A hiatal hernia is an anatomical abnormality in which part of the stomach protrudes through the diaphragm and up into the chest.
Normally, the esophagus or food tube passes down through the chest, crosses the diaphragm, and enters the abdomen through a hole in the diaphragm called the esophageal hiatus. Just below the diaphragm, the esophagus joins the stomach. In individuals with hiatal hernias, the opening of the esophageal hiatus (hiatal opening) is larger than normal, and a portion of the upper stomach slips up or passes (herniates) through the hiatus and into the chest.Fun, no? This explains the up high pain that I was having which was mistaken for gallbladder, and also the burping that I couldn't stop during an attack, which tasted as though something dead were living in my stomach, although it tasted worse than anything I had ever ever ever eaten in my entire life. Aha! So at this point the nurse tells me that there is no surgery or anything to correct this (which I google to discover that she is wrong) and that I can take antacids OTC and perhaps doctor will give me prescription PPI's or other alternatives when i see him at the end of September. And of course I research online (I love you google!) and find some alternative therapies that are working for people, like the HOPE Diet (which, ironically, until these attacks, I had been following 1/2 of already) and others have been taking Slippery Elm with fantastic results.
The lower scope revealed the scarred and inflamed tissues, and the biopsies revealed no IBD (Crohn's or Colitis) but the inflammation and irritation are there just the same, and so the nurse (who we have already determined does not have a fabulous track record) told me that I should add more fiber to my diet and keep my appointment with the Doctor. Bowel irritation but no bowel disease- So, time will tell! Not sure what's causing the lower inflammation, it doesn't seem like it could be a result of the upper acid, but could it be a result of any off these gallstones that I have collected? Interesting.