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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

Can Hernia Change Bowel Movements?

Hernia is a common disorder among human beings.  It is a gastro-related disorder known to cause severe abdominal pain. The symptoms include severe stomachache and constipation. But, can a hernia change bowel movements? 

1. How Does Hernia Feel Like?

Hernia is caused by muscle pressure or weakness, which can cause the sac in the abdominal layer to enter the stomach through the weak spot. This intruding abdominal sac is called Hernia.

Can hernia change bowel movements
Image by Martin Büdenbender from Pixabay

Hernia squeezes the intestine and can obstruct the blood supply. This can cause pain in the abdomen, making the symptoms painful. Activities like lifting heavy objects and doing strenuous exercise can also cause abdominal strain.

2. What Causes Hernia?

Various factors, such as insufficient nutrition and obesity, can exert abdominal pressure.  This pressure leads to the formation of a hernia.

What Is a Hernia and How Is One Repaired?

In some cases, a chronic cough, sneezing, allergies, chronic constipation, and persistent coughing can also lead to excessive pressure on the stomach.  This, over some time, can cause hernia.

3. Symptoms of Hernia 

Symptoms of hernia usually remain similar in all persons. However,  the severity changes from person to person.  In some cases,  even a slight touch of the effect area can give unbearable pain to the patient.

Causes, Symptoms and Treatment for Hernias | Ask The Expert

Some of these symptoms are swelling in the abdomen, abdominal pain or pressure,  and a squeezing sensation in the abdominal region.  The patients may also experience twitch in the abdomen and severe abdominal pain due to abdominal wall tear.

Changes in bowel movement and severe constipation are also symptoms of hernia. However, these symptoms are common for gastro disorders and cannot be used as a diagnosis of hernia.

4. Types of Hernia 

Types of Hernia

There are four types of hernia based on the location of the affected area. These are umbilical hernia, Incisional hernia, Femoral hernia, and Hiatal hernia

4.1 Inguinal Hernia 

Inguinal hernia occurs when the membrane layer in the abdominal cavity passes through the weak spot situated in the abdomen along the inguinal canal. It can be life-threatening if left untreated.

Introduction to Direct and Indirect Inguinal Hernia

Some of the unique symptoms of Inguinal Hernia are extension or enlargement in the pubic bone. This causes pain in the groin while bending, coughing, or lifting. Patients may also feel strain in the groin and a fiery sensation at the bulge.

4.2 Umbilical Hernia

In umbilical hernia, a part of the intestine sticks out through the umbilical opening in the abdominal muscles. Such hernias in children are often painless.  You will be able to see a fatty tissue protruding through a weak spot in the abdominal wall near the navel. An umbilical hernia is usually found in children, but can also occur in adults too.

Can hernia change bowel movement
Image by Stephanie Pratt from Pixabay

The distinct symptoms include the formation of a lump that protrudes through the navel region in children and being more stressful when the child laughs, goes to the toilet, or coughs. This lump may shrink when the child relaxes by lying down.

However, if the lump does not decrease in size on lying down and you also suffer from vomiting, swelling, and discoloration then you must visit a physician.

4.3 Incisional Hernia 

An incisional hernia occurs in patients who have undergone abdominal surgery.  The surgical cut may sometimes cause a scar with a lump or swelling causing organs or tissues to protrude into the abdominal wall. The lump in the abdomen is usually painful while coughing, laughing, bending, and lifting heavy objects.

An increase in body weight, excess physical activity, premature birth, and post-surgical complications associated with surgery increase abdominal pressure can also cause incisional hernia.

4.4 Femoral Hernia 

In a femoral hernia, fatty tissue pushes through the groin at the top of your inner thigh.  The fatty tissue forms a lump in the inner thigh.  This lump may however reduce when relaxed.

How open femoral hernia surgery is carried out

Usually, coughing and other types of strain can make the lump reappear. The reasons for femoral hernia are unknown and a weakened femoral canal may weaken the surrounding muscles. Moreover, femoral hernias may sometimes nip a part of the bowel and increase the complications.

4.5 Hiatal Hernia 

The upper part of the stomach bulges through the diaphragm into your chest cavity in a Hiatal hernia. The causes of hiatal hernia are unknown. But, it may be related to the weakening of the surrounding tissue. The factors affecting hiatal hernia include age, obesity, and smoking.

Hiatal (Hiatus) Hernia | Risk Factors, Types, Signs & Symptoms, Diagnosis, Treatment

Nonetheless, the hiatal hernia is considered dangerous. It can damage the esophagus, causing the leaking of acids into the stomach. This can result in serious medical conditions.

5. Hernia and Bowel Movement

Hernia causes obstructions in natural bowel movement. A few of the symptoms of hernia include stomach pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, and swelling.

5.1 Can Hernia Change Bowel Movements?

Hernia can obstruct the blood supply to the tissues and the components can get trapped in the stomach wall. Also, this can cause blocked bowel movements. Further, the obstruction in the bowel movement can stop the passage of stool.

Can hernia change bowel movements
Image by 11165576 from Pixabay

Moreover,  a hernia can also disorient the shape of the stomach through the displacement of organs. This results in the build-up of gas causing pressure in the intestine.

6. Treatment for Constipation – Can Hernia Change Bowel Movements? 

We have understood that a hernia can result in a change in bowel movement. However, the latter cannot always be linked with hernia.  Following are a few tips to cure constipation related to hernia: –

Can hernia change bowel movements
Image by Alexa from Pixabay
  • Drink water to soften the stool.
  • Consume foods rich in fiber and yogurt.
  • Consume probiotics.
  • Exercise and walk regularly.
  • Use a laxative and stool softeners.

7. Conclusion – Can Hernia Change Bowel Movements? 

So, can a hernia change bowel movements? Yes, it can. Also, a hernia causes intestinal obstruction and may block bowel movements. This may lead to narrow or thin stools.

However, a change in bowel movement cannot be used as a diagnosis for hernia. You are required to take care of your diet to ensure that the bowel movement is not altered. Also,  you should include more fiber in the diet to prevent constipation.

Nonetheless, you must seek the advice of a doctor if you can feel the symptoms of a hernia.  If left untreated,  hernia can cause unbearable pain.

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