Q: How do I know if I have a hernia? What is the treatment?
A: Any time an internal body part pushes into an area where it doesn’t belong, it’s called a hernia. Ultimately, all hernias are caused by a combination of pressure and an opening or weakness of muscle: The pressure pushes an organ or tissue through the opening or weak spot.
Anything that causes an increase in pressure in the abdomen can then cause a hernia, including obesity, lifting heavy objects, diarrhea or constipation, or persistent coughing or sneezing.
If you have a hernia, you may experience any of the following symptoms:
- A noticeable protrusion in the groin area or in the abdomen
- Feeling pain while lifting
- A dull aching sensation
- A vague feeling of fullness
Most often, surgery is required to treat a hernia. BUT WAIT! Don’t stop reading. Most people avoid treating their hernias because they fear painful surgery. But usually hernia surgery is performed on an outpatient basis, and you can return to normal activity quickly. If you think you have a hernia, make an appointment to see a doctor. He/she can determine the best course of treatment for you.