Nowadays, people like to be active and get everything done by themselves. “Do it yourself” (DIY) projects are everywhere, and more and more people are learning different mechanic skills and using them as part of a new hobby. But sometimes these activities require extra physical effort that leads a person to push too hard; maybe they wanted to lift some material, they wanted to move some piece of furniture, or maybe they were just trying to manipulate an instrument.

Whatever the case, if a person makes a strong physical effort in a way that is not correct, they can get hurt and damage their body. When this effort creates pressure in the abdominal area, there can be a piece of soft tissue that tears and allows the intestines to move through it. This uncomfortable movement causes the soft intestine to protrude; this is called a hernia.

Types of Hernias

Hernias get their names according to the area of the body they are located in:

* Inguinal Hernias are very common in men and they appear in the abdominal wall just above the leg crease. Some of these can be caused because of an undetected weakness in the abdominal wall.

* Ventral hernias are usually caused after some surgery has been performed, and they are pretty serious because it means the tissue broke or tore. A doctor should be called to check the damage and offer some treatment.

* Femoral hernias are very common in women because these are directly related to pregnancy and having babies.

*Hiatal hernias are located in the hiatus, a hole in the diaphragm that allows the esophagus to connect to the stomach.

Hiatal hernias are very common as well, and they can be due to hereditary traits or some inadequate effort. Many people don’t even know they have a hiatal hernia and blame other possible conditions for the symptoms they experience due to a hernia. These symptoms can be:

  1. Swelling beneath the abdomen that disappears when you lay down.
  2. Constipation or blood in the feces.
  3. Pain or discomfort in the abdomen.

What to do when suffering from hiatal hernias

Once it has been diagnosed hiatal hernias have many different treatments, the main recommendation is to eat very slowly, trying to chew each bite at least 32 times. Until food is completely soft and it is easy to go through the gastrointestinal tract. Another advantage of this method is that it gives enough time for the stomach to send the signal of fullness to the brain and you will feel fuller and better.

Avoid eating food that is too hot, and also the one that has been reheated since un-fresh ingredients are prone to cause acid reflux which is one of the discomfort factors in hiatal hernias. Dairy products are also forbidden in patients with hiatal hernias, they also cause the acid of the stomach to be stronger and therefore cause trouble and worsen the hernia effects.

Treatment for hernias

Hernias, in general, have treatment to minimize discomfort and in some cases to push them back inside to the abdominal wall. In the case of hiatal hernia treatment, the idea is just to alleviate the symptoms and provide the patient a more relaxed lifestyle regarding eating and digesting food.

Is surgery an option for all types of hernias?

For hiatal hernias, there is no surgical procedure. The hiatus cannot be closed to avoid the stomach from protruding just like other hernias can be fixed. Surgery is usually the last option for hernias; the first treatment is aimed to lower inflammation and relaxing the muscles to be able to relocate a hernia and stop the side effects.

Remember these are just pieces of advice to raise awareness about hiatal hernias and also hernias in general. The best option is always to call your family doctor and get the proper tests to identify and diagnose a hernia and to have the corresponding treatment. Control of hernias remains as the best alternative for those patients who want to improve their quality of life since heartburn and acid reflux can be very annoying.