The problem of hernia arises when an intestine or organ pushes through the muscle wall of the abdomen or groin. As a result, you will be able to see a bulge in the afflicted area. Different people experience a different level of pain; for some, it is a gut-wrenching pain, while for others, it is slightly discomforting.
Different types of hernia
Hernia primarily develops in the abdominal cavity area, i.e., between the chest and the hips. The most common types include:
- Femoral hernia: This type of hernia develops when fatty tissue or an intestinal part sticks out of the groin at the top of the inner thigh. It is comparatively less common than inguinal hernias and primarily affects women.
- Inguinal hernia: In men, the inguinal canal is a passage that allows the spermatic cord and blood vessels to connect to the testicles. Whereas, in women, the inguinal canal holds a round ligament that helps support the womb. In this disorder, fatty tissue or an intestinal part protrudes into the groin at the upper part of the inner thigh. The problem is the most common type of hernia and is more suffered by men than women. According to research, inguinal hernia accounts for around 75% of abdominal hernias. Moreover, it has a lifelong risk of 3% in women and 27% in men.
- Hiatal Hernia: It is caused when a part of the abdomen pushes itself up into the chest cavity leading to the diaphragm’s opening.
- Umbilical hernia: It is the second most common type of hernia and mainly arises when fatty tissue or intestinal part project through the abdomen near the belly button. According to a study, it accounts for around 6 to 14% of all abdominal wall hernias.
What problem can arise if you don’t treat hernia?
The complication that may arise if you do not treat femoral or inguinal hernia involves:
- Strangulation: This means a part of your intestine gets trapped in such a way that it does not allow blood to pass. This is a case of emergency and requires immediate attention to avoid tissue death.
- Obstruction or incarceration: Here, a part of the intestine gets stuck in the inguinal canal. As a result, you start feeling nauseous, causes vomiting, painful lump, and stomach pain.
Hernia in women vs. men
It is believed chiefly that a hernia is a condition mainly experienced by men because of heavy weight lifting. Men are more likely to suffer from the extreme pain of hernia. However, some hernias like femoral and umbilical are more visible in women. The leading cause of developing umbilical hernia is that the abdominal muscles are too weak to prevent the intestinal part from protruding.
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Symptoms that you can notice
A hernia occurs when a part of your internal organ sticks out itself through a soft spot in your muscle. You will be able to notice a lump or bulge if a part of the abdomen or groin pushes out, causing extreme pain. However, when you lie down, it will disappear again as it pushes back in. Also, you will be able to notice it better while you are laughing, coughing, crying, or straining at the time of bowel movement. Other symptoms of hernia include:
- Pain while heavy lifting
- All-time aching experience
- A sensation of bowel obstruction
- Increased pain in the area of the lump
- Bulge keeps getting bigger
- Swelling in the scrotum or groin
However, in the case of Hiatal hernias, you will not find any bulge outside the body. Instead, you will feel the sensation of heartburn, frequent regurgitation, indigestion, chest pain, and difficulty in swallowing.
It is essential if you see any symptom, you immediately get it checked for hernia. This is because if you ignore it, it can cause a lot of complications in the future. Many people also suffer from unbearable pain, making it impossible for them to live without surgery. Even though hernia is more common in men, umbilical and femoral hernia affects a large percentage of women. So please do not ignore it, thinking hernia is a male condition.
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