If This Happens To You, It Could Be A Sign Of A Hernia

A hernia is what happens when an organ or tissue inside the body begins to protrude through muscle or tissue. According to theĀ Cleveland Clinic, hernias occur in both men and women and usually happen in the abdominal cavity or groin area. Depending on where the hernia is located and its size, it's sometimes possible to see it through the skin.

There are many different types of hernias, but four of the most common are inguinal, femoral, umbilical, and hiatal. Some hernias occur in specific areas of the body or affect a gender more than the other, such as femoral hernias, which primarily affect women in the inner thigh near the groin (via Cleveland Clinic). Inguinal hernias affect men more than women and are the most common type of hernia. According to WebMD, more men experience inguinal hernias due to a weakness in the groin area. When an inguinal hernia occurs, the intestine or bladder starts bulging through the abdominal wall.

While diagnosed more in babies than adults, umbilical hernias occur near the belly button after tissue or the intestine pushes through the abdomen (via Web MD). A hiatal hernia happens when the stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm in the chest cavity, which could potentially lead to acid reflux through the esophagus.

Symptoms of a hernia

Hernias may leave patients feeling some mild pain and discomfort. However, the symptoms of a hernia can vary person-to-person and can also depend on the type of hernia. For example, according to Johns Hopkins Medicine, men may experience a variety of hernia symptoms, including pain and pressure at the affected area, a bulge that can be felt or seen, or a "tugging" feeling near the testicles and scrotum. For women, sharp pain and a bulge may also be felt, however, a bulge may not be as noticeable in the groin area.

According to Family Doctor, the cause of a hernia varies by type, but they can happen from overusing a muscle, picking up heavy objects, using tobacco, or being overweight. If you overuse a muscle or put too much pressure on the same area, it can weaken the muscles and tissues in that part of your body, resulting in a hernia.

There are ways of preventing hernias altogether. According to theĀ Cleveland Clinic, eating fiber to avoid constipation, maintaining a healthy weight, and using the correct form when lifting heavy objects are all preventive measures you can take. Thankfully, a hernia can be treated. However, treatment involves some type of surgery, as this condition does not resolve itself on its own.