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Help for Hiatal Hernia

Some suggestions for those seeking relief

(HealthDay) -- You may have a friend or relative who has a hiatal hernia. But maybe you're not sure just what that is. The Mayo Clinic says the problem is caused when part of the stomach bulges up into the diaphragm opening for the esophagus. It occurs in about one in four people over age 50, particularly women and people who are overweight.

Most problems associated with this type of hernia are minor, although more serious side effects include heartburn and chest pain. While most people don't suffer any symptoms from a hiatal hernia, simple steps, including losing weight and adopting a more healthful diet, can ease potential problems.

If those steps don't work, antacids and medications may help. Finally, about one in 20 people needs surgery to get relief, the Mayo Clinic says.

Consumer News