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Hernia is a very common health concern that can lead to the development of a bulge in the groin or abdomen. While this issue doesn’t always require immediate treatment, there are times when it can lead to a variety of harmful complications. In such a scenario, it’s important that you’re aware of the symptoms of a hernia and how to properly identify them.

What Is a Hernia?

A hernia is a problem that occurs when a hole or weakness is found in the peritoneum, which is the wall that’s meant to keep your abdominal organs in their proper place. When this issue occurs, it’s possible for tissues or nearby organs to push through the area, which will create a bulge that can usually be visibly detected. Keep in mind that it’s possible for one of these lumps to disappear entirely when the affected individual lies down.

There are four primary hernia types that you should be aware of, which include a femoral hernia in the groin, a hiatal hernia in the upper portion of the stomach, a periumbilical or umbilical hernia at the belly button, and an incisional hernia following an abdominal surgery. These hernias can be caused by everything from lifting a very heavy item to straining while urinating.

Primary Symptoms of a Hernia

In the vast majority of situations, the hernia that a person suffers from will present no notable symptoms except for the presence of a small bulge. In such a situation, you may not require treatment. It’s also possible that the bulge is accompanied by discomfort and pain, which could worsen when you lift heavy items, stand, or strain. There are times when you may need to seek immediate medical treatment, which include situations where the gut is strangulated or obstructed by the hernia. Another common symptom of a hernia involves a heavy feeling within your abdomen that can be accompanied by blood in your stool or constipation.

When You Should Visit a Doctor

While a hernia doesn’t always require treatment and may not come with any symptoms, there are several instances when you should visit a doctor. If you’re experiencing any amount of pain and expect that the pain is derived from a hernia, it may be time to visit the doctor. If it’s impossible for you to push the hernia back in, you may be affected by an incarcerated hernia, which could lead to organ strangulation. The presence of vomiting or constipation because of the hernia would also call for treatment.