Most of us think of a hernia as a visible bulge in the abdomen. This is certainly true, but there are other symptoms of a hernia that can present as something entirely different. Be cautious, and don’t ignore them or self-diagnose thinking your symptoms are insignificant.
Some untreated hernias can be quite dangerous. Let’s look at 8 silent signs you may have a hernia.
Easy To Miss Signs Of A Hernia
Pain In the Pelvic Area
Because they rarely cause a bulge, some hernias in women are diagnosed as fibroids, ovarian cysts or endometriosis based on the region of pain. Although they may cause pain in the leg or back, a MRI is usually required to identify these small but very painful hernias.
Women are also prone to umbilical hernias near the belly button. A hearty laugh accompanied by pain can be a hidden sign of this type of hernia.
A feeling of muscle fatigue and weakness in the upper leg and groin can be a sign of a hernia.
Nausea And Vomiting
Although not usually thought of as a symptom of a hernia, an upset stomach can indicate a serious condition known as an incarcerated hernia. In this case the hernia doesn’t return in place by a gentle push, and can require immediate medical attention.
A fever with a hernia is a bad combination. This can indicate a “strangulated” hernia which is not getting enough blood flow. Call Digestive Health Services immediately.
Pain Under Certain Conditions
If you have pain while lifting heavy objects, or pressure in your abdomen when you bend down, this could be a silent sign of a hernia. Other common signs can be pain when you cough, or tightness in the groin or abdomen.
Be aware that constipation may mean there is blockage in the large intestine interfering with digestion. Additionally it will be difficult to pass gas.
Of course many issues can cause heartburn, but a hernia could be one of them. A hiatal hernia in the upper abdomen can cause a feeling like heartburn along with chest pain. It allows stomach acid to leak into the esophagus causing inflammation which mimics heartburn.
An inguinal hernia can cause someone to feel like they had an enormous meal when in fact they did not. This very common type of hernia can also make you feel bloated accompanied with pain in the groin and lower abdomen.
If You Are Experiencing Symptoms of a Hernia
If you suspect you have a hernia, it is crucial to take appropriate steps for your well-being.
First and foremost, schedule an appointment with your primary care physician or one of our gastroenterologists to seek professional medical advice. During the appointment, be sure to discuss your symptoms openly and honestly, providing details about the location, severity, and duration of any pain or discomfort you are experiencing.
Your gastroenterologist may recommend further diagnostic tests, such as an ultrasound or MRI, to confirm the presence of a hernia. It is important to follow their medical advice regarding the most suitable course of action, which could involve watchful waiting, lifestyle modifications, or surgical intervention.
While awaiting evaluation or as part of your treatment plan, you can also practice self-care measures such as avoiding heavy lifting, maintaining a healthy body weight, practicing good posture, and using over-the-counter pain medications as advised by your healthcare provider.
Remember, these are general guidelines, and seeking personalized assessment and guidance from a healthcare professional is essential. Some of these easy to miss signs of a hernia can be potentially dangerous if not treated. Speak to your gastroenterologist if you suspect you may have a hernia.