Hernia is more than just a medical condition. It's a constant reminder that your body isn't invincible and sometimes, even the strongest parts can weaken over time. Whether it's a dull ache, a sharp pain, or a bulge that won't go away, hernia can be a source of discomfort and frustration. But fear not, for there are steps you can take to manage your symptoms and prevent further complications. We spoke to Dr Arvinder Singh Chillana, Director -General Surgery, Fortis Hospital, Shalimar Bagh, who provided us with information on the same.
What Is Hernia
It is important to understand hernia if you want to slow down the progress of an existing hernia. It is a protrusion of abdominal tissues through weak muscles or a weak scar from previous surgery or umbilicus. This keeps on increasing with time if proper measures are not taken in the early stages of a hernia. Hence, it's important to consult a surgeon as soon as a hernia is diagnosed and take the necessary measures.
Also Read: Hiatal Hernia: Expert Explains Symptoms, Causes, And Treatment
Health Tips To Manage Hernia
Smoking can weaken the muscles and tissues, making hernias more likely to occur or worsen. It may increase the chances of coughing, which can further increase abdominal pressure. Dr Chillana highlighted that an increase in intra-abdominal pressure will increase the hernia size while a decrease in abdominal pressure will slow down the progress of hernia protrusion.
Excess body weight can put extra strain on the muscles and tissues, making hernias more likely to occur or worsen. Dr Chillana said, "Obesity also worsens hernia because it adds to abdominal fat thus causing continuous pressure on it."
Avoid Lifting Heavy Objects
Patients with a hernia should avoid lifting heavy objects or engaging in strenuous activities that put pressure on the affected area. Lifting heavy weights or doing intense workouts can worsen the hernia and lead to complications. Patients should consult their doctor before starting any exercise routine and follow their advice.
Dr Chillana added that strengthening of abdomen muscles through yoga or exercises under the guidance of an expert is very helpful. You can try yoga poses, such as butterfly pose, boat pose, cat-cow pose. You should consult with a yoga practitioner as any wrong exercise can worsen your condition.
Also Read: Hernia: 7 Easy Lifestyle Tips To Lower Your Risk
Avoid Foods That Cause Gas
Avoid foods that cause gas because gas also increases pressure inside the abdomen which is not good for hernia. Not only this, treat digestive issues like constipation as it can put pressure on the abdomen and exacerbate hernia. Patients should eat a healthy, fibre-rich diet, drink plenty of water, and exercise regularly to improve digestion and prevent constipation. You can take the advice of an expert dietician for this.
Take Care Post Surgery
Surgery might be required in certain cases to fix the hernia and avoid complications. Follow the advice of your surgeon after surgery and resume activities slowly as advised.
A healthy lifestyle can prevent hernia development and halt its progress also. If the hernia is diagnosed early and proper measures are taken in time surgery can be prevented. If left untreated, it can result in anaemia, ulcers, bleeding, and Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD).