While lifestyle changes do not cure a hiatal hernia, diet and lifestyle changes can cause a significant reduction in the hernia's symptoms, according to WebMD. Dietary choices in particular can exacerbate or help calm symptoms of heartburn and acid reflux commonly associated with a hiatal hernia.
Lifestyle changes that can alleviate the symptoms of a hiatal hernia include eating small meals, eating a few hours before bedtime and sleeping with the head elevated about 6 inches. In addition, avoid alcohol and foods that exacerbate heartburn, such as chocolate, onions, tomatoes and spicy foods. In addition, fundamental lifestyle changes such as stopping smoking and losing weight if obese can also calm hiatal hernia symptoms, Mayo Clinic explains.