Hiatus herni: I have had a hernia for... - Oesophageal Patie...

Oesophageal Patients Association

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Hiatus herni


I have had a hernia for years now and the last few months it has worsened. I am coughing after most things I eat and the tablets I take are not working as well as they used to. It is like I have phlegm stuck in my throat. I have been referred for another endoscopy but trying to get a hospital appointment is a no go. Answer machine is all I keep getting. The coughing hurts my back as I have osteoporosis and is worrying in case I snap a bone. I will be 78 soon and sometimes life is going downhill as I am getting very down. Covid has taken over life itself and it put any other health problems out of sight. Anyone got any suggestions about how to control acid reflux. I gag when I drink water as I thought tthat might help.

23 Replies

Hi sorry to hear your problems, I use esomeprazole every day and also gaviscon tablets at night just as going to bed, I have had my oesophagus removed 8 years ago and reflux is something we live with as well as other side affect , but finding somethings have helped but not cured if you get my drift , I hope you get help very soon take care.

Kate1916 in reply to hunsdon

Thank you. Getting hold of a GP is almost impossible or there is a wait for a few weeks if it is not urgent. I feel for cancer paitents waiting.

My reaction would be to tell the GP surgery that it is urgent. I think your symptoms should be taken seriously, don't be fobbed off and keep trying for an appointment and then an urgent referral. Good luck.

Hi. Have been referred for an endoscopy but keep getting an answer machine from the hospital to make an appointment. The excuse all the time is covid.

Why are you having to make the appointment? Doesn't your GP refer you and then the hospital contact you with the appointment?

My GP has referred me and I had a letter from the hospital to ring and make an appointment. I have rang and all I get is an answerphone to leave my details for them to ring. This was over a week ago.

OK -Keep ringing and I think I would get back in touch with the GP again and ask if the referral was classed as urgent and tell them you haven't heard back and ask them to contact the hospital on your behalf. If none of this works I agree with Deete15 and go to A&E - I got my diagnosis through going to A&E

Dr told me she could not put urgent unless I had a tumor. Because of Covid all hospital appointments have been put back so I will have to wait like so many others. Covid has taken over everything in our lives.

Perhaps ask your GP how anyone could possibly know whether there is a tumour present if you are not referred for an endoscopy? Are we expected to self-diagnose prior to a visit to the hospital?

Deete15 in reply to hunsdon

If you go to the emergency room they will have to help you that's the way to get it fast

Kate1916 in reply to Deete15

Because I am vunerable with covid I am really scared to go to AE. I have other health problems as well as I am coming up to 78yrs.

I think you should be seen as an urgent patient. Push to have an endoscopy as soon as possible so you get some answers and some help.

I have had my esophagus removed however I found the new liquid gaviscon to be very good.

I have the same problem. I have a fixed HH so it never moves as opposed to a sliding one. I have GERD and chest pains and a very sore sternum when I eat certain things. Just a few things to consider. Do take your ppi between half an hour and one hour before breakfast on an empty stomach.

Things that make HH worse: chocolate (cocoa) caffeine (coffee, tea, etc), mint, fruit especially oranges grapefruit lemons and limes but all acidic fruit. Raw onions, tomatoes are a no no for me, any spicy foods and any high fat food or drink (ice cream bacon chips etc. Also fizzy carbonated drinks including fizzy water. All alcohol including wine.

Have you tried deglycerated liquerice DGL, apple cider vinegar, digestive enzymes, slippery elm.

Just some suggestions.

Kate1916 in reply to Mum007

My husband printed all the foods off I shouldn't have and all the ones you have listed are on it. Tried cider vinegar and just heaved at it. I take the ppi before I get up and take similar to gaviscon at night.

If you can drink low-fat milk instead that's what I had to do with my brother he all the time he has an esophageal stricture. I know what you mean I've been trying to get him appointment for his stricture but the earliest I can get in May I wish you well God bless.

Kate1916 in reply to Deete15

I drink a vegan milk. Thankyou for the advice though

Are you post- Ivor Lewis procedure? I guess commonly because of the surgery, the hiatus can stretch. My husband had 1.5 feet of his colon travel through the opening, and push up into his lung field..... they thought he had regular pneumonia for several months and he was on IV antibiotics..... when they did a CT( versus plain X-ray) they found the colon, and that is what caused the pneumonia.....Just want to let you know my husband’s experience this year, in case that helps you.

Kate1916 in reply to Trudivo



Very good of you to come to the forum searching for help. Hope you find all the support you seek here and soon.

Please visit opa.org.uk/awareness.html website for detailed acid reflux information and how to manage etc.

Your's is a complex case. You have existing underlying conditions, aged 78. You mentioned Osteoporosis, Hernia (unsure which part of the body and diagnosis). You may have at least a couple of different medications. The advice for 28 yr old or 48yr old does not apply to your case per say!!

What you mentioned does not necessarily be only Acid Reflux caused by GERD. Its I believe you assuming for now. There could be oesophageal dysmobility in the least, in my speculation.

If on PPI's already, this is a definite wrong to continue with confirmed Oesteoporosis treatment ongoing. for that matter any other PPI, H2 blocker or significant Gaviscon advance doses.

You mentioned "another endoscopy" when was the previous one done and what was the diagnosis and treatment offered that time? Have you seen Consultant's letter t the GP?

The more medications you take more issues appear for your case in the digestive system. IBS is already mentioned. Many meds will make you sick and same time constipate. Suggest seeking "medicines review" from your local pharmacist. This visit and consultation will be readily available than a GP appointment. With reduced food intake over the period of time and increased medicines intake, the stomach can go haywire and throw up issues!

In my view your statement does not apear a cause for concern for A&E visit. This I am assuming that you have not alreadylost and continuing losing weight consistently over last few weeks, do not have fever, do not have blood in your stool or your urine or cough spits, and you do not have crackles in your breathing more like chest infection symptoms.

Emergency endoscopis investigation in your mentioned symptoms in A&E would be highly unlikely, again in my unqualified views and please dont shoot me for saying the same.

Its good to see you are taking care of avoiding bone fractures. Keep it up. Its very easier in your age to be affected by the brittle bone fractures than anything sinister itself!

The surgical intervention in your case may have limited to no benefits, simply because if your GE junction muscles getting tired so does your oesophageal muscles too. Again my unqualified view. Only good lifestyle management can help soothe the effects.

Kate1916 in reply to Mauser1905

Thank you for all the information. I have a hiatus hernia which moves up and down. Do you mean I have to stop taking rabeprezole and the medicine like gaviscon? I will ring the pharmacy tomorrow. I am not loosing weight or getting the symptons you mention. Waiting to get a call about stomach injections for the osteoporosis as the tablets make me throw up. Once again thanks for all the help.

Hi, please do not stop or add just ecause a stranger on random forum tells you something about it. Please exercise discretion and caution. :)first your pharmacist and then GP.

Good to know about you are stable in weight. thats very promising.

Kate1916 in reply to Mauser1905


If you haven't already - try to avoid all acidic foods - coffee, spaghetti sauce, and fried foods. You might try taking mylanta about 5 minutes before eating or taking a couple of drops of apple cider vinegar in a little water about 5 minutes before eating (acid reflux is from too little acid to digest food) - docs give us too many PPIs such as omeprazole.

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