Symptoms of a Strangulated Hernia

A strangulated hernia is a medical condition in which the fat within the abdomen or a portion of the small intestine pushes through an area within the lower abdominal muscles, cutting off blood supply to the small intestine. This condition may be congenital (present at birth) or may be caused by the degeneration of muscle within the abdomen. Surgery is typically performed to resolve the symptoms associated with this condition.

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Constitutional Symptoms

If you have a strangulated hernia, you may experience a number of symptoms throughout your body. Fever, which is a defense the immune system uses to prevent the spread of infection, may be present if you have a strangulated hernia. According to the National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC), strangulated hernia patients may also experience an increase in heart rate. If you have a hernia and experience any of these additional symptoms, it is important that you seek medical care immediately.

Localized Symptoms

If you have a strangulated hernia, you may experience a number of symptoms at the site of the hernia. The Mayo Clinic notes that patients with a hernia typically develop a small bulge at the site where the intestine has poked through the abdominal muscle wall. In patients with a strangulated hernia, this protrusion is extremely tender and the skin surrounding the bulge may appear red or irritated. According to the NDDIC, patients with a strangulated hernia may also experience sudden, severe pain that becomes worse over a short span of time. If you experience any of these hernia-related symptoms, seek medical care immediately to prevent serious, life-threatening complications.

Gastrointestinal Symptoms

If you have a strangulated hernia, you may experience a number of gastrointestinal symptoms if your condition is left untreated. Patients with an untreated strangulated hernia often experience nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or constipation. Such symptoms may indicate that the infection within the intestine has spread to additional regions of the body. The NDDIC notes that if surgery is not immediately performed, the portion of intestine that is cut off from blood supply may die, requiring removal of this affected area. If you have a hernia and experience any type of gastrointestinal symptoms, seek emergency medical care immediately to prevent life-threatening complications.

Is This an Emergency?

If you are experiencing serious medical symptoms, seek emergency treatment immediately.
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