Although hernias can occur in men and women, they are far more common in men.
An inguinal (groin) hernia occurs when the lining of the abdominal cavity weakens, allowing part of the intestine to balloon out.
These hernias are more common in older adults as a result of strained or weak abdominal muscles but can happen at any age.
In infants, hernias are in the muscle layer.
One of the chief causes of hernias is too much abdominal pressure caused by heavy lifting or straining during bowel movements.
Correct lifting (using your legs and keeping the back straight) can reduce your risk of hernia.
Avoiding constipation or treating it promptly if it does occur can reduce straining during bowel movements.
Hernia symptoms and pain may start slowly. Symptoms include
Aches and pain in the abdomen that start and stop.
A feeling of pressure or weakness in the groin.
Visible bulges slightly above or within the scrotum.
Pain and tenderness in the lower abdomen and scrotum.
A hernia at the spot where the esophagus passes through the diaphragm to the stomach is called a hiatal hernia or hernia of the diaphragm. This hernia is caused by a weak spot in the diaphragm muscle that allows the stomach up through the diaphragm.
These hernias are usually not by themselves. However, food or acid pass back into the esophagus m cause heartburn, indigestion, chest pains, hiccuping, or belching following meals.
Self Care for Inguinal Hernias
Avoid activities such as heavy lifting that cause straining and more abdominal pressure.
Use correct lifting techniques.
Donít strain during bowel movements.
Self Care for hiatal hernias
Treatments for hiatal hernias include taking antacids, avoiding irritating foods, and raising the head of the bed several inches to help prevent stomach contents from flowing back into the esophagus.
Other treatments that can offer relief include avoiding going to sleep or lying shortly after eating, and eating small, frequent meals. Medical providers may also recommend prescriptions or over-the-counter medications to help control heartburn, which can contribute to hiatal hernia. Surgery to tighten the hiatal opening is a last resort if other measures fail to provide relief.
Signs that needs extra care
New, rapidly increasing pain in groin.
Aches and pain in abdomen that start and stop.
Pressure or weakness in groin area.
Visible bulges above or within scrotum.
Pain and tenderness in lower abdomen or scrotum.
New heartburn, indigestion, or hiccuping following meals.