What type of Abdominal Pain is a Symptom of Hernia?


Hernias are fairly common, affecting both adults and children. A hernia is caused when any part of an internal organ,typically the stomach or the intestines, pushes through a weak point in its surrounding tissue or walls and protrudes. Hernias occur in the area between the chest and hips– the abdomen, groin, and upper thigh. Abdominal pain along with lump is one of the common symptom of hernia.

Understanding Hernias
There are many types of hernia which are categorised based on the site of the rupture. Some of the most common hernias are: inguinal hernias, femoral hernias, umbilical hernias andhiatus hernias.

Inguinal hernias occur when the tissue or part of the bowel comes through into the groin area at the top of the thigh. This form of hernia usually affects men. a similar protrusionin the groin often occurring in women is called femoral hernia.

When a piece of the intestines or any other tissue exits though the abdominal wallnear the navel or belly button it is referred to as umbilical hernia. Hiatus hernias on theother hand occur when a part of the stomach pushes through into the chest area via the diaphragm. Muscles weakened by surgical incision can sometimes lead to hernias called incisional hernias.

Symptoms of A Hernia
One of the foremost symptoms of a herniais the presence of a bulge in the area of the stomach or the groin. It can usually be both seen and felt. The lump, made up of the hernia contents, can often be pushed back in, or it will disappear by itself when in a prone position.

Abdominal pain is also one of main symptoms of hernias, at times as referred pain. Other than pain the abdominal area, additional symptoms for hernias include discomfort in the immediate region of the hernia, heartburn and constipation. The symptoms can differ based on the location of the hernia. However it must also be kept in mind that hernias at times have no symptoms.

When present, abdominal pain can be a helpful symptom in identifying the presence of a hernia. The location of the abdomen pain and the nature of the pain can both be valuable inputs towards its diagnosis.

Abdominal pain is a strong indicator of hernia when pain arises specifically at the time of bending over or lifting heavy objects. Pain aggravated as a result of coughing, straining(e.g. due to constipation) or laughingis similarly indicative. In these situations, the bulge in the abdomen or the groin also becomes particularly visible, helping in the diagnosis of a hernia. This type of abdominal paintypically applies for inguinal, femoral umbilical and incisional hernias.

A sensation of heaviness or fullness or a feeling of pressure in the abdomen, often in the lower portion, could indicate an inguinal hernia. This occurs because a piece of the bowel pierces through the lower abdomen wall into the inguinal canal.

When there is severe burning sensation in the stomach, nausea or pain in the upper abdomen, it could suggest a hiatal hernia. This burning is primarilycaused becauseacid contents of the stomach enter the chest area into the oesophagus due to the tear in the abdominal wall.

Severe abdominal pain usually occurs when a hernia becomes strangulated i.e. trapped in the opening causing loss of blood supply which is a life-threatening complication. In a strangulated hernia, bowel movements become hampered causing distention and severe pain throughout the abdominal region. Nausea, vomiting and fever are other symptoms. Strangulated hernias should be attended to immediately as they are medical emergencies.

Abdominal pain can thus be valuable indicator of hernias when seen with other symptoms.

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