A hernia takes effect when there is a weakness or hole in the muscular wall (the peritoneum), which holds abdominal organs in place. This condition creates a bulge in the area, as a hernia allows your organs and tissues to push through. Hernias can be classified into five different types: inguinal, hiatal, femoral, umbilical, and incisional (where a hernia occurs via an operational scar you may have). The common symptoms of a hernia can vary, depending on the type of hernia you have. For some, a hernia may not be noticed until an annual physical checkup at your doctors. Still general symptoms include:
- A protruding bulge on the groin, upper thigh, or abdominal area.
- The bulge can produce a significant amount of pain and discomfort especially when standing, lifting, or coughing. The bulge may disappear when lying down.
- The lump can swell, and be sensitive to touch.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Infants, babies and children can experience the same signs, yet may not be able to communicate them to parents effectively. Caregivers will notice a protruding bulge around the abdominal areas when their young ones are crying, coughing or straining during a bowel movement. This lump will disappear when they have calmed down, or when they are sleeping.
At the end of the day, hernias sometimes cannot be prevented, but there are steps a person can take to lower risks. Here are a few:
Break The Bad Habit: Smoking can increase your chances of developing a hernia. Chronic coughing can lead to a hernia, and the term ‘smokers cough’ was created for a reason. Just saying ‘no’ to cigarettes can reduce coughing significantly, and help prevent hernias.
Body Weight: Overweight and obese individuals increase their chances of developing a hernia, due to the added pressure on their abdomen. Maintaining a healthy weight through exercise and proper nutrition is a great step in reducing your risk of getting a hernia.
Avoid Heavy Lifting: Much like coughing, heavy lifting can contribute to a hernia. Sometimes these things cannot be avoided; however, learning to lift with your knees versus your back is an excellent start.
Annual Check Ups: Some hernia sufferers don’t notice that they have a protruding bump at all and general don’t feel any pain or discomfort that is associated with this condition. Visiting your doctor annually can help with pinpointing a hernia, or any other potential issues going on with your health that can increase the risks of getting a hernia.