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A hernia is a condition in which tissues in the body bulge out of place. Typically, this occurs in the abdominal area when part of the intestine pokes through the abdominal wall. It is important to note that bulges can happen in other parts of the body, and they may be referred to as hernias as well. However, the term hernia is most often used to describe bulges that happen in the abdominal area.
Many people think that the symptoms of a hernia are easy to recognize. This is far from the truth, however, as some hernias do not cause any obvious symptoms. However, the lack of symptoms does not mean that such hernias are not dangerous. Whether they are accompanied by obvious symptoms or not, there is a risk that the blood supply to the area will be cut off. This results in a medical emergency.
A noticeable lump is one of the most obvious symptoms of a hernia. The lump can be absolutely painless, tender, or outright painful. One main symptom of a reducible hernia, one that can be pushed back in place, is a lump that aches yet is not tender to the touch. In some cases, sufferers may experience pain from a hernia before even noticing a visible lump. The lumps may seem to grow larger when sufferers stand up or when they cough.
When a person has an irreducible hernia, he may have a lump that is only occasionally painful. However, a person may have this type of hernia for a long period of time without any pain. When he pushes on it, it does not go back into place. Other symptoms of a hernia of this type may be nausea, vomiting, and similar signs that can indicate a bowel obstruction.
One of the most common symptoms of a hernia that is strangulated is an irreducible lump that is painful. However, they are not always irreducible. With this type of hernia, the piece of protruding intestine has an impaired blood supply. The lump is tender to the touch, and the affected person may experience nausea and vomiting. He may be obviously ill, and he may have a fever, although a fever is not always present.
Though some people may be tempted to ignore the symptoms of a hernia, especially when pain, nausea, and vomiting are not present, many experts agree that this is a bad idea. There is some chance that the hernia will become strangulated in the future. As such, it is best to have a doctor evaluate any strange lumps and bumps.