Hernia is a medical condition that happens when a body part or organ protrudes through a weak spot or an opening in the muscle and tissue that keeps the organ in its cavity. A lot of hernias happen in the area between the hips and the chest, but can also occur in the groin areas and upper thigh. The most common types of this medical condition are inguinal hernia, femoral hernia, umbilical hernia and hiatus hernia. In the case of inguinal hernia and femoral hernia, part of the intestine or a fatty tissue comes through the groin area at the upper part of the leg. Umbilical hernia is when part of the intestine or a fatty tissue pushes through the abdomen. In the case of hiatal hernia, part of the gastral protrudes up into the chest area through a weakening of the diaphragm.
Generally speaking, hernias are not considered to be life threatening, but since they do not resolve on their own, they might, in some cases, require surgery in order to prevent menacing complications. On that premise, the following article presents the main symptoms and causes of hernia as well as ways to prevent and heal it.
Hernias are usually noticeable by their appearance. A lump or a bulge can appear in the groin or abdomen and usually increases in size when laughing, standing up, crying or coughing and can disappear when the individual lies down. Other symptoms include a sharp pain, a heavy sensation in the groin area, swelling in the scrotum in males, burning sensations as well as pain when exercising and bending over.
Common Causes of Hernias
Hernia is mainly caused by strain and weakness in the muscles that could have been present in the body ever since birth or that is related to aging and repeated strain on certain areas of the body. Such strain on the muscles is usually caused by pregnancy, multiple pregnancies in particular as well as being overweight, giving birth, doing strenuous exercises and lifting heavy weights. In addition to that, frequent or long lasting coughing, having fluids in the abdomen, having a bowel movement, aging and suffering from damage due to an injury or surgery can also cause strain on the muscles and eventually lead to hernia.
In addition to the above, there are also certain factors that could increase the risk of developing hernia. These factors include a family or personal history of hernias, long lasting constipation, cystic fibrosis, smoking, which weakens the connective tissue, as well as being born with a low weight or prematurely.
Getting Hernia Treatment
Depending on the size of the hernia and how severe the symptoms are, the most effective way to treat hernia is usually through surgery. The surgical approach, which aims to repair wall defects and return tissues back into their place, is considered to be very common as well as very successful for treating hernia. Some doctors might also recommend wearing a truss, which is a piece of medical equipment that aids in preventing the hernia from protruding. In addition to that, medications, antacids and proton pump inhibitors can also help improve the hernia symptoms and relieve the discomfort.
It is also imperative to note that although hernia can not be always prevented from occurring, especially if it is an inherited condition or due to a previous surgery, there are certain steps and simple adjustments in the daily lifestyle that could help individuals steer away from getting hernia. These prevention tips help reduce the strain on the muscles of the body and include quitting smoking, maintaining a healthy body weight, performing exercises that help strengthen the abdominal area muscles, avoiding lifting heavy weights, trying not to strain during urination and in the case of constipation as well as eating foods that are high in fiber.