Charlie Sheen rushed to hospital-UPDATED

It has been reported that actor Charlie Sheen has been rushed to Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in LA with what is being called “severe abdominal pain.” He was taken out of his home on a stretcher by ambulance. Further details to come, when they become known…

UPDATE January 28, 2011

Reports this morning are stating that Sheen’s problem yesterday was due to a “hiatal hernia.” There are also reports that Sheen had been “partying” up until he was taken to the hospital. However, it is also reported that he is now back home.

“Charlie Sheen left the hospital last night and is at home,” his rep, Stan Rosenfield, tells Gossip Cop. “He will be on the set of “Two and a Half Men” on Tuesday.

What is a Hiatal Hernia?

Hiatal hernia is a condition in which a portion of the stomach protrudes upward into the chest, through an opening in the diaphragm. The diaphragm is the sheet of muscle that separates the chest from the abdomen and is used in breathing.

The cause is unknown, but hiatal hernias may be the result of a weakening of the supporting tissue. Increasing age, obesity, and smoking are known risk factors in adults.

Hiatal hernias are very common, especially in people over 50 years old. This condition may cause reflux (backflow) of gastric acid from the stomach into the esophagus.

A hiatal hernia by itself rarely causes symptoms — pain and discomfort are usually due to the reflux of gastric acid, air, or bile. Reflux happens more easily when there is a hiatal hernia, although a hiatal hernia is not the only cause of reflux. When symptoms are present, they include chest pain, heartburn, and difficulty swallowing.

The goals of treatment are to relieve symptoms and prevent complications.

Reducing the backflow of stomach contents into the esophagus (gastroesophageal reflux) will relieve pain. Medications that neutralize stomach acidity, decrease acid production, or strengthen the lower esophageal sphincter (the muscle that prevents acid from backing up into the esphagus) may be prescribed.

Other measures to reduce symptoms include:

  • Avoiding large or heavy meals
  • Not lying down or bending over immediately after a meal
  • Reducing weight and not smoking

UPDATE: January 31, 2011

Charlie Sheen has entered rehab at an undisclosed location. Let’s hope that he stays there long enough to do himself some good.

Michele R. Berman, M.D. was Clinical Director of The Pediatric Center, a private practice on Capitol Hill in Washington, D.C. from 1988-2000, and was named Outstanding Washington Physician by Washingtonian Magazine in 1999. She was a medical internet pioneer having established one of the first medical practice websites in 1997. Dr. Berman also authored a monthly column for Washington Parent Magazine.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Real Time Analytics Google Analytics Alternative