Published October 2, 2019
In some cases preventing a hernia is out of our control, like a family history of hernias, having had a previous abdominal surgery, or simply muscle weakness from birth, but there are ways to lower your risk for triggering the development of one.
What Causes a Hernia?
To understand how to prevent a hernia, we first need to know what causes them. Inguinal hernias in the abdomen are the most common type of hernia. In this case, part of the intestine pushes through a tear or weakness in the abdominal wall and becomes visible on the outside of the body.
Not all hernias are dangerous unless they are left untreated and become “strangulated”, meaning the blood supply is cut off from an organ.
You can reduce the risk of developing a hernia by taking steps to reduce the pressure on your abdominal wall.
Prevent a Hernia by Maintaining a Healthy Body Weight
If you become overweight, you begin to put stress and pressure on your abdominal with the extra fat. Every time you stand or move, you are straining your abdomen. Losing some of that weight will help to greatly reduce your risk of developing a hernia.
Prevent a Hernia by Getting the Right Kind of Exercise
Some types of exercise are better than others if you want to reduce your risk of a hernia. Yoga, Pilates, sit-ups, lifting light weights, aerobic-type exercises along with cycling are all beneficial activities. Anything that will increase your core strength will be helpful. Avoid any kind of jumping exercises or squats, and refrain from over-exerting yourself during workouts.
Consult with Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia about the right kind of exercise program and a diet plan that is right for you and your lifestyle.
Prevent A Hernia With High Fiber
Introducing more high fiber into your diet helps to keep your bowel movements regulated and prevent constipation. Straining while constipated can trigger a hernia.
Also try to eat more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds, and beans and peas. Stay hydrated to help regulate your bowel movements and try high fiber supplements to avoid constipation.
Avoid Heavy Lifting
Know your limits and never lift anything that is too much for you. Best practice is to bend your knees and lift with your legs, not your waist.
Prevent a Hernia and Get Treatment for an Enlarged Prostate
An enlarged prostate can cause you to strain during urination, which can lead to a hernia.
Get Treatment for a Persistent Cough to Prevent a Hernia
See Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia for any condition that causes a chronic cough like bronchitis or asthma. A cough can aggravate an existing hernia or trigger a new one. If you have issues with allergies, sneezing can also put intense pressure on the abdomen.
Smoking is another habit that often leads to excessive coughing. Stop smoking to reduce your risk of a hernia, and to prevent countless other health conditions.
See Surgical Consultants of Northern Virginia to discuss your risk of developing a hernia and how to prevent them.
As always, if you have any further questions, please call (571) 512-5300 today!