A hernia is a condition where an internal organ protrudes through a weakened area in the abdominal wall. It primarily occurs in people who engage in heavy lifting or certain exercises, but it can also be a congenital disorder. A strangulated hernia, on the other hand, is a hernia that becomes trapped in the abdominal wall. It is a potentially life-threatening condition that requires immediate medical attention.
Causes of a Strangulated Hernia
A hernia may become strangulated due to several reasons such as gradual weakening of the abdominal muscles, lifting heavyweights, or sports injuries. People with chronic constipation or chronic cough also hold an increased risk of a strangulated hernia as they tend to put more pressure on the abdominal wall. In rare cases, strangulated hernia can occur due to sudden trauma or accidents.
Symptoms of a Strangulated Hernia
The initial symptom of a strangulated hernia is normally a recurring pain in the hernia area that gradually worsens and sharpens. Vomiting, nausea, fever, bloating, and fatigue may also surface as the condition deteriorates. The herniated part of the intestine, when cut off from the blood supply, will begin to die, leading to signs of dehydration and other complications that pose a risk to life.
A medical professional is best suited to diagnose the condition if you have symptoms. Physical and visual examinations, blood tests, and CT scans may be performed to pinpoint the specific problem areas and verify the diagnosis. Ultrasound, X-Rays, or MRI scans may also be required to confirm the suspected strangulated hernia.
Surgery is the standard form of treatment for a strangulated hernia. The surgical procedure begins by cutting open the hernia then positioning the organs back into their normal locations, followed by suturing up the opening to avoid further complications. Medical professionals will also prescribe antibiotics to avert potential infections. The medications may be administered through an IV drip or orally.
How to Avoid Strangulated Hernias
Strangulated hernias can be averted by reducing physical exertion and enlisting professional help when handling heavy loads. Additionally, maintaining a healthy lifestyle that includes eating foods rich in fiber, drinking sufficient amounts of water, and avoiding foods that cause constipation will aid the body’s digestive tract. Hernia belts help lessen the strain on the abdominal wall of individuals which reduces the risk of strangulation.
A hernia is an avoidable and treatable condition. Strangulated hernias, though, require prompt medical attention and can be life-threatening if not treated immediately. Never ignore the warning signs or symptoms of a strangulated hernia. If you discover a protrusion or lump in your midsection, see a doctor for further assessment. Reach out to medical professionals to provide adequate advice and prescription to improve your overall physical health. Following preventative measures and enlisting the help of a medical professional when required can go a long way in preventing occurrence of strangulated hernias. Contact Texas Hernia Specialists if you think you may have a hernia.