What causes a hernia?


Quick Answer

According to Mayo Clinic, hernias can be caused by a variety of factors such as straining when urinating or passing stool, heavy lifting and abdominal wall weakness. Hernias can also be brought on by a build up of pressure in the abdomen, excessive coughing and pregnancy. In certain cases, hernias have no identifiable cause.

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Full Answer

WebMD explains that hernias are the result of organs or tissue pushing through weakened areas in the connective tissues that surrounds them. Inginual hernias are one of the most common types of hernias. They occur in the bladder or intestines. The symptoms of a hernia include a mass directly beneath the skin that may disappear upon lying down, abdominal discomfort and constipation.

According to MedlinePlus, hernias are most often seen in individuals aged 50 or older. Hernias can also cause gastric reflux, a condition in which stomach acids move backward from the stomach and up into the esophagus. Hernias are treated with medications that help to strengthen lower esophageal muscles and control the stomach. Severe hiatal hernias typically require surgery. In many cases, symptoms can be minimized by losing excess weight, not smoking cigarettes, elevating the head of the bed 4 to 6 inches when sleeping, and eating small meals.

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