Guide to Hernias: Are You at Risk?
A hernia is a very common condition, to the point where about 20 million people all over the world are getting surgery for it every year. This happens because once a hernia occurs, it will not heal on its own. You’ll either have to learn how to live with it or fix it surgically. These complications are the main reasons why hernias should be avoided altogether.
There’s not much that you can do about a hernia once it sets its course, but staying healthy can help you avoid it. Certain conditions can put you at risk of developing a hernia, which is why you need to control them. In this blog, you will learn about hernias and who’s most at risk of getting one.
What Is a Hernia?
Hernias happen when your organs or tissue starts bulging through the weakest points of your abdominal wall. They can take on many forms, from hiatus and inguinal hernias to umbilical, incisional, and femoral hernias. The hernia can be visible underneath the skin or hidden by other organs. A patient with a hernia may or may not feel any symptoms. Most of the time, it depends on the size and location of the hernia. The majority of symptoms occur when sudden pressure or movements are made, such as coughing, sneezing, or lifting.
What Puts You at Risk of Hernia?
Anyone can develop a hernia, but certain circumstances can put you at risk. The risk factors can include:
Hernias often occur when excess pressure is placed upon the abdominal walls, causing the membranes to weaken. This type of pressure can happen under numerous circumstances, but mostly when heavy lifting is involved. If your work or gym routine requires a lot of heavy lifting, then you are at risk of developing a hernia.
Hernias tend to affect you more if you are a man, especially when it comes to inguinal hernias. This happens because the male anatomy features a hole in the groin area, where blood vessels pass to the testicles. Men sometimes do more strenuous work, which puts them at risk of developing a hernia.
In some rare cases, genetics can also put you at risk of developing a hernia. For example, if there are any genetic abnormalities in your fascia or muscle collagen fibers, the risk of hernia increases.
Excess weight puts you at risk of hernia, mainly because it increases the pressure and strain on your abdominal muscles. This makes them much weaker and prone to developing a hernia. If your BMI goes above 30, then your risk of hernia becomes very high, especially if you keep gaining excess weight.
Smokers often have to deal with a condition called the “smoker’s cough.” Depending on how much you smoke every day, coughing can get very bad and create a lot of pressure on your abdominal muscles. Smoking may also decrease your wound-healing ability, so if you’ve had hernia surgery before, this can cause a recurrence.
People with chronic constipation are also prone to developing a hernia. This happens due to the strain they go through each time they try to pass a number two. If you are on a low-fiber diet, then you are also at risk of developing a hernia.
The Bottom Line
Hernias can affect anyone at some point in life depending on their lifestyle. However, certain circumstances may put you more at risk. It’s good to know whether you are at risk for a hernia or not so that you can avoid its onset. You can contact Dr. Patrick Moore and get an appointment to see if you are prone to hernia.
For more information about hernias and your risk of developing one, you can contact Dr. Patrick Moore, MD, at 951-477-5700. He would be more than happy to answer all of your inquiries.