When a part of the abdominal wall is weak or tears, a part of the intestine can push through the opening, resulting in a hernia. Inguinal hernias cause a bulge in the abdomen or groin and are often painful and uncomfortable. Inguinal hernias can lead to potentially fatal complications, so most of the time doctors recommend surgery to repair them, according to Mayo Clinic. Some inguinal hernias can be repaired without surgical intervention, although this is usually reserved for minor hernias that do not cause much pain. Hiatal hernias are hernias that push up toward the chest, and they do not usually require surgery, according to FAQs.org. Do not attempt to repair your hernia without consulting with your doctor first.
Use gentle pressure on the abdomen to try to push your inguinal hernia back into place. It is best to do this while in a relaxed, reclined position. A very small inguinal hernia may disappear by itself when when you lie down, according the FAQs.org.
Wear a truss to place gentle pressure on the hernia and hold it in place. A truss consists of a belt with a pad that goes over the hernia to hold it in and prevent more of the intestine from leaking through the weak spot in the abdomen.
Avoid lying down after eating if you have a hiatal hernia. Symptoms of hiatal hernias, such as heartburn, belching and middle chest pain, can get worse if you recline after a meal. Avoid tobacco, alcohol, and spicy and highly acidic foods and drinks, such as tomato-based products and citrus juices, to help relieve hiatal hernia symptoms, according to FAQs.org.
Take antacids to help eliminate excess stomach acid from causing heartburn if you are treating a hiatal hernia. Use over-the-counter H2 blockers to reduce the amount of acid your stomach produces if antacids fail to control your symptoms adequately.
Ask your doctor about prescription-strength H2 blockers and other medications, such as Prilosec, that can help alleviate hiatal hernia symptoms while you heal. Metoclopramide can cause the stomach to empty faster and can strengthen the muscle around the esophagus, eliminating some of the pain and discomfort associated with your hiatal hernia, according to FAQs.org.
Contact your doctor or go to an emergency room immediately if you experience severe pain or vomit blood as a result of a hernia.