What is a Hernia?

31 Dec
By Amelia Smith

Hernia happens when a fatty tissue or organ pushes through a weak spot in a connective or surrounding tissue known as fascia. Some major types of hernia include umbilical, femoral, hiatal, incisional, and inguinal hernia. Let’s take a look at these different types of hernia.


• An inguinal hernia occurs when the bladder or intestine squeezes through the wall of the abdomen to enter the groin’s inguinal canal. This type of hernia accounts for 96% of all groin hernias and is an outcome of weakness in this area. • An incisional hernia occurs when the intestine protrudes through the wall of the abdomen in an area where an abdominal surgery happened. Overweight and elderly people are especially susceptible to this type of hernia due to an inactive lifestyle following a surgery. • In a femoral hernia, the intestine makes its way to the canal that carries the femoral artery into the upper thigh. This type of hernia is usually observed in pregnant or overweight women. • An umbilical hernia occurs when a portion of the small intestine squeezes through the abdominal wall near the belly button. This type of hernia commonly affects newborn babies. It is also common in overweight women or women who have given birth to many babies.

Also Read: Best New Year Health Tips • Finally, hiatal hernia is a type of hernia in which the upper stomach pushes through an opening in the diaphragm called the hiatus through which the esophagus passes. Now that you know what hernia is, let’s find out the major causes of hernia. In all types of hernia, the main reason behind the condition is an opening or weakness and pressure on the fascia—or a combination of two. This pressure leads to the organ getting pushed through the weak area or opening. This weakness could be a birth defect or can naturally develop over time in life. Here are some common causes of hernia: • Heavy-weight lifting without stabilization of muscles in the abdominal area. • Constipation or diarrhea. • Chronic and prolonged sneezing or cough • Also, people who are overweight, or smoke a lot, or suffer from malnutrition are susceptible to hernia. Hernia is diagnosed through a physical examination as this is usually good enough to detect the condition. More often than not, a swelled area is clearly visible in a standing position and can even be felt with the hands. To diagnose femoral hernia, an ultrasound may be required. Furthermore, an X-ray of the abdomen helps in finding out if there is a bowel obstruction. Umbilical hernia in newborns usually gets cured naturally within four years of birth and so hernia surgery is not required in such cases. However, for all other types of hernia, hernia surgery or treatment is required to repair a hernia. This is known as herniorrhaphy. If a patient decides to live with the condition with close monitoring, there is a risk of the protruding organ to get strangulated. The blood supply may get blocked, and can lead to tissue death and infections, ultimately proving to be fatal.

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Amelia Smith

Nutritionist, herbalist, health and medicine writer and yoga enthusiast, Amelia Smith, is a professional in the health, nutrition and diet industry.

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