Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Hernia Awareness

By Nurse Diane

Not long after my son was born he developed an umbilical hernia.  This occurred nearly 25 years after my brother developed the same thing.  When my brother had his hernia, the treatment was to tape a quarter over the area until it healed itself.  By the time my son was born, the treatment was different.  In fact there was no treatment at all.   The hernia developed due to a split in the intestinal wall, which allowed his intestines to poke through.  It protruded more when he was crying, than when he was calm.  The doctor suggested that I keep him from crying as much as possible, and in a few years it would heal on its own.  I followed his advice and sure enough it healed all by itself and no surgery was necessary.

According to some hernias are different, they require surgery to repair, or major complications, even death can occur.   A hernia occurs when parts of an organ (usually the intestines) protrudes through a weak point or tear in the thin muscular wall that holds the abdominal organs in place. People at risk of developing a hernia are typically those performing chronic lifting or activities that require straining, which increases intra-abdominal pressure. However, the various types and causes of hernias may occur in both males and females of literally any age. In infants and children, hernias occur when the lining around the abdominal organs does not close properly before birth.

Often there is no obvious cause as to why someone develops a hernia, but awareness of the common symptoms can help in diagnosing their occurrence. Identifying hernias in a timely manner is crucial. Left unchecked, hernias can possibly lead to a strangulated intestine, gangrene, and even death. Common hernia symptoms include:
Groin discomfort aggravated by bending
A tender groin lump
A non-tender bulge or lump in children

June is Hernia Awareness Month.  If you or someone you know has a hernia, please seek medical attention as soon as possible to prevent any major complications, and avoid making matters worse by using proper techniques when doing any heavy lifting.
(Images from Google) 

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