Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Hernia

Frequently Asked Questions About Hernia

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  • A hernia may develop because of increased pressure in the body and an opening or weakness of muscle. Muscle weakness that can lead to a hernia is often caused by age, chronic coughing, damage from injury or surgery, or a failure of the abdominal wall to properly close in the womb
  • A person’s risk for hernia can increase if he or she has a family history for this disease

Q: What does a hernia feel like?

A: A hernia can be painful. Patients who have been diagnosed with hernia may feel pain while resting or while walking or running.1

Q: What does a hernia look like?

A: A sign that you may have a hernia is a lump in the groin , upper part of the stomach, belly button and areas with surgical scars. The lump or bulge typically contains parts of the intestine or abdominal fatty tissue.2,3

Q: What is a sports hernia?

A: A sports hernia, which the medical community also calls “athletic pubalgia,” occurs when soft tissues like muscles, tendons or ligaments in the lower abdomen or groin are injured. This hernia is a painful tear4 that usually develops during sports activities that entail repetitive or explosive motions, as according to the Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library.5

Q: How do you get a hernia?

A: A hernia may develop because of increased pressure  in the body and/or an opening or weakness of muscle.6 Muscle weakness that can lead to a hernia is often caused by age, chronic coughing,7 damage from injury or surgery, or a failure of the abdominal wall to properly close in the womb.8,9 Aside from these causes, people who already have weak muscles and strain their body further may also develop a hernia.10,11

Q: Are hernias hereditary?

A:  A person’s risk for hernia can increase if he or she has a family history for this condition.12

Q: Can a hernia cause constipation?

A: No, but increased straining during a bowel movement may raise the pressure in the abdominal wall, and possibly cause a hernia.13

Q: How do you get rid of hernias?

A: There are natural treatments you can consider  to address hernia. Castor seed oil,14 aloe vera juice,15 ginger root,16 licorice root,17 fresh vegetable juice18 and ice packs19 may be useful in alleviating this condition. However, if the hernia is already so severe that natural treatments do not work, procedures like an open surgery or laparoscopic surgery may be recommended.20

Q: Can a hiatal hernia go away?

A: Usually, most hiatal hernia cases won’t need treatment.21 However, the following lifestyle changes may be helpful for dealing with this condition:22,23

Reducing intake of foods that can increase heartburn, such as spicy foods, tomato-based foods, onions, citrus fruits, caffeine and alcohol

Changing eating patterns by consuming smaller meals several times a day instead of having large meals24

Avoiding smoking

Increasing the head of your bed by at least 6 inches25

Avoiding bending over or lying down after eating26

Avoiding eating meals a few hours before going to bed

In some cases, surgical procedures  that aim to push the hernia back into its original place and promote healing of damaged muscles may be considered. Avoid medicines like over-the-counter antacids, or over-the-counter or prescription H2-receptor blockers or proton pump inhibitors (PPI) due to their potential adverse side effects.27,28,29

MORE ABOUT HERNIA

Hernia: An Introduction

What Is Hernia?

Hernia Symptoms

Hernia Causes

Types of Hernia

Hernia Treatment

Hernia Surgery

Hernia Prevention

Hernia Diet

Hernia FAQ

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