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Hiatus Hernia

A hiatus or hiatal hernia occurs when part of the stomach is protruding through the oesophagus’ cleft in the diaphragm (the hiatus).


This kind of hernia is the result of the weakening of the diaphragm’s connective tissues around the oesophagus, widening the aperture. When the gap is too wide, the oesophagus can slide up and pull the stomach upward where it gets stuck in the hiatus. In some cases, the oesophagus stays in place but part of the stomach bulges up next to it.

In this abnormal position, the valve between the oesophagus and the stomach becomes weak allowing stomach acid to reflux in the oesophagus. People who have such a hernia suffer from heartburn and belching after meals. Lying down after a meal aggravates the heartburn.


Eating habits are a causal factor in hiatal hernia:

  • Eating large meals, meals late in the day or meals rich in saturated fats (especially fried foods and frying oils) puts more pressure on the lining of the stomach because they take long to digest.
  • Iceberg lettuce also slows down digestion because it neutralizes a digestive enzyme.
  • A lack of fibre has a big impact on motility and affects the strength of connective tissues.

Eat sufficient fibres from fruits, vegetables and whole grains (avoid while flour and white rice)

Alcohol, coffee, cigarettes and spicy foods increase the secretion of stomach acid, and aggravate heartburn pain.

Chewing properly will reduce digestion time in the stomach as well as acid secretion. Indeed, foods that are not chewed properly require more stomach acid to be digested.

Symptom relief

Once a hernia is formed, surgery is the only way of repairing it. However, making digestion easier can significantly relieve symptoms.

Molkosan from A.Vogel is a very good start to help rebalance digestive functions:

  • It balances and feeds the intestinal flora
  • It restores normal intestinal pH to allow lactic bacteria to thrive, as it should, in the colon. This also helps eliminate any undesirable bacteria or Candida from the gut.
  • It optimizes the efficacy of digestive enzymes that help avoid bloating and gas resulting from an inadequate digestion.
  • It improves alkaline mineral absorption such as calcium, magnesium, iron, copper, manganese and zinc. With an adequate pH (less acidic), tissues of the body are not as prone to irritation and inflammation, thus helping with symptoms.
  • It improves the health of the digestive tract and relieves leaky gut syndrome, which causes food intolerances. Less food intolerance means fewer irritations and fewer symptoms of a poor digestion.

It is also important to support normal liver function for proper fat digestion and gastric acid production (needed for protein digestion). Stress, alcohol, medication, processed foods, lack of dietary fibres combined to environmental pollution are unduly detrimental to liver health. 

Some of the symptoms of an overloaded liver resemble those of a hiatus hernia. They are: reflux, indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, headaches, coated tongue, bad breath, yellow complexion, brown spots on the skin, dizzy spells, light sleep, lack of energy and/or soreness around the liver and below the right shoulder blade.

To favour a normal liver function:

  • Adopt a healthy diet with 10 portions of fruits and vegetables a day so you get all the fibres, vitamins and minerals you need.
  • Avoid dairy products since pasteurization transforms many of their nutritional elements, rendering them unusable by the body.
  • Choose cold pressed oils and raw nuts that will supply the liver with the good oils it needs for the production of several hormones (ex. sex hormones…), the control of circulating fats (ex. cholesterol and triglycerides) as well as the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins.
  • Half a lemon freshly squeezed in a cup of hot water every morning helps the liver eliminate toxins.
  • A small glass of fresh carrot juice also helps the liver
  • Deep breathing techniques to oxygenate the liver
  • Rest and exercise are also essential

To activate the process of liver detoxification and thus improve digestion, some herbals can be useful. Boldocynara is a unique complex containing artichoke, milk thistle, dandelion, boldo and peppermint. Those plants are very effective to stimulate bile production and toxin elimination. They also help with cell regeneration. Studies have shown milk thistle’s toning and healing effect on the liver.

N.B. People who have never done a liver detox should start with a reduced dosage, using the liquid formula, to avoid the discomforts linked to sudden cleansing (headache, diarrhea, nausea). In case of a severe or old liver problem, a long-term treatment of milk thistle could be beneficial. As a preventative measure, a seasonal course of Boldocynara can be done in the spring and the fall.

What do you think?

Have you found what you read useful? If so, I would love if you would leave your comment below. Thanks Sonia Chartier

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