Dr. Rajesh Gupta (Homeopathy) needs a second opinion on this medical case.
Friends today I am discussing about a problem known as Hernia.
What is a hernia?
A hernia occurs when an organ pushes through an opening in the muscle or tissue that holds it in place. For example, the intestines may break through a weakened area in the abdominal wall.
Hernias are most common in the abdomen, but they can also appear in the upper thigh, belly button, and groin areas. Most hernias aren’t immediately life-threatening, but they don’t go away on their own. Sometimes they can require surgery to prevent potentially dangerous complications.
Common hernia types
Inguinal hernias are the most common type of hernia. They make up about 70 percent of all hernias, according to the British Hernia Centre (BHC). These hernias occur when the intestines push through a weak spot or tear in the lower abdominal wall, often in the inguinal canal.
The inguinal canal is found in your groin. In men, it’s the area where the spermatic cord passes from the abdomen to the scrotum. This cord holds up the testicles. In women, the inguinal canal contains a ligament that helps hold the uterus in place.
This type of hernia is more common in men than women. This is because a man’s testicles descend through the inguinal canal shortly after birth, and the canal is supposed to close almost completely behind them. Sometimes, the canal doesn’t close properly and leaves a weakened area prone to hernias.
A hiatal hernia occurs when part of your stomach protrudes up through the diaphragm into your chest cavity. The diaphragm is a sheet of muscle that helps you breathe by contracting and drawing air into the lungs. It separates the organs in your abdomen from those in your chest.
This type of hernia is most common in people over 50 years old. If a child has the condition, it’s typically caused by a congenital birth defect. Hiatal hernias almost always cause gastroesophageal reflux, which is when the stomach contents leak backward into the esophagus, causing a burning sensation.
Umbilical hernias can occur in children and babies under 6 months old. This happens when their intestines bulge through their abdominal wall near their bellybutton. You may notice a bulge in or near your child’s bellybutton, especially when they’re crying.
An umbilical hernia is the only kind that often goes away on its own as the abdominal wall muscles get stronger, typically by the time the child is 1 years old. If the hernia hasn’t gone away by this point, surgery may be used to correct it.
Incisional hernias can occur after you’ve had abdominal surgery. Your intestines may push through the incision scar or the surrounding, weakened tissue.
What causes a hernia?
Hernias are caused by a combination of muscle weakness and strain. Depending on its cause, a hernia can develop quickly or over a long period of time.
Common causes of muscle weakness include:
failure of the abdominal wall to close properly in the womb, which is a congenital defect
damage from injury or surgery
Factors that strain your body and may cause a hernia, especially if your muscles are weak, include:
being pregnant, which puts pressure on your abdomen
being constipated, which causes you to strain when having a bowel movement
lifting heavy weight
fluid in the abdomen, or ascites
suddenly gaining weight
surgery in the area
persistent coughing or sneezing
What are the symptoms of a hernia?
The most common symptom of a hernia is a bulge or lump in the affected area. In the case of an inguinal hernia, you may notice a lump on either side of your pubic bone where your groin and thigh meet.
You’re more likely to feel your hernia through touch when you’re standing up, bending down, or coughing.
If your baby has a hernia, you may only be able to feel the bulge when they're crying. A bulge is typically the only symptom of an umbilical hernia.
Other common symptoms of an inguinal hernia include:
pain or discomfort in the affected area (usually the lower abdomen), especially when bending over, coughing, or lifting
weakness, pressure, or a feeling of heaviness in the abdomen
a burning, gurgling, or aching sensation at the site of the bulge
Other symptoms of a hiatal hernia include:
acid reflux, which is when stomach acid moves backward into the esophagus causing a burning sensation
In some cases, hernias have no symptoms. You may not know you have a hernia unless it shows up during a routine physical or a medical exam for an unrelated problem.
How is a hernia diagnosed?
Inguinal or incisional hernias are usually diagnosed through a physical examination. Your doctor may feel for a bulge in your abdomen or groin that gets larger when you stand, cough, or strain.
If you have a hiatal hernia, your doctor may diagnose it with a barium X-ray or endoscopy.
A barium X-ray is a series of X-ray pictures of your digestive tract. The pictures are recorded after you’ve finished drinking a liquid solution containing barium, which shows up well on the X-ray images.
These tests both allow your doctor to see the internal location of your stomach.
If your child has an umbilical hernia, your doctor may perform an ultrasound. An ultrasound uses high-frequency sound waves to create an image of the structures inside the body.
Treatment options for a hernia
Whether or not you need treatment depends on the size of your hernia and the severity of your symptoms. Your doctor may simply monitor your hernia for possible complications. Treatment options for a hernia include lifestyle changes, medication, or surgery.
Dietary changes can often treat the symptoms of a hiatal hernia, but won’t make the hernia go away. Avoid large or heavy meals, don’t lie down or bend over after a meal, and keep your body weight in a healthy range.
Certain exercises may help strengthen the muscles around the hernia site, which may reduce some symptoms. However, exercises done improperly can increase pressure at that area and may actually cause the hernia to bulge more. It’s best to discuss what exercises to do and not do with your doctor or physical therapist.
If these changes don’t eliminate your discomfort, you may need surgery to correct the hernia. You can also improve symptoms by avoiding foods that cause acid reflux or heartburn, such as spicy foods and tomato-based foods. Additionally, you can avoid acid reflux by losing weight and giving up cigarettes.
If you have a hiatal hernia, over-the-counter and prescription medications that reduce stomach acid can relieve your discomfort and improve symptoms. These include antacids, H-2 receptor blockers, and proton pump inhibitors.
If your hernia is growing larger or causing pain, your doctor may decide it’s best to operate. Your doctor may repair your hernia by sewing the hole in the abdominal wall closed during surgery. This is most commonly done by patching the hole with surgical mesh.
Hernias can be repaired with either open or laparoscopic surgery. Laparoscopic surgery uses a tiny camera and miniaturized surgical equipment to repair the hernia using only a few small incisions. Laparoscopic surgery is less damaging to the surrounding tissue.
Open surgery requires a longer recovery process. You may be unable to move around normally for up to six weeks. Laparoscopic surgery has a much shorter recovery time, but the risk of your hernia reoccurring is higher.
In addition, not all hernias are suitable for laparoscopic repair. This includes hernias where a portion of your intestines has moved down into the scrotum.
Potential complications of a hernia
If left untreated, your hernia may grow and become more painful. A portion of your intestine could become trapped in the abdominal wall. This can obstruct your bowel and cause severe pain, nausea, or constipation. An untreated hernia can also put too much pressure on nearby tissues. This can cause swelling and pain in the surrounding area.
If the trapped section of your intestines doesn’t get enough blood flow, strangulation occurs. This can cause the intestinal tissue to become infected or die. A strangulated hernia is life-threatening and requires immediate medical care.
Preventing a hernia
You can’t always prevent the muscle weakness that allows a hernia to occur. However, you can reduce the amount of strain you place on your body. This may help you avoid a hernia or keep an existing hernia from getting worse. Prevention tips include:
seeing your doctor when you’re sick to avoid developing a persistent cough
maintaining a healthy body weight
avoiding straining during bowel movements or urination
lifting objects with your knees and not your back
avoiding lifting weights that are too heavy for you.
Top Homeopathic Remedies for Hernia
Nux Vomica: Best Homeopathic cure for all types of Hernia
Nux Vomica is a natural Homeopathic medicine which is of great help in treating all types of Hernias — be it femoral, inguinal or umbilical. It can be given to patients of Hernia in whom the abdominal muscles have been weakened due to long-standing constipation. The patient complains of a constant urge to pass stool or poop but scanty unsatisfactory stool is passed. Such a patient also usually feels very cold. There’s also an excessive craving for stimulants like alcohol or coffee. Weakness and soreness in the abdominal muscles are always experienced. For treatment of Umbilical Hernia in infants,Homeopathic remedy Nux Vomica is very beneficial.
Calcarea Carbonica: Homeopathic treatment for Hernia in obese people
Calcarea Carbonica is a top Homeopathic medicine for treating Hernia. It is mainly prescribed for obese people with weak abdominal muscles due to excessive fat in the abdomen. Such patients cannot bear tight clothes around the waist. Homeopathic medicine Calcarea Carbonicaalso gives excellent results in treatment of Hernia in children who sweat excessively on the head. The patients requiring this medicine are sensitive to cold air. There is alsoan unusual craving for boiled eggs or chalk or lime.
Lycopodium Clavatum: Homeopathic medicine for Hernia with weak digestion, excessive flatulence
Homeopathic medicine Lycopodium Clavatum is of great help to patients of Hernia who suffer from weak digestion and excessive flatulence in the abdomen. The patients requiring this medicine loveto eat sweets and have a craving for hot food and drinks.
Rhus Toxicodendron: Homeopathic medicine for Hernia due to excessive weight lifing
This Homeopathic medicine is very beneficial fortreatment of all such cases of Hernia where the abdominal muscles become weak due to excessive strainby lifting heavy weights. Homeopathic remedy Rhus Toxicodendron helps the patients by strengthening the abdominal muscles.
Silicea: Homeopathic treatment for Hernia with excessive perspiration on feet
Silicea is a Homeopathic medicine of great help for patients of Hernia who experience excessive and offensive perspiration on the feet. The patient always feels very chilly and desires warm clothing. Silicea is also a very helpful Homeopathic remedy for treatment of Herniain children who are weak, very obstinate and headstrong.