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4 Hernia Myths; When To See A Doctor For Hernia

Do you know?

All-time great squash champion, Jahangir Khan was born with hernia.

He had two hernia surgeries for hernia, one at age 5, and the second at age 12.

Imagine if he were never diagnosed and treated with hernia, probably he wouldn’t be Jahangir Khan we know him today.

So many people (patients) out there are unaware that they have hernia, and they are carrying it around. Maybe they aren’t aware or have misconceptions around hernia.

Early detection of hernia is important otherwise if untreated it can lead to serious complications. And lack of un-awareness and misconceptions can be an obstacle to it.

That’s why, let’s explore 4 myths around hernia, and when you should visit a doctor (signs of hernia).

Before we talk about how to get started, let’s pause for just a second. If you or a loved one around is suspecting hernia, then should find help immediately by talking to a general surgeon via video consultation or direct appointment.

Let’s continue.

Myths and facts

Myth: You can leave hernia alone

Fact: No, you should never leave hernia alone. If your hernia isn’t treated, it can develop into a complication called ‘strangulation’.

Strangulation happens when your small intestine gets stuck (in the inguinal canal – a short passage in the abdominal wall) and it can’t be moved/massaged back into the abdomen. Because of this, intestines become ‘strangled’ and lose their blood supply.

Affected part of the intestine then can die. This is a major medical emergency and you would need to be operated upon immediately.

Key point: If left alone, hernia might develop into strangulation which is a major medical emergency.

Myth: You get hernia while doing heavy weight-lifting in the gym
Fact: This is only half-true. Putting strain on your body lifting something heavy doesn’t actually cause hernia but it can make you feel to notice already-present hernia in the body.

People usually notice their hernia when they put a strain on their bodies since it increases pressure inside the abdomen and causes it to bulge out in areas of weakness (hernia).

Key point: Lifting heavy weight objects don’t cause of hernia but make you aware of your hernia.

Myth: I’m a woman, I can’t get hernia

Fact: Hernia is known to occur not only in men but also in women as well as children. Although it’s more frequent in men than women.

Myth: If I get a hernia once, I can’t get it again

Fact: Hernia can recur. Usually, most recurrences are due to persistent coughing and difficulty in urination. Though it can also happen with people having a certain genetic condition (with collagen 1 deficiency).

Key point: Hernia can occur again if you have experienced it once.

Actions to take and when to go to the doctor

Surgery is the only solution to repair hernias. If you have weaknesses in the muscle (of the abdomen) or have a hernia, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should have surgery now. Talk to a general surgeon who can guide you depending on your unique situation.

People with obesity are at high risk for hernias. The ideal weight for fixing a hernia is under 200 though it depends on a person’s height.


Key point: Surgery usually is the only solution to repair hernias, you should have an optimal weight to reduce the risk of hernia.



Common causes of hernia include:

  • Age (weakness in muscles due to aging).
  • Chronic cough.
  • Damage from injury/surgery.
  • Present since birth (due to failure of fusion of abdominal muscles)

You should see general surgeon/general physician immediately if:

  • If you feel you have hernia.
  • If putting strain on body/lifting weight makes you feel pain in abdomen.
  • You are nauseated, vomited, and unable to have bowel movement (discharge of feces)/pass gas.
  • When you cough, bend you feel pain in abdomen.
  • Feel pressure in weakness.
  • Have swelling around your testicles (if you’re man).



So you should never be late in getting medical help if you suspect you have hernia. Otherwise it can lead to strangulation.

If you suspect, you or a loved one has any of the above signs, then it’s probably best total to a general surgeon who can listen you unconditionally and guide you, via video consultation.

Exercise regularly.


Maintain an optimal weight. Use online BMI calculator to know what your optimal weight is.


Have plenty of fiber in meals.


A healthy lifestyle keeps all major health problems at bay, and hernia isn’t an exception!


Atif Mallo

Atif Mallo is a freelance blogger with huge interest in technology, science, life hacks and health. He loves coffee, cheesecake and chess. Drop a line in comments to leave feedback for him.

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