Millions of people suffer from hernias each year, and it’s been estimated that approximately 27 percent of men and three percent of women will have a groin hernia during their lifetimes.
Yet hernias can appear in various parts of the body and often result in surgery to relieve the symptoms. Fortunately, there are natural lifestyle changes and home remedies for hernias that can reduce a person’s risk or discomfort from this condition. Here is some information about hernias and how you can prevent and treat them.
What Is a Hernia?
Hernias result when an organ breaks through a weak area of muscle or tissue in the body. They can occur in the abdomen, groin, belly, and upper thigh areas. The most common hernia is the inguinal hernia, which occurs in the lower abdominal area. It affects the inguinal canal that holds the testicles in place for men and the uterus in place for women. Another type of hernia is the hiatal hernia, which commonly affects older adults and cause gastroesophageal reflux disease. Babies can develop umbilical hernias, which may go away on their own as a baby’s abdomen strengthens, and incisional hernias are common after a person undergoes surgery.
Causes of Hernia
Since there are various types of hernias, the causes of hernias vary greatly. Overall, hernias develop where a muscle is weak, often due to an injury, surgical incision, or with age. Hernias tend to run in families and are more common among people who are obese. Individuals who have chronic constipation or coughing may develop a hernia as well because of excess strain placed on the body’s muscles.
Common Hernia Symptoms
The tell-tale sign of a hernia is a bulge in the area where the organ has broken through nearby muscle. The most common place on the body for this type of bulge is in between the groin and thigh on the side of the pubic bone. Hernias can be very painful and also cause aches and burning sensations at the bulge site. Depending on which type of hernia a person has, other symptoms may involve chest pain and acid reflux.
Natural Hernia Remedies
Although some people require surgery for their hernias, it is not always the best decision to go under the knife. Sometimes, over-the-counter medications can be used to relieve hiatal hernias, for example, to reduce stomach acid and related symptoms. When done properly, exercising can strengthen muscles to prevent hernias from forming in the first place. Maintaining a healthy body weight and eating more frequent smaller meals can also help prevent hernias.
It may also help to remain upright for several hours after eating meals and to sleep with your head elevated on a thicker pillow. Exercising daily, quitting smoking, and managing stress can help prevent hernias and serve as natural remedies to supplement the treatment your doctor recommends. Drinking tea, eating ginger root, trying warm water therapy, and relieving pain with aloe vera gel can also make hernia sufferers more comfortable and healthy in their daily lives.