Are hiatal hernias related to autism?

Q. Are hiatal hernias related to autism?

Answered by
Dr. Awadhesh P. Singh Solanki
and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.
This is a premium question & answer published on Sep 08, 2017 and last reviewed on: Aug 21, 2023

Hi doctor,

I have a son who was diagnosed with autism at 2.5 years. He is now 7 years old. He is verbal now and has improved a lot with the help of therapies. How close is a hiatal hernia associated with autism? We have a history of hiatal hernias in my family. I also read that hiatal hernia can irritate or damage vagus nerve, which may result in autistic symptoms. My son gets frequent hiccups and has a slight swelling in his upper abdomen. Kindly confirm if there is really a link between autism, vagus nerve, and hiatal hernia. Is there any treatment in ayurveda or siddha for this? Thanks in advance for the replies and your valuable time.



Welcome to

Thanks for this query. I can understand your concern regarding your son's autism. First of all, I would like to tell you, there is a relation between autism and gastrointestinal symptoms like burping, constipation, and loose bowel movements. A hiatal hernia has a genetic preponderance, but no association with autism. Your son will improve with age. Can you tell me about his ultrasound report? Because grading is related with prognosis and chances of vagus nerve injury. Abdominal swelling may be because of bloating and slight hernia. A high-fiber diet and breathing exercises will help in early recovery from a hiatal hernia. Yoga and light exercises will help to strengthen the diaphragm. Hope my answer helped you. Regards.

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