A client is diagnosed with a hiatal hernia. Which statement indicates effective client teaching about hiatal hernia and its treatment?
a) "I'll lie down immediately after a meal."
b) "I'll eat three large meals every day without any food restrictions."
c) "I'll eat frequent, small, bland meals that are high in fiber."
d) "I'll gradually increase the amount of heavy lifting I do."
C) I'll eat frequent, small, bland meals that are high in fiber
In hiatal hernia, the upper portion of the stomach protrudes into the chest when intra-abdominal pressure increases. To minimize intra-abdominal pressure and decrease gastric reflux, the client should eat frequent, small, bland meals that can pass easily through the esophagus. Meals should be high in fiber to prevent constipation and minimize straining on defecation (which may increase intra-abdominal pressure from the Valsalva maneuver). Eating three large meals daily would increase intra-abdominal pressure, possibly worsening the hiatal hernia. The client should avoid spicy foods, alcohol, and tobacco because they increase gastric acidity and promote gastric reflux. To minimize intra-abdominal pressure, the client shouldn't recline after meals, lift heavy objects, or bend.