Hernia- types, causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention

A hernia is a condition in which the internal organ protrudes out of the muscle or cavity holding it. It usually occurs between the hips, chest, and abdomen. A hernia is not a life-threatening condition. But you must visit the doctor to get an expert opinion.

Types

The most common types of hernia are as follows.

Inguinal hernia

It is the most common type of hernia. An inguinal hernia is a condition in which intestines protrude out through a weak spot or muscle into the inguinal canal. It is more common in men as compared to women.

Hiatal hernia

It is a type of hernia in which the part of the stomach protrudes upwards towards the chest cavity or diaphragm. People with hiatal hernia often complain about acidity due to gastric acid reflux. Mostly it is common amongst people over 50 years of age.

Umbilical hernia

It is a kind of hernia in which the intestines protrude out from near the belly button. It is more common in children but can occur in adults as well. In children, it may recover by time as they reach 1 or 2 years. However, if it does not, they can get surgery done for correction. In adults, it can occur due to strain on the abdominal cavity like heavy weight lifting, pregnancy, or obesity.

Ventral hernia

It is a condition in which the tissue of your abdomen protrudes outwards through muscles. The size of the ventral hernia may reduce when you lay down. It can also happen during surgery, known as an incisional hernia. Mostly it occurs due to obesity pregnancy or weight lifting.

Symptoms

Mostly, the hernia does not cause any such symptoms. But you may feel a bulge where it is present and causes discomfort.

In some cases, like that of hiatal hernia, you may feel acid reflux, chest pain, and trouble swallowing.

Causes

Mostly hernia occurs due to muscle weakness and strain on them, which can occur due to the following reasons.

  • Congenital abnormality
  • Aging
  • Chronic cough
  • Weight lifting
  • Multiple Pregnancies
  • Constipation, due to which you exert pressure to pass the stool
  • Being obese or overweight
  • Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease
  • Ascites- fluid build up in the abdomen
  • Cystic fibrosis
  • Smoking
  • Family history

Treatment

The treatment for a hernia is surgery. Your healthcare providers may give an incision on the place and put the protruding part inside and sew it back. However, in some cases, laparoscopic surgery is also available, which does not majorly affect other surrounding tissues. It is done by using a camera through which the surgeons are guided and can sew the opening with a surgical mesh.

Prevention

The hernia can be prevented by:

  • Daily exercise
  • Maintaining a healthy weight
  • Quit smoking
  • Treat constipation by taking laxatives
  • Lift weight under the supervision of a trainer
  • Treat your cough

Conclusion

A hernia is a protruding out of any part of the opening of your muscles. To cope with surgery is difficult. You may need to take care of your wound properly. If not, they can become infectious.

To manage the day to day activities with a hernia, you can wear a truss that will hold it and provides support. A truss is a surgical appliance like a pad or belt that holds the hernia.

For any complaints, you must consult with the doctor first.

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