A hernia in the stomach is typically referred to as a hiatal hernia, also known as a "hiatus" hernia. This type of hernia causes a portion of the stomach to protrude through the hiatus, which is the opening of the diaphragm, and into the chest. You won't necessarily see as a bump or bulge in the skin, but you may feel its effects through a number of symptoms.
If suffering from a relatively small hernia, you will more than likely suffer no symptoms at all because the hernia itself isn't disrupting the normal function of the stomach. In such a case, the hernia is likely to go undetected. However, this condition, considered mild, does not require any treatment as the body will heal itself.
With a larger hernia, your most noticeable symptom will likely be heartburn. When a more sizable hernia forms, it can create an opening that allows stomach acids to backflow into the esophagus, causing the burning sensation and sour taste often associated with heartburn. This burn may worsen when you lie down or recline.
Another common symptom of a hernia in the stomach is a pressure within the chest. Again, this uncomfortable sensation is caused by the backflow of stomach acids and food that occurs in the esophagus. This pressure may also develop into what feels like actual pain and can be confused with a heart attack. However, pressure and pain are not isolated just to the chest with a hiatal hernia. Pain and discomfort may emanate from within the abdomen as well as the esophagus itself.
Because the hernia, especially a larger one, is allowing food and acid to flow back into the esophagus, you may also suffer from a moderate nausea. Usually, this nausea doesn't usually prompt vomiting, but it may impinge on a person's appetite.
Gas and Bloating
For some people, a stomach hernia will elicit an increase in gas, namely in the form of belching or burping. The increase in gas caused by the stomach hernia may result in bloating, which can prompt some abdominal distention. You may find that gas and bloating worsening when bending forward or reclining. This symptom can also be more problematic during pregnancy.