Hiatal Hernia Support Group

Hiatus hernia or hiatal hernia is the protrusion (or hernia) of the upper part of the stomach into the thorax through a tear or weakness in the diaphragm. The symptoms include acid reflux, pains, similar to heartburn, in the chest and upper stomach. In most cases, sufferers experience no discomfort and no treatement is required.

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help! have you had symptoms like these?

A few weeks ago, I had a feeling of intense pressure under my leftside ribcage. I also started to have pain. The doctor told me that I was constipated and I started taking Miralax. Since that time, I have had regular BMs everyday but my symptoms are worse!

I still have a sort of achy feeling under my rib. Like that area is just exhausted and weak. Sometimes I have sharp pains in the same area. I also have pain in my back. It's very localized and seems to be directly opposite the pain that I feel under my ribs. I have been experiencing some shortness of breath. I just feel a pressure in my chest, like something is there that shouldn't be. I started to eat less and less because it just felt odd, or wrong. Hard to describe. But now when I eat solid foods, I feel like there is a huge brick of food that just lodges in my chest under my ribs. It is the most uncomfortable thing. I don't feel like food is stuck in my throat, it's like it is stuck in my chest. Overall I have begun to feel very weak and so TIRED. It's gotten to the point that I have anxiety about eating and I am mostly getting by on applesauce and small amounts of broth. I also sometimes have these spasms under my left rib cage. Usually when I try to eat. They aren't painful, but they kind of freak me out.

Do these sound like symptoms you have had? I can't eat. I'm having trouble sleeping. I am seeing a gastro specialist on Friday so I hope they take me seriously and help me feel better!

Replies

deleted_user
deleted_user

I have a hiatal hernia. I have GERD. I have gastritis. My problems got worse last fall. I have (and still have to some degree), pain under left ribcage (to the left of center). Sometimes my pain was sharp (doubling me over). Other times just achy. AND...eventually that progressed to pain in the back. I also experienced shortness of breath. But that occurred primarily at night while trying to fall asleep and I believe some of that was due to anxiety. AND for quite a few years I use to experience spasms under left rib cage. I would say they were like flutters or a muscle twitch. Butterflies. I think it was all related.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hope I am replying in the right spot. Thanks so much, Kay. At least I know I'm not alone in feeling these symptoms. My rib pain sounds so similar. Sometimes stabbing and pretty much always achy. That whole area just feels tired out. I have also been having a lot of anxiety in conjunction with this mess and that is not typical for me. My appointment is today and hopefully we can figure something out!
deleted_user
deleted_user

let us know what you fibd out
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Stephanie - I sympathize very much with you.

To, me, this sounds like you do have a Hiatial Hernia. :(

I have the EXACT symptoms. My doctor (long story short) sent me away with a pat on the head and basiclally told me "it was all in my head -aka - stress).

I had the shortness of breath, under rib pain (but on right, some on left), food stuck in chest/throat, weird "spasms", heart palipitations.

My doc thought also Gastritis, which I had before so I was on PPI (pantaloc). No xray or scope was schceduled. but since my rib pain was so bad, I TOOK IT UPON MYSELF TO GO TO THE HOSPITAL EMERG - A DIFFERENT HOSPITAL - THEY GAVE ME SCOPE AND FOUND HIATIAL HERNIA. JUST THIS WEEK !!!!!!

I am very upset as , it is SCARY !!! there is no more "juncture" to shut off all those erosive acids from your esophogus. and eating/drinking is not enjoyable now. and the meds dry out your mouth and also add to the indigestion as they take away the gastric acids.

I feel for you. And others like me/us.

Very glad you seeing your gastro specialist.

Maybe you will be lucky and this will not be hernia. I hope for you it is not...................they can be dealt with but are scary and a pain in the butt !!!! (for altering eat/drink habits etc, no more lifing etc.).

Good luck, let us know what happens.

xo
deleted_user
deleted_user

Well the Dr has ordered an upper endoscopy so I guess we will see what happens. I am having trouble eating. I took a pill that she gave me for heartburn and after about 20 minutes I still feel like it's lodged in my throat :( I have to wait until the 11th for my procedure if everything goes well.
poorlygir4l
poorlygir4l

Hi Im the same. I have a hiatus hernia and gastritis. Do you get reflux too? I do. Let me know what your gastros say. Mine has refused an op though Im in agony some days as it keeps flaring up. I get the pressure feeling and want to belch then when I eat it can go from discomfort to absolute agony and I can get reflux. Ive got very scared and anxious about it,also depressed. All Ive been offered is painkillers and anti-depressents. Its got worse since the end of last year. Im at my wits end with it. Ive got some pain in my back too,left side. The doctor put that down to a pulled muscle. I don,t remember that. Tell me what meds you are on and what helps. Im on two Pantoprazoles a day,paracetamol,Tramodol,Mirtazapine and can have either Gaviscon or Sucralfate for it. Nothing really helps me.
deleted_user
deleted_user

The bad thing is there are so many other things that happen with your body with a HH that the doctors don't mention.

Like what about your esoph? It is pushed UP because the stomach pushes it up. Also, I noticed "squeezing and pinching' pains even before i knew I had the hernia.......this must be from the diaphram muscle and stomach "repositioning" in the abdominal wall, this cannot be good for anybody.

Also, the Proton Pump Inhibitors cause malabsorption of crutial calcium and minerals, this whole thing is just very very scary.

The doctors try to play it down, but I think your stomach protruding into the chest cavity is something to be concerned about.

We are all between a rock and a hard place...............you have to take the meds to live with the hernia, but the meds have their side effects. And the hernia itself is not good for the body...............

I am very upset about mine. I am sure I got mine from a hard fall I had about 2 months ago (April 2012). I noticed the symptoms about a week after that.

*sigh* I guess the only thing to do is try not to think about it too much? But it is so hard.

I feel very sad a lot of the time now so I totally know where you are coming from with the antidepressants. How can anybody be happy with these things.............

good luck.............
deleted_user
deleted_user

I still don't know for sure that I have a HH but the more I read, and the longer this goes on, the more I feel convinced. It's been such an avalanche of problems flaring up in such a short time. I have also noticed now some pretty intense pain in my chest/back when I am walking. Has anyone else experienced that? It correlates to the area where everything feels WRONG (right under ribs on left side chest). I am now having a hard time swallowing a pill. Feels stuck for like 20 minutes or more. Lots of anxiety since this started. Whatever this is, it's exhausting. Physically. Mentally. Emotionally. Just seems like one day I was eating fine, brats and fries with no trouble and the next day I was reduced to applesauce and tiny bites of really bland stuff. Hope you all find the relief you need. It is draining.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Yump....I have back pain too.
deleted_user
deleted_user

But...I think excercise helps. I am going to start walking now that the he weather is better and see how it goes.
deleted_user
deleted_user

Had my endoscopy today which was a really smooth procedure. Twilight sedation and I don't remember a thing! Moderate Hiatal Hernia was confirmed and had esophageal as well as stomach biopsies done. Should get biopsy results within a week. I am SO relieved that something was found and I wasn't sent home with another mystifying "all clear."
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Again, just reading the posts...................

One thing I wanted to add was this. Since the hernia forces an actual change in the way the organs are positioned - ie, esophogus is up 1-2 inches, stomach out of diaphram, diaphram expands left to right from force of stomach poking through, all the sypmtoms, I believe, are from this repositioning of the internal organs, which is very unnatural !!!

So yes, walking, the pressure, lump feelings, I get all those too. I think that pressure feeling is gas building up as , especially being on the Proton Pump Inhibitors, the stomach now has only about 10% of the digestive juice it had before, and the body DOES NOT break down food properly anymore, so there is huge gas build up as the enzymes try to break up the food which normally, would be done by 100% of your digestive juice. That is the only problem with PPI's (I am on Pantaloc for mine). and I notice HUGE gas problem due to this, pressure etc, as you mention.

But, we need to reduce the digestive acid so the esophogus does not get weakend or ruined because of the hernia, because the valve no longer works.

So it is 6 of one, half dozen of the other as the story goes.

I personally do not like the way doctors "play down" a hiatial hernia, as this lady states, IT IS EMOTIONALLY DRAINING, depressing, painful, and completely changes your life.

I feel like saying to my doctor "IF YOUR STOMACH WAS POPPING OUT OF YOUR DIAPHRAM, YOUR ESOPHOGUS PUSHED UP 2 INCHES BENDING IN YOUR CHEST, AND YOUR STOMACH BEING PINCHED IN THE DIAPHRAM WITH REDUCED BLOOD FLOW TO THE STOMACH........I THINK YOU WOULD BE DEPRESSED TOO !!!!"

They just don't get it.

Anyway, sorry to go on and on, but just to let you know, your symptoms are "normal" for somebody with hiatial hernia. And yes, it is very depressing.

Since I found out I had mine I do go for a lot of walks and try to stay calm, it seems to help. Eat SMALL meals.

Hope that helps, good luck, let us know how you are !!!
:)
deleted_user
deleted_user

Hi Stephanie!

wow, I see you DID get the scope and have the Hernia !

At least you found out.

I had the scope but still to see my doctor this Friday and they going over the results, they may send me for Barium Swallow I think (just a guess) to see if the LES valvue is working ok.

glad you found out ! what else did they tell you? re how to look after it?

LOC.
deleted_user
deleted_user

I found out, but that's all I came away with. Twilight sedation. So when it was all over I talked with the Dr. but I don't remember anything. They also took some biopsies. Basically I am to continue with the prilosec, avoid excessive lifting or straining and call back on Friday for biopsy results.

I have done a lot of research online to try and educate myself. I've made a lot of changes based on this and I am definitely finding some relief. Things are not as bad as they were, however they aren't exactly "normal" either. I am able to eat well now and actually have had QUITE an appetite. I walk after dinner. Don't lay down for at least three hours. Drink lots of water. Upped fiber and cut back on fat. It's helping.
poorlygir4l
poorlygir4l

Hi all well I have lately been having days where the symptoms have gone away. I can then get a flare up the next day of intense pain,mostly from the gastritis. I know though that the pain can settled down I just wish it would go away all together. Ive got stress too as Ive been on benefit and now may lose it,due to new testing. Im getting too much pain to get a job so don,t know what to do there. Anyway you can look up some websites About.com and put in about GERD and also medhelp.org. I find too that I have to use the PPIs and leave it a bit then take Gaviscon. I can,t just have one or the other for the GERD. I hope this helps. I have a job keeping off caffeine and hate cutting out coffee and chocolate. Also I have to limit sweets and fatty foods. I know one thing though that you can,t cope with it without any meds.
By the way before I had my gallbladder out I was getting pain under my left ribcage. They say that you get the pain on the right with gallstones but mine was on the left mostly. You could get a scan to check the gallbladder too.