I think I have a possible hiatal hernia. How do I bring this up with my doctor?

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I am a 46 year old woman currently just started taking birth control pills for mild beginnings of endometriosis and cysts.  But, my problems started with psssible hiatal symptoms of persistent mild heartburn and chest tightness started a year ago.  I take Zyrtec for allergies and acetaminophen as needed.  I have practically cut out taking vitamins and take barely any other pills at the request of my doctor because she thought they would be agitated my heartburn.  Strong smells and even just drinking water seem to be my biggest triggers for the heartburn.  I also get bloated pretty easily.  I mostly eat rice, vegetables, chicken, gluten-free toast, and drink herbal tea with some green tea in the morning.  I also eat rice cakes and rice based cereal as well as a general dairy-free, gluten-free, low to no oil diet (maybe occasional coconut oil or olive oil to cook with).  These dietary changes help the heartburn, but don't cure it.  And, these dietary changes do nothing for me if I fall asleep after having any kind or food or drink (it's usually unplanned in front  of the tv where I dose off).  I must also add that I take Tums Smoothie Chewable tablets or homeopathic Nux Vomica for the heartburn.  And, they do help.

I have been to the ER twice in 2020 thinking my tightness in my chest was either a heart attack or covid related. I have had 2 inguinal hernias repaired- and there is hereditary link to predisposed to hernias as my father and his brother both have had hernias repaired as well.

1 Answer

These messages are for mutual support and information sharing only. Always consult your doctor before trying anything you read here.
Hiatal hernia is a common cause of heartburn, especially when lying down at night. You may request your doctor to order you a chest CT scan or a gastroscopy to see if you have hiatal hernia or not.

If severe heart burn caused by hiatal hernia can not be relieved by medications, then you may consider surgery. Many hiatal hernia surgeries use a method called laparoscopy. Your doctor will make a few small (5 to 10 millimeter) cuts in your belly. They insert a tool called a laparoscope through these incisions, and it sends pictures to a monitor so your doctor can see inside your body. These “minimally invasive” procedures have smaller cuts, less risk of infection, less pain and scarring, and faster recovery than traditional surgeries.