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I have heard that hiatus hernia is one of the most misunderstood and maligned conditions in medicine. My doctor told me that people blame this hernia for much more than it ever does. Since I became one of patients with a hiatus hernia, doctor says me we need to understand it. That is why I want to know what it is, and what might occur with it. I have sliding hiatus hernia, so I want to know more about it.

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First thing, you need to know is that the diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that separates the lungs from the abdomen. When you take a deep breath, diaphragm has to contracts, pulling air into the lungs. Left diaphragm contains a small hole through which passes the tube-shaped esophagus. That organ carries food and liquid to the stomach. Normally this hiatus is small and fits snugly around the esophagus. In some people, the hiatus or hole in the diaphragm weakens and enlarges; it is not known why this occurs. It may be due to heredity, while in others it may be caused by obesity. Sometimes exercises such as weightlifting, or straining at stool might provoke this. Then, portion of the stomach herniates, or moves up, into the chest cavity through this hiatus. A hiatus hernia is now present, which is very common, occurring in up to 60 percent of people by age 60. Sliding hiatus hernia is the most common type of hiatus hernia. The herniated portion of the stomach slides back and forth, into and out of chest. These hernias are normally small, and usually they occur without problems and without almost any symptom.
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