterologist in a couple months, and I am hoping that I can convince him to fix the hernia so I can maybe feel normal again.


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Comment from: Judy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: June 24

I had a Nissan fundoplication 5 years ago and was told I had a hiatal hernia which was also to be repaired. I found out through an x-ray and the hernia was not fixed. I now cannot eat or drink without going into spasms, severe pain in the stomach and the back. The only way to relieve the pain is to force myself to vomit and get the liquid I do try to drink out. I became dehydrated and had to go to my emergency department to be hydrated again. As I read other people’s problems I too have the white foamy liquid I have to spew out as well. I have never felt so bad in my entire life and will insist on having the hernia repair as soon as possible. Hopefully I will get back to being hale to eat and drink normally and get on with my busy life with my 5 beautiful grand kids. Take care everyone and hope you get the answers you need.

Comment from: tnt, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 11

Hi to my fellow hiatal hernia sufferers. I also have GERD with a hiatal hernia. It has been going on now for 5 years, the pantoprazole and Nexium not working any more. I have tried everything except surgery. I have terrible chest, arm, back (between shoulder blades) and stomach pains. It pains at night as I try to lie down and sleep. I don’t know what to eat anymore as everything I eat causes pain. It is so bad I maybe get relief at 4 to 5 am. I have been up all night at times. My life is starting to be really awful. I am looking into surgery as a last option! I hope someone with my same symptoms has better luck. I will keep you posted as to surgery results.

Comment from: Robert K., 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: April 05

I had hiatal hernia surgery days ago, expect to be fine in a few more days. One thing is carbonated beverages are forbidden for a while, yet the only thing that helps my bloated feeling is burping, which I wait for until I continue eating. I thought a soda drink would help with that. I also have pain in my left shoulder; curious side effect. One other thing that might help people during recovery is chicken soup with rice, and similar things, which can be ‘souped up’ in a blender, and provide a good nourishing liquid meal.

Comment from: Pud, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: October 06

I have been treated for a hiatal hernia since 2001. My main symptom is belching and bloating. I do not get heart burn. I have tried all OTC antacids, and several prescription ones (which helped moderately). I have decided to have surgery by a hiatal hernia repair specialist. Stay tuned.

Comment from: MarknCA, Male (Patient) Published: July 14

I have just been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia and ulcer. For years I have been taking pantoprazole and ranitidine. Yet I vomit every night and just about any time I am horizontal. I can never eat a large meal (I made the mistake one time and threw up for an hour during the night covering the bedroom and bathroom.) I have pain after every meal and exhaustion and constipation. I can't eat anything acidic; juice, alcohol, grapefruit as well as chocolate, coffee, and coke. The exhaustion after meals is the worst part along with the constant washing of sheets.

Comment from: Cham, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: April 30

I was told I had a hiatal hernia at 16, and now at 37 it is much worse. I was told back then that I was just too young for the surgery but now as nothing I do ever gives me more than a few hours relief, I feel like going to the doctor and begging him to do the surgery. I know they say they know how we feel but unless you have one you don't know what it is like to look at food and want to throw up because you know if you eat that is what will happen. I have been on every acid blocker I have ever heard of and yes, they reduce the symptoms but I am tired of hurting all the time, not getting enough sleep, and simply not being able to eat foods I like (even bland food hurts). When a glass of water sets it off, well, it is time to do something different.

Comment from: 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: March 06

I just had my third upper endoscopy. I've had acid reflux for 18 years since a car accident. The head of my bed has been raised, and the medications have increased over the years. Now I have excruciating pain under my sternum that goes to my backbone, up the back of my neck and now to both sides of my jaw and teeth. It lasts for about half an hour now and feels like a heart attack. Doctors have scratched their heads, ruled out heart problems and now I have a large hiatal hernia and have been referred to a surgeon.

Comment from: MIKE P, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: October 15

I feel like someone grabs me under the breastbone, then twists and squeezes at the same time. The pain and pressure from hiatal hernia go right up to my throat and ears. I drink a tall glass of ice cold water and the symptoms disappear immediately.

Comment from: Mac, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I have had severe stomach aches for a year right after I eat regardless of what it is. I just had an endoscopy and have a hiatal hernia but no acid reflux - just the stomach aches. I am now on Prilosec and hope I can get off the BRAT diet and eat - afraid in case I get that horrible stomach again.

Comment from: Pendara, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

I had norovirus 7 years ago with severe vomiting. Afterwards, my voice was raspy. Several doctors later, I was diagnosed with GERD (I"ve never had heartburn) and given every medicine under the sun for it. Voice remained raspy and at night, I would wake with ear pain from acid backing up. Finally a doctor said I could have a sliding hiatal hernia, even though endoscopy didn"t reveal such. He offered more medicines. I went to a chiropractor, who did an adjustment. Six weeks later, no more acid backup at night and my voice is slowly recovering, though scarring may prevent its full recovery.

Comment from: DDee, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 27

I think I have hiatal hernia. I have, for years, had episodes where I am unable to swallow anything, even saliva. Other times, I start eating, and I have to run, throw up, then am unable to eat for a while. This has been going on now, since mid-90s. I went to the emergency room the one time I simply felt as if food was stuck in my esophagus, and I was not able to throw it up, or get it down after 8 hours.

Comment from: Marionsbabygirl, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: October 03

I was diagnosed with a large periesophageal hernia In June while having an EGD done, I hadn't read the paperwork the time that I was released, and the doctor said nothing. In August I went to the emergency room (ER) for chest pains. I had pneumonia in my left lung. I stayed overnight, got treated and released. September 28, 2019 I had to go to the ER and they said they couldn't help and those were symptoms of my large hernia. My gastrointestinal doctor still hasn't responded to my calls, even the ER doctor sent her a message that I was in the ER, but he had to release me, and I suffer from hernia.

Comment from: rfrs777, 75 or over Female (Patient) Published: July 30

I am wondering how things are after the operation for hiatal hernia, I hope the pain I have will be gone and I can eat.

Comment from: Me, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

I'm 47 years young. I had my surgery for hiatal hernia back at 36. In a nutshell here, I was told these things after I had the surgery, in my case that are all lies: That I could eat anything I want, I would belch, I could throw up… lie after lie and as much Gas-X that I wanted. I wished I had never got the surgery. My pain is so severe to the point I feel as if I could die. Out of nowhere comes a horrible want to throw up. Puts me in bed for a day with cramps. I have bloating, my stomach makes all full noises, and I hurt.

Comment from: Fi, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: September 25

I am post laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication for hiatal hernia by two weeks. I am still on a sloppy diet and suffering from terrible flatulence which I did not have before. What is worse is not making it in time to the toilet. It is like an explosion of diarrhea and is wrecking my life.

Comment from: Rufus and coral, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: August 17

I suffer severe nausea from my hiatal hernia and feel peculiar especially when I get up and go to another room. It is hard to explain, feels rather eerie. I am trying to find what foods and drink should be avoided. The doctor prescribed omeprazole makes me feel worse. At the moment I am taking a homeopathic remedy which seems to help for nausea.

Comment from: Jo, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: May 01

My hiatal hernia feels like it gets stuck at my ribs. I have been coughing a lot and wham, there it was stuck, and it has been stuck 2 days.

Comment from: Sam, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: April 26

I had a hiatal hernia repaired in January and I threw up for two and a half weeks before anybody found out that my esophagus was stopped up. I was wondering if the repair could have caused the esophagus to mess up, I still have trouble and I'm still throwing up.

Comment from: Chuck, 65-74 Male (Patient) Published: January 18

I have had a hiatal hernia all my life. The doctor suggested I was fed solid food as a child before I was capable of digesting solid food. It became a real issue for me as a teenager. I cannot consume caffeine without having gastric issues or vomiting. I consumed antacids for years. I now drink three or four bottles a day of a table spoon of baking soda in a bottle of water. The alkaline water helps tremendously. With all the issues with post-surgery, I will not have surgery.

Comment from: theresa, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 18

I have had a hiatal hernia for 3 years now. The doctor said I should have surgery but first I have to lose 10 pounds. I have been trying, nothing is working, but instead I have been gaining. It seems I lose a pound then the next day I gain 2; this has been going on for years! I have been on chicken and rice for weeks, homemade and no crackers. I have been to the emergency room about every 3 weeks for pain and very high blood pressure 218/96. I need to lose weight!

Comment from: horsebiscuit, 55-64 Male (Patient) Published: May 17

I was diagnosed year and a half ago with hiatal hernia. It is nothing but pure agony since. I changed diet, did everything the doctors said, and still in pain. I think it is time for surgery. I found out I’m also lactose intolerant, recently going to the doctor. Today I had an attack, Saturday night 5/14, and because the pain felt like a heart attack it scared me and my wife; called 911 no heart attack. Thank goodness, I just want the pain to stop.

Comment from: nursewanda, (Caregiver) Published: November 03

My husband had a moderate hiatal hernia several years ago with the classis GERD symptoms. He had a laparoscopic Nissen fundoplication and did well for a while. After approximately three years the symptoms came back worse than before so he went in to see his prior surgeon. Through a series of test he determined that the procedure had failed and the hernia was back so this time he had an open Nissen which was major surgery. About 4 months ago and more than 12 years after the surgery here we go again except the symptoms are worse than ever. Now he's having chest pain, abdominal distention, shortness of breath, etc. He was admitted to the hospital two weeks ago where through a CT scan they determined the hernia is now so large that over half of his stomach is in his chest and it is almost touching the lower chambers of his heart. We have an appointment with one of the top surgeons who specializes in the procedure and has 9 published articles on the topic so wish us luck.

Comment from: jon, 45-54 Male (Patient) Published: August 12

I have gas and pain in my stomach under my ribcage, I am concerned it is hiatal hernia.

Comment from: CalabZ, 65-74 Female (Patient) Published: September 30

I have been suffering with hiatal hernias (4) for 2 months. I was in the operation room (OR) and they cancelled my surgery because my blood pressure went very high and my oxygen level dropped to 80. They found I have an elevated diaphragm with a paralyzed lung making it hard to breathe at times. This has been since I was a baby. Now I have these hernias and they sent me to another hospital to a pulmonologist. I am very high risk and will have to be on respirator for surgery. I am in pain and very swollen. Certain foods really irritate. It even affects my walking. The surgery is scheduled within the next two weeks. I am told it is the worst surgery I will ever have. I have had 26 including colon cancer and the removal of 18 inches of colon.

Comment from: stanall, 75 or over Male (Patient) Published: August 26

I am avid cyclist I have a hiatal hernia. It all started a few years ago. When I start to climb I get heartburn followed by shortness of breath and I have to stop.

Comment from: Kathy, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: May 21

I"ve just been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. I"ve had some epigastric pain 2-3 times over the past 6 months, but most recently a 2 week bout of nausea after 5 hours of epigastric pain. I"m trying to watch what I eat, eating more and more of low residue diet, and small quantities at a time. I don"t want surgery. I"m a registered nurse and see too many problems with abdominal surgeries. I get a little heartburn and occasional burning in my chest (like chest pain); I"m going to see how long I can go the non-invasive holistic approach. Hoping I don"t have to have surgery!

Comment from: panama8, 35-44 Male (Patient) Published: December 12

I got off a five hour plane trip at 2:15 and by 3:30 I felt as if something in my chest exploded and the pain I felt led me to believe I was having a heart attack. I was rushed to the hospital but all my enzymes were fine and a heart attack was ruled out and Hiatal Hernia was the cause. The pain is excruciating and really mimics a heart attack. I am now afraid to eat or to lay down on my bed I use four pillows. The burping and nausea is also present.

Comment from: badgersue, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: January 30

Once I throw up I am able to eat again. I have not been diagnosed with a hiatal hernia though. My doctor doesn't seem to equate my symptoms with any particular malady.

Comment from: tatty, 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

When lying down in bed, a sudden volcanic-like eruption from the stomach or hernia will push stomach acid straight up my esophagus into my mouth with incredible force. The pain from the acid burn literally burns my tongue, my throat and esophagus all the way down. It hurts really badly. Air hitting my throat hurts! I'm always afraid to lie down and eat after these episodes.

Comment from: herniagirl, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: December 12

My symptoms are pinching debilating pain under my rib cage. I also get gastroitis and take meds for acid reflux. Bloating and pain after eating or drinking to much. The only relief is laying down or going to the chiropractor to get it pushed back down where it belongs.