7 Symptoms of a Hernia

Hernias occur when an organ protrudes through an opening in the muscular wall or tissue that holds the organ in place. These are common and most commonly occur in the abdomen. They can also occur in the groin, belly button or upper thigh.

Many people don’t realize that they have one. Usually, they are not life-threatening. But some cause potentially dangerous complications that require surgery.

The most common type is an inguinal hernia. Most of these occur in men. It’s when the intestines push through the inguinal canal, the area where the spermatic cord passes through to the testicles. The testicles pass through the inguinal canal shortly after birth. The canal is supposed to close afterward, but sometimes, it fails to close leading to a hernia later in life.

The diagnosis is straightforward, usually by physical exam. The bulge becomes larger when you stand or cough. A hiatal hernia is diagnosed with a barium X-ray or through endoscopy.

Surgery is considered only when these is a risk of the intestine becoming strangulated. Should this occur, it is a medical emergency. What are the 7 most common symptoms of a hernia?

1. Abdomen Pain

One of the most common signs of hernias is abdomen pain, discomfort and/or a feeling of heaviness in the area surrounding the hernia. The pain may be more prominent when bending over, stooping, coughing or lifting heavy objects. Some patients experience abdominal twinges or sharp pulling sensations. The pain may be occasional. As the hernia grows in size, the pain may become constant. Some patients describe the abdominal pain as a heavy, dragging sensation increasing when they are on their feet for an extended period. Other patients describe the pain as a burning sensation. It might feel more like tingling. Others describe the discomfort as a feeling of pressure in the lower abdomen that is aggravated by standing, playing sports or working around the house. Some feel like something has torn and experience sharp pain. If this sharp, sudden pain is accompanied by a bulge protruding from your abdomen, you’ve probably developed a hernia. When it first appears, the pain may be transient. Over time, it may grow (as evidenced by a larger bulge), and the pain becomes constant. Speak to your physician about your symptoms to ensure that you haven’t developed a serious risk for strangulation of your intestine.