Q. How can I keep food down with a hiatus hernia?

Written by Catherine Saxelby on Tuesday, 30 April 2013.
Tagged: health, hunger, juice, liquid diet, obesity, overweight, soup, special diets, weight loss

Q. How can I keep food down with a hiatus hernia?

The question in full:

Q. I have a hiatus hernia and have trouble keeping food down. I feel full after a few mouthfuls and find I get bloated and tummy cramps. Any suggestions?

A. Hiatus hernia is common in middle age and occurs when a small portion of the stomach protrudes through the opening of the oesophagus into the chest cavity. There isn't any specific diet to follow but you do need to ensure you're eating a balanced diet and not losing weight.

Here's a few things that can help you at meal times and ease the pain. The best food advice is to:

  • Eat small and often – become a "grazer" rather than three-meals-a-day.
  • Opt for "liquid meals" like thick soup, smoothies, juices or an egg flip – the stomach tends to empty liquids faster than solids.
  • Avoid heavy sauces, rich dishes and really spicy meals with lots of chilli eg Thai or super-hot Indian.
  • Steer clear of ANY food or dish that you know upsets you. This is very personal and varies from person to person so all you do is work it out by trial and error.
  • Try to lose weight if you are overweight and your excess is around your middle, as this will reduce the inward pressure on your stomach. Weight loss may happen automatically if you can't each much but you don't want to lose too much or lose more weight if you're already at a healthy weight. Having Calorie-rich liquids like egg flips or soup with extra cream or adding a tablespoon of a supplement (Sustagen, Acktavite, etc) to your drinks can help here.

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Catherine Saxelby

About the Author

Catherine Saxelby knows nutrition! She is an accredited nutritionist, food commentator, blogger and award-winning author. Her latest book Catherine Saxelby's Food and Nutrition Companion answers all those tricky questions on healthy eating, diets and supplements. It draws together a lifetime of advice and gives you all you need to know to eat right! It's a complete A to Z. A handy desk go-to reference.