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Last Updated: Oct 14, 2021
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Hernia - Symptom, Treatment And Causes

What is Hernia? Types of hernia Causes Factors and Risks Symptoms Of Hernia Diagnose Precautions Home Remedies

What is Hernia?

Hernia is a symptom that happens when an organ tries to push through an opening in the tissue or muscle that hold the organ in place. Like, our intestine may sometimes break through a weak area inside the abdominal wall.Although hernias can happen in upper thigh, groin areas and belly button, but hernia is most common in the abdomen. Generally hernia is not immediately life threatening. But hernias don’t get cured on their own and so requires surgery for recovery and avoid dangerous complications that can happen for this disease.

Types of hernia

There are four types of hernia:-

  • Inguinal hernia
  • Hiatal hernia
  • Umbilical hernia
  • Incisional hernia

What Are the causes of Hernia?

Hernias are formed as a combination of strain and muscular weakness. Depending on the cause, this disease can develop quickly or it may also take a long time.The causes of muscular weakness are, age, damages from surgery or injury and trauma, chronic coughing, failure of the abdominal wall to close rightly while in the mother’s womb .Strain factors that can cause this disease are heavy weightlifting, being pregnant, being constipated, ascites or formation of fluid inside the abdomen, persistent sneezing or coughing and also sudden gain in body weight.

Factors and Risks

Factors that escalate the risk of developing this disease includes chronic constipation, smoking that can bring about a chronic cough, being obese and having a family history of having a hernia.Incisional or inguinal hernias are generally diagnosed by performing a physical examination of the affected area in the body. The doctor can check for a bulge in your abdomen that gets bigger when you stand up or cough. In case of hiatal hernia, the doctor can recommend an endoscopy or a barium X-ray for seeing the internal locations inside the stomach.If children have umbilical hernia, the doctor can perform an ultrasound scan.

Whether a treatment is required for your hernia completely depends on the severity of your symptoms and the size of your herniation, Dietary changes are generally recommended for treating hiatal hernia. Patients are advised not to eat heavy meals. You can also be advised to give up smoking cigarettes or lose weight. For hiatal hernia, patients are also prescribed over-the-counter medicines that helps in reducing stomach acid to eliminate acid reflux or heart burns.

However, if your hernia has grown larger and is creating discomfort and pain, the doctor may decide to operate. The hernia surgery is most commonly done by patching the herniation with a surgical mesh.Hernia surgery can be done both laparoscopically and by open surgery.

It must be noted, that as hernia recurrence is much higher than other surgical procedures during the post-operative phase, absolute care is needed for total recovery from the disease.

How serious is a Hernia?

A Hernia is the bulging out of the intestinal tissue into the muscles of the abdomen. The condition may be painful in some cases especially during activities like coughing, bending forward, or lifting heavy objects. It results in discomfort in the groin region which may be due to weakness or feeling of pressure in the region, burning and aching sensation around the bulge, and pain and swelling of the testicles.

It can also affect infants and neonates making them irritable and causing loss of appetite. In some cases when a Hernia gets trapped in the abdominal muscles, it may become troublesome. It becomes strangulated in such cases and the condition is life-threatening.

Do Hernias go away on their own?

Hernia needs to be treated as it does not go away spontaneously. The only treatment method in the case of a Hernia is surgery. Though in some cases when the size of a Hernia is small, it is either not associated with symptoms or causes less bothering symptoms.

In such cases, surgery may not be needed immediately and can be kept on hold for months or years. However, it is preferred to undergo surgery for a Hernia as any delay may lead to complications such as strangulation.

What happens if I ignore a Hernia?

A Hernia is a bulging out of the intestinal tissue in the muscles of the abdomen. It is accompanied by pain and discomfort in most cases while in some cases pain may not be present. The treatment i.e surgery is important in the case of a Hernia as it tends to increase in size with time, resulting in more bulging out of tissues, which may lead to a serious complication of intestinal blockage, referred to as Hernia strangulation, which is serious and life-threatening.

Can a Hernia be left untreated?

It is preferred to undergo treatment for Hernia in its early stage, otherwise, if it is left untreated or faces delayed treatment, it can cause serious complications which may prove to be fatal. In an untreated condition, Hernia usually tends to get increased in size which causes more bulging out of tissue, leading to a serious condition of Hernia strangulation, which is related to intestinal blockage.

Symptoms Of Hernia

  • Bulge or lump in the affected area.
  • Pain or discomfort when bending, coughing or lifting heavy objects.
  • Feeling of heaviness in the stomach.
  • Burning, aching or gurgling sensation in the area of the bulge.

Key Highlights

  • Treatable by medical professional
  • Require medical diagnosis
  • Lab test sometimes required
  • Non communicable

How is a Hernia diagnosed in a woman?

Hernia, being small and deeply located in the abdomen, is a bit difficult to get diagnosed in women. However, certain ways are there that aid in an easy diagnosis in such cases. A detailed description of the related pain such as the type i.e burning, stabbing, or pinching as well as the factors causing it to get increased or decreased, may help in the diagnosis.

On the other hand, physical activities such as lifting heavy weights, coughing, laughing, etc. responsible for the pain can also help the physician in proper diagnosis.

How do you sleep with a Hernia?

Hernia, since accompanied by pain and discomfort, can make sleep more difficult in the affected individual. Hence it is always preferred to take a comfortable position while sleeping which depends upon the location of the Hernia. In the case of a Hernia located in the lower back, the dynamic active + bed base by dorsoo facilitates better positioning.

It is always preferred to sleep on the opposite side of the protruding Hernia. In the case of a Hernia located in the neck, it is preferred to use a pillow with proper height while sleeping.

How can I heal a Hernia naturally?

Although surgery is the only treatment method for Hernia, there are some home remedies that have a proven role in minimizing the symptoms of Hernia and help to get relief from the condition. Some of them include aloe vera, castor seed oil, ice pack, vegetable juice, and intake of small and light meals.

The action of these remedies is based on their anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties. Some exercises including cycling, walking for at least 30 minutes, yoga, and pool exercises may also be preferred.

Summary: A Hernia is the bulging out of the intestinal tissue into the muscles of the abdomen. The condition may be painful in some cases especially during activities like coughing, bending forward, or lifting heavy objects. Although surgery is the only treatment method for Hernia, there are some home remedies that have a proven role in minimizing the symptoms. These include aloe vera, castor seed oil, ice pack, vegetable juice, and intake of small and light meals and exercises including cycling, walking for at least 30 minutes, yoga, and pool exercises.

Popular Questions & Answers

1) mild scoliosis noted 2) marginal osteophytes noted at l3 to l5 vertebrae 3) mild air noted within left sacroiliac joint this is my mother's x-ray reports after some distance travel she feels a pain her left leg and can't walk that time. Can I give her shelcal xt tab?

MBBS, MD - Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation
Orthopedist, Mumbai
Your mother seems to have sciatica type of pain secondary to may be disc prolapse. She requires detailed evaluation and treatment. Scoliosis which is noted in the X ray indicates muscle spasm due to disc prolapse

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