What is an inguinal hernia? Why does it happen? What are the symptoms? When should you see a doctor? How is it diagnosed and treated? What is good for inguinal hernia? You can find the answers to all these questions and much more below.

What is an inguinal hernia?

When part of an organ protrudes through an abnormal opening or protrudes abnormally, it is called a hernia . An inguinal hernia occurs when part of the intestine bulges through a weak spot in the abdominal wall in the inguinal canal. The inguinal canal is a passage through the abdominal wall near the groin. Inguinal hernias are 10 times more common in men than women. About one in four men will develop a hernia at some point in their life.

There are two types of inguinal hernias:

  1. Indirect inguinal hernia : This occurs when the inner side of the inguinal canal, which usually closes at birth, remains open. This condition allows part of the intestine to slide out of the inguinal canal. These hernias are usually diagnosed in the first year of life, but may not appear until adulthood. This condition affects 1% to 5% of normal newborns and 10% of premature babies.
  2. Direct inguinal hernia: This occurs when part of the intestine protrudes through the inguinal canal wall through a weakness in the abdominal muscles. These are common in adults but also rarely seen in children.

In adults, direct and indirect inguinal hernias look and feel the same. They can occur on one or both sides of the groin. Doctors may not know which type of hernia the patient has until surgery is performed. But both types of hernia are treated similarly.

A femoral hernia , also known as a femoral hernia , may look similar to an inguinal hernia. Femoral hernias are much more common in women than men. They can cause a lump that appears just below the groin and extends to the upper thigh. In a femoral hernia, a portion of the intestine protrudes as it passes between the abdomen and the leg through the passage normally used by the major blood vessels (femoral artery and vein). Femoral hernias are most common in older and overweight women.

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What causes inguinal hernia?

Children can develop an inguinal hernia because they are usually born with weakness in the muscle that causes the hernia. In adults, the muscle may weaken over time or due to sudden strain, such as lifting a heavy object, straining on the toilet, or coughing, and an inguinal hernia may develop.

What are the symptoms of inguinal hernia?

At first, an inguinal hernia may either cause no symptoms or simply cause a feeling of heaviness or pressure in the groin. Symptoms most likely occur after standing for long periods of time or when you engage in activities that increase pressure in the abdomen, such as lifting heavy objects, coughing constantly, or having difficulty moving the bowels.

As the hernia grows, it eventually causes an abnormal groin bulge under the skin near the groin. This protrusion may become increasingly uncomfortable or more sensitive to the touch, resulting in groin pain . As the hernia grows in size, part of the herniated bowel may become trapped and unable to slide back into the abdomen. If this happens, the trapped bowel is in danger of twisting and dying as blood flow is cut off. This causes severe pain and requires immediate treatment.

When should you see a doctor?

You should contact your doctor if you develop a lump, tenderness or persistent pain in your groin area. In infants and young children, you should also see your doctor immediately if you notice a lump in the child’s groin or scrotum.

How is an inguinal hernia diagnosed?

Your doctor will review your symptoms and medical history. He or she will ask when you first noticed the lump in your groin and whether it is getting bigger and hurting.

Doctors can diagnose most inguinal hernias by examining the area. Your doctor will look for an abnormal bulge near your groin and feel for the area, checking for a mass. Often, the protruding hernia can be temporarily pushed back into the abdomen with careful pressure. Your doctor may ask you to cough or strain, which may make the hernia easier to feel or see.

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In some cases, your doctor may need to confirm the diagnosis with an ultrasound or CT scan. In these procedures, painless sound waves or X-rays can distinguish a hernia from other causes of a mass in the groin area, such as an enlarged lymph node (swollen gland).

How is an inguinal hernia treated?

Not all hernias need to be treated. However, most hernias that cause symptoms or grow a little larger should be repaired by a surgeon. While waiting for surgery, some people use certain equipment (such as a hernia belt) that puts pressure on the hernia and can help relieve the discomfort temporarily. Except in very rare cases, these equipment should not be considered a long-term solution.

There are two basic types of hernia repair. These are open surgery or laparoscopic surgery. Both are usually done on an outpatient basis and take about an hour to complete.

  • open surgery

Most inguinal hernias are repaired with open surgery under general or local anesthesia. After the surgeon makes an incision in the groin, he pushes the herniated tissue back into place and repairs the hernia opening with stitches. In most cases, a small piece of synthetic mesh material is used to strengthen the area to prevent another hernia.

  • laparoscopic surgery

In laparoscopic hernia repair, the surgeon makes three small incisions in the abdominal wall and then inflates the abdomen with a harmless gas. The surgeon then inserts a laparoscope through the incisions. The laparoscope is a tube-like instrument containing a small video camera and surgical instruments. While viewing the internal scene on a monitor, the surgeon pushes the herniated bowel back into place and repairs the hernial opening with surgical staples.

Although this surgery may appeal to many, its long-term success rate is lower than open surgery. Laparoscopic surgery usually causes less discomfort and allows the person to return to their activities more quickly. If you are interested in laparoscopic surgery, it would be helpful to discuss the advantages and disadvantages with your doctor.

What is good for inguinal hernia?

You cannot prevent the congenital effects that may predispose you to an inguinal hernia, but you can take steps to reduce the inguinal hernia and related symptoms by controlling the tension in your abdominal muscles.

  • Maintain a healthy weight and exercise lightly
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You should take care to maintain a healthy weight. Also, exercises and yoga postures can help strengthen your weak abdominal muscles and maintain a regular supply of oxygenated blood to the body, thereby preventing hernia triggers. However, you should be careful not to get carried away with heavy exercises or lifting weights, as the hernia can cause pain.

  • Consume fiber-rich foods

When it comes to food, quality and quantity are two sides of the same coin. If you are suffering from inguinal hernia problem, eating quality rich foods but eating smaller amounts is the way to go.

Nuts and seeds such as almonds and chia seeds, fresh vegetables, non-citrus fruits, whole grains, yogurt and lean proteins are among the things that are good for inguinal hernia. In addition, drink plenty of water and fresh fruit and vegetable juices made with aloe vera, carrots and kale to avoid episodes of acid reflux and heartburn .

  • Apply ice pack

Inflammation, swelling, redness, pain in the abdomen or groin are some of the common symptoms of an inguinal hernia. In the case of such pain, you can always apply an ice pack directly to the affected area for immediate pain relief and reduction of contraction, swelling and inflammation.

  • Install hernia belts and clippers

Both the belt and scissors are helpful in keeping the hernia from moving. They function like connectors and keep the hernia intact in the abdominal wall. However, they should not be considered a long-term solution to the problem. If the pain persists and becomes unbearable despite wearing a hernia belt, you should definitely see your doctor.

  • Use ginger root

Ginger root can be used as an effective natural remedy to relieve abdominal pain and stop food accumulation in the stomach and esophagus. Whether you add it to your tea, boil it with water and sip your mixture all day long, you can relax the area around your groin and contribute to your health at the same time.

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