What is Hernia?
May 4, 2022
A hernia is when an organ pushes itself through a muscle or a tissue where it is being held. It can be a bulge of an internal organ or even of your intestines. Sometimes a hernia is even visible to the naked eye. Some activities like bending over or lifting heavy objects can make the situation even worse.
Hernia and its types
Inguinal (inner groyne), incisional (leading in incision), femoral (outer groyne), umbilical (belly button), and hiatal hernias are the most common types of hernias (upper abdomen).
- Inguinal Hernia – One of the most prevalent hernia types is this one. This occurs when the intestine pushes through a weak spot in the lower abdominal wall, generally the inguinal canal. The groin contains the inguinal canal. The spermatic cord runs from the abdomen to the scrotum in men. Inguinal hernias account for roughly 96% of all groin hernias in men, and they are caused by weakening in the area.
- Hiatal Hernia – A hiatal hernia occurs when a part of your stomach protrudes through the diaphragm into your chest cavity. The diaphragm is a layer of muscle that separates the abdominal and chest organs. Hiatal hernias are more common in those over the age of 50. A hiatal hernia is frequently the cause of gastroesophageal reflux illness (GERD).
- Umbilical Hernia – Umbilical hernias occur when the intestines bulge out through the abdominal wall near the belly button. It is most common in small children and babies. This kind of hernia is the only one that goes away on its own when the wall of the abdominal wall muscles gets stronger.
- Ventral Hernia – A ventral hernia occurs when tissue bulges through an opening in the muscles of your abdomen. It is more usually acquired at some point during your life, while it might be present from birth.
The most common symptom of a hernia is a slight bump in the affected area. The hernia would seem to disappear when you lie down. It can be felt through a touch, when you stand up, bending down, or coughing. There might be a slight discomfort in the affected area. Although some hernias, such as the hiatal hernia, cause specific symptoms such as heartburn, difficulty swallowing, and severe chest pain. Hernias do not always cause symptoms. It is typically discovered during a medical test for an unrelated problem.
Different types of hernia have different causes. However, one of the most prevalent causes is excessive pressure on a specific organ or intestine. Some people might already be born with weak muscles and a hernia forms when there is a pressure on the same area as that of the weakened muscles.
Common causes of hernia are
- Lifting heavy objects
- Overusing the same muscle
- Straining during coughing, sneezing, diarrhoea, or constipation
- Being overweight or having poor nutrition
- Using tobacco
How is a hernia diagnosed?
Generally, a hernia can be found through a simple physical examination by your doctor. An ultrasound takes a scan of your body with the help of sound waves. An endoscopy will take a scan of your oesophagus and stomach using a small camera attached to the end of a flexible tube.
How to prevent hernia
Although not all hernias are curable, Some of them that are genetic like the congenital diaphragmatic hernia is a birth defect that cannot be avoided. You could also be born with weak muscles, which could lead to a hernia later in life.
Your chances of getting hernia can be reduced by
- Eating smaller meals
- Losing weight if you’re obese
- Avoiding or limiting alcohol and tobacco
- Avoiding or limiting certain foods
- Using proper lifting techniques to prevent strains
How is a hernia treated?
A treatment at first depends on the type of hernia that you have and the state of health that you are at that point of time. You may be asked to keep an eye out for changes in your diet, activity level, and habits.
Your doctor will suggest surgery if the hernia worsens. It is of two types. One being, Laparoscopy which is less invasive and uses small incisions to go through with the surgery, while open repair surgery will lead to larger cuts to go along with the procedure.
People also ask
1. What are the main causes of hernia?
Different hernias have different causes. However, one of the most prevalent causes is excessive pressure on a specific organ or intestine. Some people are already born with weak muscles, and a hernia forms when there is pressure on the same area as that of the weakened muscles.
2. What are the first hand indications of a hernia?
A hernia’s most typical symptom is a tiny hump in the affected area. The hernia would seem to disappear when you lie down. It can be felt through a touch, when you stand up, bending down, or coughing. There might be a slight discomfort in the affected area. Although a few hernias, like the hiatal hernia, have specific symptoms like heartburn, trouble swallowing, and severe chest pain. Most of the time, hernias show no symptoms. It is mostly found during a medical test that is done for an unrelated problem.
3. Is hernia a serious problem?
Untreated hernias do not heal on their own and might have life-threatening implications. A doctor can inspect your hernia and advise you on the best treatment option. Early medical intervention and lifestyle changes can help relieve symptoms. A hernia, on the other hand, can only be effectively cured by surgery.
4. What kind of feeling does a hernia give?
Minor pain, aching, or a pressing sensation at the hernia site is frequent in patients with ventral hernias. Any activity that puts strain on the abdomen, such as heavy lifting, sprinting, or bearing down during bowel movements, aggravates the pain. Some people may have a bulge but are not in pain.