The definition of a hernia is an abnormal protrusion of a part of an organ through the containing wall. The hiatus in this case is in the diaphragm muscle where the oesophagus passes from the chest to the abdominal cavity. There are two types. In the first the diaphragm is simply weak and when the stomach contracts to push the digested food through into the duodenum, it refluxes back up into the oesophagus . The second situation is one where the upper part of the stomach becomes trapped above the oesophagus, either permanently or temporarily, the diaphragm tightens and the acid flows into the lower part of the oesophagus directly.
Treatment must vary depending on the individual situation. Toning of the diaphragm is vitally important and very often overlooked by the orthodox world. A diaphragm that is too tight because of hyperventilation and stress requires relaxation techniques, where as a diaphragm with a weakened opening needs some tightening. Fortunately, yoga breathing techniques with specific relaxation teaching will cover both angles by toning the diaphragm. Excess acidity may also be a cause, as may obesity. The amount of fat visible on the outside of a body is often reflected within, and fat in the abdominal cavity will push upwards on the stomach, encouraging acid to flow the wrong way and the stomach to be forced through the diaphragm.
Persisting discomfort may require an endoscopy and will follow unsuccessful orthodox treatment using antacids and, specifically, calcium carbonate with a compound called algenic acid, which sits on the top of the stomach acid, much like algae on a pond. Acid reflux is then prevented from touching the oesophageal sides by the oil-like layer.
Diagnosis of a hiatus hernia can only be made through an endoscopy but the symptoms that are suggested are those of dyspepsia . The following recommendations can be used if a hiatus hernia is suspected prior to endoscopy.
Learn a yogic breathing technique and meditation exercise.
Any suggestion of being overweight – try to lose it.
Do not stoop, preferably learn to pick things up by bending at the knee. Raise the head of the bed by placing two bricks at the head end – this will allow gravity to pull the stomach and contents downwards.
Avoid antacids as much as possible and certainly do not use anything containing aluminium. Algenic acid is a godsend in acute or night-time situations and can be used until other techniques bear fruit.
Use slippery elm compounds or pure slippery elm before bed, after meals and if uncomfortable up to a maximum of six times per day.
Alcohol, smoking, caffeine and refined sugars all increase stomach acid production and will worsen a hiatus hernia. Specific food intolerance may be noted and food allergy testing through bioresonance or blood tests is recommended. Food allergies can weaken musculature and may be the underlying cause of the failure of the diaphragm to work as an effective valve.
Do not eat late at night or lie down within 2hr of eating. Siestas should be had in an upright position if this is your custom.
Operative procedures may be necessary in severe cases when the above recommendations and both naturopathic and orthodox drug treatments have failed. If so . Nausea is the most common early-warning symptom issued by the brain to advise us of an incorrect situation. Diseases of any part of many major organs, such as the kidney, liver, gut or even the heart, may be heralded by nausea. Persisting nausea may represent cancer. Obstruction by stricture, inflammation or tumour anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract can lead to, and be a cause of, vomiting.
In principle any toxin in the system, whether it is created by, say, a failing kidney or liver, the ingestion of bacteria, such as in food poisoning, or excess alcohol, will cause nausea or potential vomiting.
The act of vomiting generally suggests that the body has reached a toxic state and is trying to rid itself of a poison. Vomiting is often associated with sweating, another eliminatory process, and may be accompanied by a need to urinate or defecate. If the toxin is in the stomach or the upper part of the intestine then the vomiting may be curative, but very often the poison lies in the bloodstream, has influenced the vomit centres in the brain and is therefore of no direct use. Vomiting without an obvious cause, or a persistence of vomiting, must be assessed by a GP.
Another of the most common causes of nausea is low blood sugar. Often associated with hunger, low blood sugar levels can trigger nausea. This is an odd paradox because nausea usually reduces appetite. I suspect that nausea is a more aggressive way for the brain to attract attention to the need for food when hunger pangs have failed. The feeling of an impending vomit is not necessarily a digestive problem. However, the emptying of the stomach contents is.
Nausea or vomiting without any obvious cause that is sudden, copious or persistent must be reviewed by a GP to rule out a more serious underlying cause.
Once the cause has been established, certain techniques listed below can be utilized but the principal treatment should be against the underlying cause.
Half an inch of fresh root ginger chopped into a mug of boiling water may be drunk when the temperature is acceptable.
A combination of chamomile tea with a teaspoonful each of sage and rosemary per pint of boiling water can be very soothing if drunk every 15min.
The homeopathic remedies Ipecacuanha, Nux vomica and Carbo vegetabalis may help. Try one of these remedies at potency 6 every lOmin and if there is no response after three doses, try the next.
There is an acupressure point that may be very beneficial in nausea or vomiting. Place three fingers up the forearm starting at the wrist crease. The third finger will lie over a sensitive point, which should have pressure applied to it for approximately Imin.
If the nausea is associated with not having eaten for several hours or following a particularly sweet meal , eat a piece of fruit and see what happens.
Correlate with the possibility of a food intolerance or allergy if the nausea is sporadic.
See Motion sickness if relevant.
Persisting nausea despite the above recommendations should result in a consultation with a complementary medical practitioner.
Orthodox antinausea drugs should be used only when conditions are not responding to complementary treatment.