Hernia is a medical condition in which a part of a particular organ is protruding out of the membrane that is supposed to contain it. Hernia can happen in many areas of the body, but it most often occurs in the abdominal wall. When the abdominal cavity develops a hole, the parts it contains, such as intestines, fatty tissues, and organs, may bulge out. Hernia is a serious condition and, if left untreated, can cause life-threatening complications. Especially if hernia runs in your family, it is important that you know the symptoms, so you can detect it fast and have an early medical intervention. Here are the symptoms.
- Bulge. When a part of a certain abdominal content is pushed out of its normal place, a bulge will gradually develop. The swollen area varies according to the location of the hole and the bulging organ. For instance, umbilical hernia involves a protruding intestinal loop in the bellybutton. Indirect inguinal hernia, on the other hand, happens when the pathway in which the testicles descend fails to close. This usually results in a protrusion in the scrotum. Femoral hernia is a protrusion in the groin and mid-thigh part. This is caused by an abdominal content passing through the femoral canal that contains the leg’s blood vessels.
- Pain. Pain can be so severe, dull, or debilitating. The cause of pain generally differs. For instance, as the abdominal wall stretches and the abdominal content protrudes, a localized pain will be felt on the site of the hernia. The pain will decrease when the protruding content is pushed back to its place and the bulge begins to flatten out. But when the content is trapped or can’t be pushed back to its proper place, also called incarcerated hernia, strangulation is likely to occur. Strangulation comes with severe pain on the site of the hernia and on the abdomen. Strangulated hernia happens when the protruding content’s blood supply is stopped. Pain on other areas of the body is also possible. This occurs when the nerves surrounding the hernia site get inflamed or irritated.
- Bowel obstruction. Constipation is common among people suffering from hernia. This is because when intestine is obstructed, the normal path of feces is likewise obstructed. Bowel obstruction is usually preceded by strangulated hernia.
- Nausea and vomiting. Incarcerated hernia is followed by nausea and vomiting. A fully blocked intestine restricts the normal path of food; the end result is that the person vomits a lot of times and is severely nauseated.
Hernia is usually noted at birth. Generally though, hernia can happen at any age, especially when an individual has a medical condition or is exposed to a situation in which the abdominal cavity receives too much pressure. Examples are obesity, fluid buildup in the abdominal cavity, coughing, and heavy lifting. Treatment of hernia is surgical. It involves closing the hole that caused the abdominal content to protrude. In some cases, more particularly when the affected area is large, a synthetic material is sewn on the hernia site.