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Hernia, hiatus - Symptoms of a hiatus hernia

NHS Choices Medical Reference

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In many cases, a hiatus hernia causes no symptoms and is discovered by chance during a routine investigation.

If you have symptoms, they can include:

  • Severe heartburn.
  • Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease (GORD), where stomach acid flows back into the oesophagus (see Useful links).
  • Deep burning chest pain, which may affect the shoulder blades. The pain is made worse by bending forward, straining or lying down. The pain may disturb sleep and can be so severe that it is mistaken for angina or a heart attack.
  • Difficulty swallowing due to constant acid irritation.

Other symptoms can include a croaky voice and symptoms of asthma.


  • Pain: Pain is an unpleasant physical or emotional feeling and your body's way of warning you it has been damaged.
  • Angina: Angina is chest pain caused by a reduced flow of blood to the heart, typically as a result of heart disease.
  • Stomach: The sac-like organ of the digestive system. It helps digest food by churning it and mixing it with acids to break it down into smaller pieces.
  • Heart attack: A heart attack happens when there is a blockage in one of the arteries in the heart.
  • Heartburn: Heartburn or indigestion is a painful, burning discomfort in the chest, usually after eating.
Medical Review: July 06, 2009
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