Hernia is one of the most common diseases to happen in people of all groups. It is caused when an organ pushes through the surrounding weaker muscles. It looks like a bulge and commonly occurs in the abdomen, groin or thighs.
Hernia is usually harmless, but if it becomes painful, the smartest thing to do is to get it permanently removed.
Complications of hernia
Hernia is not a deadly disease. But, it can create complications to and nearby the body part where it occurs. When the hernia in the abdomen becomes big, and cannot be pushed back to its original position, it is said that the hernia is incarcerated or irreducible, in medical terms. This condition can cut off the blood supply to the intestines/ intestinal tissues. When the blood flow is hindered, the hernia is said to be strangulated. If this condition continues for long, the abdominal tissues can die. The person might also feel excruciating pain in the place of origin of the hernia. A person suffering from hernia might also feel nauseated and get the tendency of vomiting then and now.
A strangulated hernia can also be a medical emergency. The condition might demand surgery immediately.
There are six common types of hernia:
- Inguinal hernia
- Incisional hernia
- Femoral hernia
- Umbilical hernia
- Hiatal hernia
- Epigastric hernia
What are the different treatments available for hernia?
Most people rely on home remedies to treat hernia. But that might often fail to provide permanent relief. Apart from home remedies, the other reliable treatment options are surgery and Ayurvedic treatment.
Home Remedies for hernia
The following simple changes in lifestyle and dietary habits can prevent the occurrence of hernia to a large extent.
- Make lifestyle changes – Don’t starve, but also, do not overeat. Take small meals at regular intervals throughout the day. Three major meals and three snacks sound perfect for a day.
- Maintain a healthy weight – Start doing yoga and other exercises at home to strengthen your abdominal muscles. But at the same time, also refrain from doing heavy exercises, lifting too many heavyweights or straining the body too much.
- Switch to fiber-rich diet – If the quantity and number of meals matter, so does the quality. If you are a hernia patient, eat more fiber-rich food. Many people suffer from constipation along with abdominal hernia. In that case, increase the intake of vegetables, non-citrus fruits, whole grains, seeds and nuts, yogurt, and lean proteins.
- Trust the benefits of water – Drink plenty of water and fresh juices throughout the day. The benefits of water can keep several complications at bay.
- Icing – Apply ice packs on the affected area. It will help you get rid of the inflammation, redness, pain, swelling and other such symptoms of an inguinal hernia.
- Ginger – Add ginger to your cup of tea or boil it with water and drink in an empty stomach. This can reduce the pain in the abdomen and also prevent the buildup of gas in the stomach. The ginger concoction can often provide instant relief.
- Aloe Vera juice – Aloe Vera is known for its anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. It is highly recommended for people suffering from hernia. Not only for these people, aloe vera can be beneficial for other normal people also.
- Castor seed oil – People have trusted the healing properties of castor seed oil since time immemorial. Regular consumption of castor oil creates a lining in the stomach, which helps in digestion and prevents inflammation.
- Wear hernia truss – Wear a truss to support the hernia from getting worse until you go for further treatment. You can press or push the hernia back into its place and then wear a truss to prevent it from changing position again.
Surgeries to treat hernia
When home remedies for hernia don’t work in treating your hernia permanently, the doctors might recommend you go for surgery which is the only way to repair them. Depending upon the hernia, and your health condition, the surgeon or the doctor will be able to tell you which surgery will be the best for you.
Surgery is generally not recommended in children below the age of 6. But in rare cases, if the child is suffering from an umbilical hernia, or if the hernia constantly keeps getting bigger, the doctor might suggest surgery.
Read more on Types of Hernia in Adults and Their Symptoms
There are two types of surgeries commonly suggested to any person suffering from hernia – Open surgery and Laparoscopic surgery.
Open surgery – In this process, the incision is made in the location of the hernia. The bulging out tissue is pushed back to its original position and the weakened muscle which is cut, is stitched back together. In many cases, the doctor will place a mesh to provide support to the hernia.
Laparoscopic surgery – The same process is followed in this surgery too, to repair and fix the hernia. However, unlike open surgery, the incision is much smaller here. Also, in this surgery, the cuts are not made outside the abdomen, but instead, modern surgical tools are inserted in the abdomen to make tiny incisions inside.
Ayurveda for treatment of hernia
Apart from surgeries, hernia can also be treated using Ayurvedic medicines. Some of the treatment methods are:
- Snehana – Warm essential oils or medicinal oils are used to massage the body to get it rid of toxins. Sesame oil (commonly known as Til oil) or ghee can be used for this. Mustard oil, flaxseed oil or canola oil can be used to treat Kapha Dosha.
- Virechana – This is considered to be the best way to get rid of the pitta from the liver, small intestine or gallbladder. The swelling caused by Kapha Dosha is treated by using herbs such as – Triphala, Amlaparni, Vibhitaki or Haritaki. On the other hand, Vata Dosha can be treated by using rock salt, isabgol or ginger in Ayurveda.
- Niruha Basti – This is also known as asthapana basti. In this process, a herbal concoction of milk, oil, and enema is used to treat the hernia. The process is considered reliable for treating and healing not only the hernia bulge but the whole body.
- Pinda Sweda – Medicinal oil is applied to the hernia bulge or the affected area in this process. This is followed by a massage using a hot rice poultice. This therapy is believed to heal muscular atrophy.
These are some of the best and the most reliable hernia treatments available. But, one should always consider consulting a doctor and not relying completely on the effects of these medicines or home remedies.
Author Bio: Pristyn Care is the one-step solution for health issues such as piles, fissure, fistula, hernia, gallstones, varicose veins and pilonidal sinus. Our patient- centric services help patients to recover faster.