Although hernia and constipation are two different medical conditions, they occasionally coexist, which may result in irritation and complications.
A hernia is defined as an opening in the weak muscular wall where the inner parts of the abdomen protrude outward. Constipation, on the other hand, indicates irregular or difficult bowel movements.
Hernias most commonly appear in the groin or abdominal area. And they have the potential to affect certain parts of the intestines, which may lead to digestion problems resulting in constipation.
Understanding the connection between hernia and constipation is crucial for the proper diagnosis, and to develop a treatment plan to manage these conditions, ensuring optimal gastrointestinal health and overall well-being.
Constipation can be one of the complications of hernia because it might partially block the intestines. A hernia requires prompt medical treatment if it completely blocks the intestines. It is a medical emergency and is referred to as intestinal or bowel obstruction.
How do hernias cause constipation?
In the case of an abdominal hernia, the parts of the intestine bulge out of the abdominal wall. As a result, the digestive system and bowel motions may be impacted.
The intestines play an important role in absorbing essential nutrients required by the body and converting waste materials into stool, which is then eliminated through bowel movements. Naturally, the digested food is allowed by the intestines to pass from the stomach to the rectum.
As discussed above hernia can result in partial blockages in the intestines, that impair your regular digestion. Eventually, individuals may experience challenges with bowel movements, leading to the possibility of experiencing constipation.
Individuals who have an abdominal or ventral hernia may experience pain during their bowel movements.
People with an abdominal or ventral hernia may experience discomfort during bowel movements. The presence of an abdominal hernia can cause a visible bulge in the outer abdomen, and engaging in any activity that places strain on the hernia can intensify the level of discomfort experienced. This is why abdominal hernia patients may experience constipation problems or thin, narrow stools.
Constipation is one of the symptoms of intestinal obstruction. Some other signs of this condition include:
- Severe pain in the abdominal area or cramps
- Not able to pass gas
- Hard stools
- Abdominal bloating
- loud abdominal noises
If individuals experience any of these symptoms related to a hernia, they should seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
If you have a hernia and are experiencing the symptoms mentioned above, the first thing you should do is consult an expert doctor promptly. They will conduct a complete evaluation, which includes a physical test, scanning and other diagnostic procedures.
Based on the evaluation results, the treatment options may vary from person to person and ranges from conventional measures like changing their lifestyle (diet modification and exercise) and medication to get relief from constipation to surgical repair of hernias in severe cases that cause complications.
In some hernia cases, constipation persists. So it is vital for the patients to undergo surgery to fix hernia problems so that they can maintain healthy bowel habits. However, it is important to note that hernia surgeries can also lead to constipation during the postoperative period. Some surgical procedures involve altering the abdominal wall, which may temporarily disturb the natural digestive system’s functions. Constipation can also be caused by taking painkillers following surgery and a lack of exercise throughout the healing process.
Prevention and Management:
In order to minimize the risk of hernia development or worsening the condition by constipation, developing healthy lifestyle habits is compulsory. Here are a few preventive measures and techniques to manage them:
- Consume a balanced diet with high-fiber foods like fruits, vegetables, whole grains, etc. to promote normal bowel movements.
- Drink more water throughout the day so that you can stay hydrated, keep stools soft, and facilitate easy passage.
- To improve stool movement, participate in physical activities like walking, running, or swimming.
- If you have a hernia, learn proper lifting techniques so that you don’t strain your abdominal muscles.
- For chronic constipation associated with a hernia, consult a healthcare expert for proper diagnosis, treatment, and management.
Although hernias and constipation may initially appear unconnected, understanding their connection can assist people in making wise decisions regarding their health. If you are suffering from constipation due to a hernia, consult Dr. V. Pareek, one of the best hernia surgeons in Hyderabad. He has nearly two decades of experience as a laparoscopic surgeon and bariatric surgeon, and in his experience, he has performed thousands of hernia surgeries through the minimally invasive laparoscopic procedure. Call +91 91777 77715 for an appointment booking.