An inguinal hernia happens when tissues of the body, like the intestine, stick through in the abdominal muscle’s weak spot. The bulge feels painful, particularly when you lean over, cough, or move heavy objects. Meanwhile, an inguinal hernia is not always dangerous. The problem is that it does not go away on its own and might cause serious problems.
If you have a painful or expanding inguinal hernia, your doctor is likely to prescribe surgery to correct it. Fortunately, the correction of an inguinal hernia is a common surgical procedure. You need to consult with reputable inguinal hernia surgeons that provide strict surgical procedures like those at londonsurgicalgroup.co.uk.
The symptoms of inguinal hernia in children
In children and newborns, an inguinal hernia can lead to weakness in the child’s abdomen. At times, a hernia will only be visible when the infant cries, strains while passing a stool, or coughs. The baby might also feel irritable and eat less than normal.
Hernia is more noticeable in older children when the child strains while defecating, coughs or stands for a long time.
Signs that indicate trouble
If you can’t push in the hernia, its contents might be incarcerated or trapped in the abdomen. A trapped hernia might be strangulated, stopping the blood flow to the trapped tissue. This issue on hernia could be dangerous when not treated immediately.
Among the symptoms of an incarcerated hernia are:
• If you’re not able to pass stool or gas
• Nausea, vomiting or both
• Sudden pain that immediately intensifies
• A hernia bulge that turns purple, red, or dark
When to see a doctor
Contact your doctor immediately if you see symptoms or signs of an incarcerated hernia, or when the hernia bulge becomes purple, red, or dark.
Seek your doctor upon noticing a painful or obvious bulge on either side of your groin. The bulge becomes more pronounced when standing, and you’ll feel it upon touching the affected area directly.
What causes an inguinal hernia?
There’s no clear cause for some inguinal hernias. Meanwhile, others may appear due to:
• Escalated pressure within the abdomen
• Difficulty to pass stool or urinate
• A weak spot preexisting in the abdominal wall
• Strenuous activity
• Chronic coughing or sneezing
Many experience abdominal weakness before giving birth when the abdominal wall muscles don’t properly close. Later on, it results in an inguinal hernia. For others, this health condition develops at old age when muscles deteriorate and become weak. Coughing due to smoking and intense physical activity are other causes.
Abdominal wall weakness might also arise, particularly after abdominal surgery or injury. For men, a weak spot on the abdominal wall appears in the inguinal canal, which is the area where the spermatic cord undertakes the scrotum.
The inguinal canal in women has a ligament that helps keep the uterus in place. Hernias arise when the uterine connective tissue joins the tissue around the pubic bone.
Below are tips to prevent having an inguinal hernia:
• Exercise regularly. Maintaining an active lifestyle will allow you to avoid having hernias. Nonetheless, ensure that you plan your exercise routine carefully, as specific workouts might also cause too much pressure on the abdominal area. Some beneficial exercises to avoid hernias include yoga, sit-ups or crunches, Pilates, aerobic activities like cycling or running, and lightweights. On the other hand, you should avoid squats and jumping exercises. These two activities can put pressure on the walls of your abdomen. Moreover, quick movements might result in muscle tearing. Your chance of developing a hernia might increase due to activities that require a lot of effort.
• Keep your body weight healthy. Obesity is also a risk factor for inguinal hernia. The reason is that excess weight can put pressure on your abdominal wall whenever you move around or stand. To shed excess weight, ask your doctor for a diet and exercise plan designed specifically for you.
• Eat high-fibre foods. Constipation is among the risk factors of inguinal hernia, leading to straining. For this reason, eating fibre-rich foods is recommended to help your bowel move smoothly. The fibre-rich foods you can incorporate into your diet are fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, whole grains, and legumes.
• Take fibre supplement. If eating fibre-rich foods don’t work for you, try taking a bulk-forming laxative or fibre supplements. Psyllium is one of the best remedies for constipation that can make you defecate regularly to prevent straining. But if this doesn’t work for you, try other laxatives like milk of magnesia, mineral oil, or polyethylene glycol. Another way to avoid constipation is to be well-hydrated every day. However, there are times when constipation results from certain painkillers and anaesthesia, so make sure to take extra steps.
• Quit smoking. Smoking might cause you to cough, putting pressure on your abdominal walls. As much as possible, you would want to avoid putting pressure on your abdomen as it could lead to an inguinal hernia or make its symptoms worse.
• Avoid lifting heavy objects. Lifting heavy objects could cause an inguinal hernia. So if you need to lift a heavy object, lift them carefully and properly. Make sure to bend your knees down and not your waist. Allow your legs to handle most of the effort instead of your torso. Also, do not force yourself to lift objects that are too heavy for you.
• Consult a doctor about a persistent cough. As mentioned earlier, coughing can lead to a hernia or make its symptoms worse. For this reason, treating persistent cough due to an underlying condition such as asthma is important. Sneezing is another symptom that strains the abdominal wall.
• Treat enlarged prostate. An enlarged prostate makes urination difficult, thus, putting pressure on the abdominal walls. Among the signs that you have an enlarged prostate is frequent urination, straining to empty the bladder during the last part of urination, and difficulty urinating faster.
In closing, some cases of inguinal hernia don’t have a clear cause. However, it usually appears for people who undergo pregnancy, have weak spots in the abdomen, experience persistent coughing, and many more. Fortunately, proper diet and lifestyle changes allow some people to prevent an inguinal hernia. These lifestyle changes will also help you recover after undergoing inguinal hernia surgery in London.