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Hernia (Abdominal)

Hernia is a condition that develop due to a spot weakness in a muscle, through which an organ or tissue squeezes through. The most common types of hernia are the inguinal hernia, incisional hernia, Femoral hernia, and Umbilical hernia. Inguinal hernia accounts for about 80% of all hernias. In this case, the intestine or bladder protrudes through the abdominal wall into the groin. In an incisional hernia, the intestine pushes through the abdominal wall at the site of a previous surgery over the abdomen. The femoral hernia is more common in women, especially those who are pregnant and obese. It occurs when the bladder or intestines enter the canal carrying the femoral artery to the upper thigh. Umbilical hernia is common in newborn babies and women who have had many children. Here, the small intestine passes through the abdomen wall near the navel. Hernia is mainly caused by muscle weakness and strain. Poor nutrition, over-exertion, smoking, obesity are factors which cause weakness in the muscles. Lifting heavy objects may also precipitate a hernia, especially when these factors are already present. Other causes include constipation, pregnancy, and persistent coughing.

Hernia prompts an obvious swelling beneath the skin either in the abdomen or on the groin. Initially, it disappears on lying down. Later, the swelling starts to increase on coughing but can still be pushed back. After a while, even this becomes impossible as the swelling begins to show visibly. Usually, hernia is not a painful condition. But if there is a pain then it points to an obstruction or infection.

Do’s and Don’ts
If you experience any of the above symptoms, you should consult your doctor for diagnosis and appropriate treatment. Alternative therapies cannot cure hernia. At best they can just relieve the discomfort that it causes. For prevention purposes, doing gentle exercises, like the one mentioned below on a regular basis will help, as it strengthens your abdominal muscles. Lie on your back with knees bent and feet on the floor. Keeping your shoulders on the floor lift your buttocks and back and then gently lower them. Repeat this exercise 10 times every day. Eating a good, nutritious diet helps to avoid constipation and enhance muscle strength. Avoid lifting heavy objects, and if you do have to lift, bend from the knees and not from the waist. During pregnancy, gentle exercises are important to maintain the tone of the muscles. It is advisable to continue mild exercises even after delivery, albeit under medical guidance. In case of a persistent cough, you should consult your doctor. Also, your smoking habit should be done away with.


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