See What Made You Suffer From Hernia Symptoms?

  • Hernias are life-threatening complications and are of several types. 
  • Obesity is a big risk in the development and treatment of hernias. Sometimes, lifting something heavy can make you suffer from hernias.
  • Imagine 2% of the U.S men that mean 20 per 1000 men suffer from abdominal hernia, a complication that can only be repaired through surgery. 

What Is A Hernia?

A hernia is a condition in which the intestine or other digestive system organs protrude through a weak spot in the abdominal wall. Consequently, it results in a bulge around the abdominal area. 

The pain will increase as the tissues or muscles start to protrude more into the abdominal area. People with a hernia usually face symptoms while coughing, bending, or lifting a heavy object due to increased pain.

The common types of hernias occur in the abdomen between the chest and hips, but they may also happen in the upper thigh and groin areas. Although hernias aren’t immediately life-threatening in most cases, it takes time to get severe and requires special treatment to get cured.

What Causes Hernia?

Some causes of hernia are not apparent, and anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can put you at the risk of developing hernia symptoms.  

Here are the possible causes of hernia or an increase in pressure in the abdomen, making muscle weak and strain, such as:-

  • Increase in pressure within the abdomen
  • If someone is born with pre-existing weak spot on the abdominal wall
  • Feeling pressure at the abdominal wall, especially during bowel movement or urination
  • Activities that require an extreme physical effort or exertion
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Chronic coughing or sneezing
  • Damage of the abdominal wall due to injury or surgery
  • Constipation also creates pressure
  • Obesity 
  • Abnormal building up of fluid in the abdomen

Additional factors that increase the risk of developing hernia symptoms, such as:-

  • People with a family history of hernia
  • Chronic constipation
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Smoking as it causes weakening of connective tissue
  • Premature birth or low birth weight

What Are Signs Of A Hernia?

One of the most common hernia symptoms includes a bulge or lump in the affected area. While in the case of an inguinal hernia, you will notice a lump on either side of the pubic bone, the place where the groin and thigh meet.

The general signs and symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:-

  • A bulge on either side of the pubic bone. You may feel it more clearly while standing upright, coughing, or uplighting heavyweight.
  • You may feel burning or aching sensations at the bulge.
  • You may feel increased pain, especially during bending, coughing, or lifting. 
  • An intense dragging sensation in your groin
  • A feeling of weakness in your groin.
  • Occasionally, hernia pain and swelling around the testicles, protruding intestine descends into the scrotum.
  • Even children can also develop an inguinal hernia, but in their case, the reason is weakness in the abdominal walls, which usually occurs at the time of birth. 
  • In some cases, the hernia in children is only visible when crying, coughing, or straining during a bowel movement. In such cases, the child gets irritated and has less appetite than usual. 
  • While in the case of older children, the hernia can only be visible at the time of crying, coughing, or straining during a bowel movement.

In some cases, if the hernia cannot be pushed back, the tissues, such as parts of the intestine, will get trapped(stuck) in the abdominal wall in strangled form. Due to the strangled structure of the intestine, the flow of blood gets interrupted/trapped/closed.

Any accumulation of blood inside the body can be dangerous, even if it is a hernia. This trapped blood or strangulated hernia can be life-threatening if left untreated. In addition, the trapped blood and the weak, torn abdominal wall can lead to infections and other severe health complications.

Once the hernia is infected, it will start infecting the surrounding organs and will lead to life-threatening conditions.

So before it gets too late, seek immediate medical help. If you experience a hernia bulge turning red, purple, dark, or any other symptoms of strangulated hernia, do not ignore it. Instead, consult with your doctor immediately.

If you leave it untreated, it will infect other surrounding areas, including the genital organs.

How To Detect A Hernia In Abdomen?

The initial hernia diagnosis involves a physical examination of its symptoms. The doctor will physically examine the abdominal or groin area to suspect bulge, especially while standing, coughing, or exertion activities.

Followed by the few questions asked by the doctor to know your medical status, such as:-

  • What symptoms are you facing?
  • When did you first get to know about the rising hernia symptoms?
  • Do you have any answers? What makes you suffer from these hernia symptoms?
  • Tell me about your lifestyle, regarding the profession, physical activities, and unhealthy habits
  • Do any of your blood relatives have a hernia?
  • Ever had any surgeries in the abdominal areas?

The questions as mentioned earlier will help the doctor to know about the current hernia symptoms along with the additional examination, if required, such as:-

Ultrasound: If the doctor finds it necessary, he may ask you to go for an abdominal ultrasound. It involves high-frequency sound waves for creating a structured image of the abdominal organs.

CT scan: It is a machine for producing images of certain human organs with the combination of X-rays with computer technology.

MRI scan: It is an image processing machine that combining strong magnets and radio waves.

If the doctor suspects a hiatal hernia, he may ask to undergo the following examinations:-

Gastrografin or Barium X-ray: This process involves a series of X-ray pictures of the human digestive system. This series of X-ray pictures is recorded after the patient finishes drinking a liquid with diatrizoate meglumine and diatrizoate sodium (Gastrografin) or a liquid barium solution.

Endoscopy: It is a procedure in which a tiny camera is attached to a tube down through the throat into the esophagus and stomach.

How To Heal A Hernia?

The treatment of the hernia depends on the hernia symptoms. If the hernia is small at its initial stage, the doctor may suggest watchful waiting. In some mild cases, wearing a supportive truss can also help you resolve the problem.

But do not decide the treatment on your own, consult with the doctor first. In mild cases of children, the doctor also prefers fixing the bulge by applying pressure manually before suggesting surgery.

Severe hernia pain often require surgery to be treated, such as:-

Open Hernia Repair: This procedure involves using anesthesia and sedation or general anesthesia, followed by the incision in the groin to push the protruding abdominal tissue back into the abdomen.

The surgeon then stitches his incision so that the weak abdomen wall does not remain helpless. This is done with the help of synthetic mesh(hernioplasty)

After the surgery, you will not be allowed to move for several weeks. You may also have to follow other preventive measures, such as avoiding stairs, lifting heavy objects, or activities requiring physical exertion.

Laparoscopy: It is an invasive procedure that involves the usage of general anesthesia. The surgeon operates through multiple small incisions in the abdomen. Then, a gas is used to inflate the internal organs of the abdomen to have a clear view inside it.

A small tube with a tiny camera is inserted through one incision. Then, with the help of a camera, the surgeon inserts the instrument through another incision to repair the hernia. 

This procedure of treating hernia has less discomfort and scarring. It also helps the patient to recover in less time as compared to open surgery. Additionally, laparoscopy is best in case the hernia reoccurs and not open surgery. The risk automatically reduces if the surgeon is an expert in laparoscopy.

Laparoscopy has nothing to do with scar tissue; this makes it a good choice when compared to open surgery. It is also considered a good treatment option for people with hernias on both sides of the body.

How To Prevent Hernia?

A hernia is basically caused by pressure(strain) on the abdomen wall and weakness of the abdomen wall. Keeping this in mind, try to develop the habits that will help make the abdomen wall strong and reduce the pressure on the abdomen walls.

These measures are as follows:-

  • Maintain a healthy weight: Having a healthy weight will decrease the pressure on the abdominal walls. Thus, consult with the doctor for the best possible ways to maintain a healthy weight.
  • Focus on high-fiber foods: Food items rich in fiber, such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, will help to keep you away from constipation and to strain on abdominal walls.
  • Carefully lift heavy objects: There is a way of lifting heavy objects, like constantly bending from your knees and not your waist. This will reduce the strain and pressure on the abdominal wall.
  • Quit smoking: Smoking causes chronic cough, which may put you at risk of a hernia.

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Janet Fudge

Janet Fudge writes on general health topics for CheapMedicineShop.com. She holds a post-graduate diploma in Public Health with a major in epidemiology. During the outbreak of COVID-19, Janet actively volunteered in vaccination drives throughout the state of Iowa. She lives in Iowa with her husband and two children.