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Hernias are not an uncommon condition. In fact, according to Cleveland Clinic, nearly 5 million people in the United States have an abdominal hernia. This leads people to ask, what exactly is a hernia and how do I know if I have one?
A hernia happens when tissue protrudes through a weakening in your muscle lining, which can be very painful. Identifying symptoms early can help ease your suffering and get you the treatment you may need, faster. We asked Coordinated Health General Surgeon, Dr. Sten Kjellberg, the symptoms of a hernia and what to do if you think you might have one.
“Hernias can be very painful and debilitating until treated but the symptoms can greatly vary depending on its location . Knowing the symptoms of a hernia and catching them early on can ease suffering that could occur if you wait to seek treatment. I find that most patients with hernias experience several of these symptoms,” said Dr. Kjellberg.
Lumps and Bumps
Many times a bulge or lump can be felt over the area. This may develop acutely from an injury and is usually associated with pain or it can slowly develop as the tissues weaken and slowly form a bulge .
Pain During Strenuous Activity
Damage and stretching of the tissues at the hernia site, especially during strenuous activity can lead to pain in the area.
Pain While Lifting Objects
Lifting heavy objects or bending over can put strain on the hernia and also cause pain.
Vomiting or Fever
Pain can also be caused by things that gets stuck in the hernia such as intestines or other internal organs. If intestines get stuck this can lead to severe pain associated with blockage of the intestine or lack of blood flow to the intestine. Both of these conditions could be associated with nausea and vomiting or fever.
“If you have any concerns that you may have a hernia, especially if you are having symptoms it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent potential complications,” said Dr. Kjellberg