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What foods should you avoid with a hernia?

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Quick Answer

With a hiatal hernia, avoid eating certain foods, such as fried, high fat content, highly acidic and spicy foods. However, the best way to determine a good diet is by keeping a food journal for a few weeks, eliminating foods that prompt issues with the hernia, states WebMD.

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Full Answer

A hernia is the squeezing of an organ or fatty tissue through the fascia, a weak spot in the connective tissue or muscle surrounding the area. There are different types of hernia, but the most common are hiatal, inguinal, incisional, umbilical and femoral. A hiatal hernia affects the upper stomach area, an inguinal is in the inner groin area, and the umbilical hernia appears in the belly button. A femoral hernia is in the outer groin and an incisional is located in the area of the surgical incision, according to WebMD.

Avoid eating foods that are highly acidic or contribute to the weakening of the esophageal sphincter. When the lower part of the esophagus is weak, acids backs up the esophagus, causing heartburn symptoms. Foods, such as citrus, fatty, fried, spicy and tomato-based foods, trigger heartburn symptoms. Other foods, such as whole milk, peppermint and spearmint, carbonated beverages and chocolate, may cause issues with a hiatal hernia. There is also a likelihood of experiencing issues with coffee and tea, even if the product is decaffeinated. Garlic and onions may also cause heartburn symptoms in some patients, according to WebMD.

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