LANSING, Mich. — June is National Hernia Awareness Month, and it is important to be able to identify if you have a hernia. While many hernias are easy to live with, some hernias can be life-threatening.
1. A bulge
A bulge is one of the most common symptoms of a hernia. “A lot of patients feel a bulge on their body, but they don’t know what it is,” said Nicholas St.Hilaire, DO, general surgeon at McLaren Greater Lansing. “These bulges are most commonly in the groin, belly button, or anywhere in the abdominal wall where the patient has had prior incisions.” The bulge may also become more noticeable if you cough or strain.
2. Discomfort or pain
Some people may experience pain in the same areas that they would experience a bulge. Commonly the pain or discomfort is more prominent after doing physical activity that would affect the area the hernia is in, like lifting, standing for long periods of time, and other physical activity. You could also experience pain or discomfort from coughing or sneezing.
3. Feeling pressure or weakness
If you aren’t experiencing pain with your hernia, you may feel pressure, weakness, or tugging in the groin. You may also feel a burning or aching sensation.
4. Feeling sick
Sometimes, if the hernia is large enough, surrounding tissues can get stuck when the hernia becomes strangulated and cuts off blood flow to surrounding tissues like the bowel, intestines, and other tissues in the abdomen that may lead to strangulation.
“If your bowel is stuck in a hernia, you can have more serious problems, like vomiting, fever, and feeling really sick. While this isn’t very common, it can be life-threatening and is treated as an emergency,” said Dr. St.Hilaire. “It is important to identify that you have a hernia so you can have it repaired before it develops into something more serious.”
Check out other Health related articles in our Yes to Healthy Living section of our website.
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