What causes hernia?
A hernia occurs when inner layers of abdominal or structural muscle become weakened. The lining of the muscle can then bulge out into a small sac, and part of a nearby organ or tissue may enter the sac. In most cases a hernia will occur when the compartment which surrounds an organ receives increased pressure that weakens the boundary. Any activity or medical problem that increases pressure on the abdominal wall tissue and muscles may lead to a hernia, including:
Ascites – Ascites cause the buildup of extra fluid in the abdomen (peritoneal cavity).
Constipation - Straining during bowel movements or urination can cause a hernia.
Cough - Coughing raises pressure in the abdomen. Any illness that includes severe coughing can cause hernias to occur (COPD, whooping cough). A severe bout of flu may sometimes cause a hernia to develop
Drastic weight loss - When obese people lose weight they may be more prone to developing hernias.
Excessive lifting – Lifting objects raises pressure on the abdomen and other parts of the body, causing possible internal rupture.
Internal pressure – Pressure, such as intracranial pressure can create hernias which protrude through the internal cavities.
Medical conditions – Cystic fibrosis, genetic disorders of connective tissues (Marfan syndrome, Ehlers-Danlos syndrome), enlarged prostate glands or undescended testicles can all provoke hernias.
Weak or injured muscles – Weak muscles create an internal environment in which the body becomes prone to hernias.
Risk factors may not be a direct cause of the disease, but seem to be associated in some way. Older people are more likely to get a hernia. And hernias are more likely to occur in men than women. Risk factors associated with developing a hernia include:
Age - The older you are, the weaker internal muscles become.
Gender - Eight out of 10 hernias occur in men.
Genetics - If either or both of your parents had a hernia you are more likely to develop one. Hernias are also more likely if you are born with a weakness in the muscles of the abdomen or are born early
Family history - Your risk of a developing certain types of hernias increases if you have a a parent or sibling diagnosed with the condition.
Medical history – If you have developed one hernia, it's much more likely that you'll develop another — usually on the opposite side.
Obesity - If a person is obese his chances of developing a hernia are significantly higher, compared to people who are not obese
Physical labor – Work that requires lifting and straining may put you at risk for developing a hernia.
Pregnancy – During pregnancy, muscles can weaken and stretch, making it easier for tissue to poke through internal structures.
Surgery - Some surgeries may result in the weakening of membranes.
A hernia occurs during moments of stress, as a result of medical conditions or slowly over time. During a hernia you might notice a painless lump in the abdomen or groin. But how can you be sure that you are experiencing a hernia or not? Learn to identify the symptoms of hernias next.
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