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Hernia FAQs (cont.)

Can hernias be prevented?

A person can do little to prevent areas of the abdominal wall from being weak or becoming weak, which can potentially become a site for a hernia.

However, people can reduce the pressure on the abdominal wall to prevent a hernia from bulging through a weak spot (or prevent a hernia from becoming worse) by following these lifestyle practices:

  • Lose weight if overweight.
  • Eat high-fiber foods with plenty of whole grains and fruits and vegetables to prevent constipation and straining with bowel movements. Drink plenty of water. Ask a doctor about using a stool softener.
  • Learn how to lift heavy objects or simply do not lift them at all.
  • Stop smoking. Smoking can cause coughing, which can make a hernia worse.
  • Control allergies to avoid sneezing in excess.
  • Exercise to strengthen the abdominal muscles.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 6/5/2014

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Hernias »

As defined in 1804 by Astley Cooper, ahernia as a protrusion of any viscus from its proper cavity.

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