You can't prevent the congenital defect that makes you susceptible to an inguinal hernia. You can do things to reduce strain on your abdominal muscles and tissues, however. For example:

  • Maintain a healthy weight. Talk to your doctor about the best exercise and diet plan for you.
  • Emphasize high-fiber foods. Fruits, vegetables and whole grains contain fiber that can help prevent constipation and straining.
  • Lift heavy objects carefully or avoid heavy lifting altogether. If you must lift something heavy, always bend from your knees — not your waist.
  • Stop smoking. Besides its role in many serious diseases, smoking often causes a chronic cough that can lead to or aggravate an inguinal hernia.
  • Avoid relying on a truss. Wearing a supportive garment designed to keep hernias in place (hernia truss) doesn't correct the underlying problem or help prevent complications. Your doctor might recommend a hernia truss for a short time before surgery to help you feel more comfortable, but the truss isn't a replacement for surgery.
Mar. 20, 2013

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