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Inguinal Hernia - Prevention

Most inguinal hernias cannot be prevented, especially in infants and children. Adults may be able to prevent a few hernias or prevent a hernia from recurring by following some of these suggestions:

  • Avoid becoming overweight. Being overweight creates greater abdominal pressure and increases your risk for developing an inguinal hernia. Stay at a healthy weight through diet and exercise.
  • Avoid rapid weight loss (such as in crash dieting). Rapid weight-loss programs may be lacking in protein and vitamins that are needed for muscle strength, causing weakness in the muscles of the abdomen.
  • Stop smoking. Chronic coughing from smoking increases the risk for developing a hernia.
  • Avoid constipation and straining during bowel movements and urination. Straining causes increased pressure inside the abdomen.
  • Use good body mechanics when you lift heavy objects. Lift with your legs, not with your back. For more information, see the topic actionset.gif Back Problems: Proper Lifting.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
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