A hernia is a common internal injury that happens to many people at some point in their lives.
It is entirely possible to have a hernia for years and never even know it or live the rest of your life with one and not do anything about it. Hernias come in many types and can range from minor annoyances to major problems requiring surgery.
This article will help you understand hernias.
What is a Hernia?
A hernia is when any tissue or organ pushes through the wall of the area where it usually sits.
Most hernias occur somewhere in the abdomen, from the esophagus down to the groin areas.
The most common types are hiatal, inguinal and femoral. Symptoms resulting from these types may be slight discomfort or severe pain that requires immediate attention.
Only a doctor can accurately diagnose the existence of the illness and recommend the right course of action, if any.
Types of Hernia
A hiatal hernia occurs when the upper part of the stomach pushes past the hiatus, which is an opening where the esophagus passes through the diaphragm.
These are very common and usually result in heartburn and GERD. These can be relatively simple to repair if the symptoms become too severe or uncomfortable.
A femoral hernia is when part of the intestine pushes into the part of the thigh where the femoral artery resides.
These are most common in pregnant women or those who are obese. If treatment is required, surgery is the only option, although lifestyle changes and exercise can help relieve any discomfort caused by the illness.
An inguinal hernia happens when part of the intestine enters the inguinal cavity in the groin by pushing through the abdominal wall. Almost all of these types of hernias happen in men.
See Also: The Causes and Treatment of Gerd: Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease.
These hernias are usually caused by straining, either through exercise, chronic coughing, or heavy lifting. They are generally not dangerous but need to be monitored because complications can arise.
The only way to determine if you have a hernia is to be checked out by a doctor.
It may only require a physical exam where the doctor feels for abnormalities in the abdomen or may need a barium X-ray, endoscopy, or ultrasound. Once the specific type of hernia is diagnosed, a course of action can be recommended if required.
Exercise and dietary changes can help relieve symptoms caused by the illness, but the only cure is from surgery.
If the discomfort is acid reflux caused by a hiatal hernia, then medication can be prescribed or bought over the counter to relieve the symptoms. Only your level of pain and monitoring by a doctor can determine if the hernia is left alone or if surgery is recommended.
Strange discomfort or sensations in your abdomen can be scary but hernias are very common and are usually benign.
If you suspect you have the illness, discuss the symptoms with your doctor, if for no other reason than your peace of mind.