Tag Archives: Muscle

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertension-34

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happen and not having been aware of the warning signs and risk factors.

In lay terms, your heart is just a muscular pump pushing blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body keeping stuff alive. The more you poison that pump (by ingesting unhealthy foods and inhaling other toxins) and strain the muscle by adding weight and clogging its vessels so it has to pump against more force (by being obese, not exercising and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors), the more likely that muscle is to strain until it gives out. Once it does, blood isn’t delivering what’s needed to your vital organs, and that’s when bad stuff happens.

bloodpressureThe vital organs in question and those bad effects include the following:

• The heart itself (no blood flow and no oxygen = heart attack; when the heart’s not strong enough to pump blood around the body = congestive heart failure)

• The blood vessels, especially the heart’s main offshoot, the aorta (too much strain = aneurysm, an outpouching from the main tubular system, stealing valuable blood from the rest of the body)

• The brain (no blood flow and no oxygen = stroke; aneursyms also occur in the brain)

• The kidneys (not enough blood flow or adequate enough function to clear the toxins from the kidney = renal failure)

• The eyes (poor blood flow and/or diseased eye blood vessels leads to vision loss)

blood_pressure_5_treat-img_1280x720-jpg

Bottom line: The heart is a muscle best thought of as a machine. Here’s three easy things you can do to reduce your risks.

• Get off your butt. Any exercise helps to get your heart pumping and blood flowing; strive for 20” three times a week at the very least.

• Close your mouth. Everything in moderation is cool, but introduce some fruits and vegetables into your life.

• Lose the salt shaker. At least taste your food first. It’s likely the food was already prepared with salt.

Did I mention stop smoking? Any questions?

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

 

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Filed under Cardiology/Heart, General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.

Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.

Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.

Physical Therapist Working with Patient

Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.

Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Take the #72HoursChallenge, and join the community. As a thank you for being a valued subscriber to Straight, No Chaser, we’d like to offer you a complimentary 30-day membership at www.72hourslife.com. Just use the code #NoChaser, and yes, it’s ok if you share!

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new books There are 72 Hours in a Day: Using Efficiency to Better Enjoy Every Part of Your Life and The 72 Hours in a Day Workbook: The Journey to The 72 Hours Life in 72 Days at Amazon or at www.72hourslife.com. Receive introductory pricing with orders!

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention, Musculoskeletal System

Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Hernias

Hernias are an uncomfortable topic (no pun intended, for many reasons). Hernias are yet another example of body parts not being in their proper place. They are caused by weak muscles or tissue allowing other tissue to push through in the face of pressure.  Hernias can be found in many places and can be caused by many things.

Here are some examples of places hernias occur:

hernias

  • In your groin, different types of hernias occur when either the intestine or bladder pushes through groin (inguinal canal) or the abdominal wall.  The most common type of hernias here are called inguinal hernias.
  • In the upper thigh, the intestine can push through a different space where arteries are normally carried.  These are called femoral hernias.
  • In your abdomen, your intestine may protrude through an area where you’ve had surgery (rendering that area relatively weak).  These are called incisional hernias.
  • The small intestine can protrude through the area immediately at or near your belly button. These are called umbilical hernias.
  • Part of your stomach can push through an opening in your diaphragm near the end of the feeding tube (your esophagus). These are called hiatal hernias.

The ‘so-what’ of hernias is similar to other outpoutchings throughout the body. Prolapsed intestines (to use one example) can become unable to be relocated into the proper area (an irreducible or incarcerated hernia) or once trapped, it may have blood flow cut off from that part of your intestine (a strangulated hernia).  This could lead to death of that tissue. Given the contents of your intestines, any such situations could lead to rupture and infection throughout your body (sepsis). Such complications are life-threatening and require immediate surgery.

Here are causes and risk factors (remember the common denominators are pressure and weakness of the affected area):

  • Lifting heavy objects is a particular risk if your abdominal muscles are weak. Men are structurally weaker in the groin anyway.
  • Pregnancy and obesity lead to femoral hernias and umbilical hernias (although this type is most common in newborns).
  • Surgery obviously places you at risk for an incisional hernia, particularly if you’re inactive.
  • Pressure within the abdomen is also increased by sneezing, coughing, diarrhea and constipation (Don’t strain!).
  • Smoking, obesity and poor dietary habits also increase the risk by lessening muscle strength.

Don’t let this happen to you! I welcome any questions.  Hold the comments!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2017 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Filed under Genital/Urinary, Surgical Care

Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

hypertension-34

High blood pressure is called the silent killer. It’s common for me to see someone who thought they were ‘fine’ drop dead from its effects, never knowing it was about to happen and not having been aware of the warning signs and risk factors.

In lay terms, your heart is just a muscular pump pushing blood (containing oxygen and nutrients) around the body keeping stuff alive. The more you poison that pump (by ingesting unhealthy foods and inhaling other toxins) and strain the muscle by adding weight and clogging its vessels so it has to pump against more force (by being obese, not exercising and engaging in other unhealthy behaviors), the more likely that muscle is to strain until it gives out. Once it does, blood isn’t delivering what’s needed to your vital organs, and that’s when bad stuff happens.

bloodpressureThe vital organs in question and those bad effects include the following:

• The heart itself (no blood flow and no oxygen = heart attack; when the heart’s not strong enough to pump blood around the body = congestive heart failure)

• The blood vessels, especially the heart’s main offshoot, the aorta (too much strain = aneurysm, an outpouching from the main tubular system, stealing valuable blood from the rest of the body)

• The brain (no blood flow and no oxygen = stroke; aneursyms also occur in the brain)

• The kidneys (not enough blood flow or adequate enough function to clear the toxins from the kidney = renal failure)

• The eyes (poor blood flow and/or diseased eye blood vessels leads to vision loss)

blood_pressure_5_treat-img_1280x720-jpg

Bottom line: The heart is a muscle best thought of as a machine. Here’s three easy things you can do to reduce your risks.

• Get off your butt. Any exercise helps to get your heart pumping and blood flowing; strive for 20” three times a week at the very least.

• Close your mouth. Everything in moderation is cool, but introduce some fruits and vegetables into your life.

• Lose the salt shaker. At least taste your food first. It’s likely the food was already prepared with salt.

Did I mention stop smoking? Any questions?

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: High Blood Pressure (Hypertension)

Filed under Cardiology/Heart, General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

musculoskeletal-system

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.

Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.

Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.

Physical Therapist Working with Patient

Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.

Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.

Feel free to ask any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention, Musculoskeletal System

Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Hernias

Hernias are an uncomfortable topic (no pun intended, for many reasons). Hernias are yet another example of body parts not being in their proper place. They are caused by weak muscles or tissue allowing other tissue to push through in the face of pressure.  Hernias can be found in many places and can be caused by many things.

Here are some examples of places hernias occur:

hernias

  • In your groin, different types of hernias occur when either the intestine or bladder pushes through groin (inguinal canal) or the abdominal wall.  The most common type of hernias here are called inguinal hernias.
  • In the upper thigh, the intestine can push through a different space where arteries are normally carried.  These are called femoral hernias.
  • In your abdomen, your intestine may protrude through an area where you’ve had surgery (rendering that area relatively weak).  These are called incisional hernias.
  • The small intestine can protrude through the area immediately at or near your belly button. These are called umbilical hernias.
  • Part of your stomach can push through an opening in your diaphragm near the end of the feeding tube (your esophagus). These are called hiatal hernias.

The ‘so-what’ of hernias is similar to other outpoutchings throughout the body. Prolapsed intestines (to use one example) can become unable to be relocated into the proper area (an irreducible or incarcerated hernia) or once trapped, it may have blood flow cut off from that part of your intestine (a strangulated hernia).  This could lead to death of that tissue. Given the contents of your intestines, any such situations could lead to rupture and infection throughout your body (sepsis). Such complications are life-threatening and require immediate surgery.

Here are causes and risk factors (remember the common denominators are pressure and weakness of the affected area):

  • Lifting heavy objects is a particular risk if your abdominal muscles are weak. Men are structurally weaker in the groin anyway.
  • Pregnancy and obesity lead to femoral hernias and umbilical hernias (although this type is most common in newborns).
  • Surgery obviously places you at risk for an incisional hernia, particularly if you’re inactive.
  • Pressure within the abdomen is also increased by sneezing, coughing, diarrhea and constipation (Don’t strain!).
  • Smoking, obesity and poor dietary habits also increase the risk by lessening muscle strength.

Don’t let this happen to you! I welcome any questions.  Hold the comments!

Feel free to ask your SMA expert consultant any questions you may have on this topic.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, Amazon, Barnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2016 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Filed under Gastrointestinal, Surgical Care

Straight, No Chaser: Life Begins (To End) at 40 (Unless It Doesn’t) – The Musculoskeletal System

musculoskeletal-system

The second part of this series on how your body changes with age is about your muscles. This section combined with the previous skin section explains why you wrinkle. As before, I’m going to go through system – changes – challenges – solutions. If you’re keeping score, especially focus on the take home messages within solutions. I welcome any questions or comments.

Changes: Did you know that muscle cells are unable to replace themselves once they are formed? Therefore, muscle cell loss is permanent. Plus, muscular response gradually slows with age. That said, the loss of muscular capabilities over time is by far the result of cell loss due to inactivity. As muscle cells are lost, weakness and slowness increase. Plus, some of you don’t exercise at all, or as much/vigorously as you used to, so you’re not building up anything new.

Challenges: The effects of these changes on our health status are mostly due to the fact that the muscles are the main tools for effecting strong circulation throughout the body (i.e. muscular contraction pushes blood around). As the muscles become smaller, including the muscles in the face, and as fat tissue accumulates, including in the face, the entire appearance changes to that of an older person, with all the ramifications described in the post on the description of skin changes with aging. In addition, as muscle fibers decrease, weaken, and slow, it becomes increasingly difficult to keep up with younger people, who may make allowances, but who may also become avoidant. Your recognition of this creates a vicious cycle, and you eventually settle into ‘being old’.

Physical Therapist Working with Patient

Solutions: In two words – exercise & activity. A well designed, consistently followed exercise program addressing both strength and response is indispensable for the maintenance of muscle cells, and of good health over time. A personal trainer is a pretty good idea after a certain age. You neither need to under nor overdo your weight lifting regimen. In any event, move those muscles as much as you can, whether via walking, yoga, running or sex. Being a couch potato is never a good thing.

Post-scripts:

elderly-couple-stretching

  • Another thing that very few of us do is stretch. Those old muscles are tight, and the tendons/ligaments are short and ready to pop. You really must stretch before your weekend warrior events or most any big exertional activity. That’s a big part of why yoga promotes longevity.
  • Fortunately, the main muscles of the heart and the diaphragm (your breathing muscle) do not lose muscle fibers with age because they are continually active. Yet, your heart and lungs have their own problems besides the muscles. That topic is forthcoming. All that said, be mindful that through ongoing exercise and training, you can stem the tide on these changes.

Young is as young does.

Order your copy of Dr. Sterling’s new book Behind The Curtain: A Peek at Life from within the ER at jeffreysterlingbooks.com, iTunes, AmazonBarnes and Nobles and wherever books are sold.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) and 844-SMA-TALK offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress, like us on Facebook @ SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and follow us on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright, Sterling Initiatives, LLC. 2013-2015

2 Comments

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Health Prevention, Musculoskeletal System

Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Hernias

Hernias are an uncomfortable topic (no pun intended, for many reasons). Hernias are yet another example of body parts not being in their proper place. They are caused by weak muscles or tissue allowing other tissue to push through in the face of pressure.  Hernias can be found in many places and can be caused by many things.

Here are some examples of places hernias occur:

hernias

  • In your groin, different types of hernias occur when either the intestine or bladder pushes through groin (inguinal canal) or the abdominal wall.  The most common type of hernias here are called inguinal hernias.
  • In the upper thigh, the intestine can push through a different space where arteries are normally carried.  These are called femoral hernias.
  • In your abdomen, your intestine may protrude through an area where you’ve had surgery (rendering that area relatively weak).  These are called incisional hernias.
  • The small intestine can protrude through the area immediately at or near your belly button. These are called umbilical hernias.
  • Part of your stomach can push through an opening in your diaphragm near the end of the feeding tube (your esophagus). These is called hiatal hernias.

The ‘so-what’ of hernias is similar to other outpoutchings throughout the body. Prolapsed intestines (to use one example) can become unable to be relocated into the proper area (an irreducible or incarcerated hernia) or once trapped, it may have blood flow cut off from that part of your intestine (a strangulated hernia).  This could lead to death of that tissue. Given the contents of your intestines, any such situations could lead to rupture and infection throughout your body (sepsis). Such complications are life-threatening and require immediate surgery.

Here are causes and risk factors (remember the common denominators are pressure and weakness of the affected area):

  • Lifting heavy objects is a particular risk if your abdominal muscles are weak. Men are structurally weaker in the groin anyway.
  • Pregnancy and obesity lead to femoral hernias and umbilical hernias (although this type is most common in newborns).
  • Surgery obviously places you at risk for an incisional hernia, particularly if you’re inactive.
  • Pressure within the abdomen is also increased by sneezing, coughing, diarrhea and constipation (Don’t strain!).
  • Smoking, obesity and poor dietary habits also increase the risk by lessening muscle strength.

Don’t let this happen to you! I welcome any questions.  Hold the comments!

hernia

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what 844-SMA-TALK and http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) offers. Please share our page with your friends on WordPress. We are also on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2015 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

Comments Off on Straight, No Chaser: Hernias Are Why Your Doctor Asks You to Turn Your Head and Cough!

Filed under Gastrointestinal, Musculoskeletal System, Surgical Care

From the Health Library of SterlingMedicalAdvice.com: “Will eating once a day help me lose weight faster?”

one-meal-a-day-250

Is starving yourself the goal? One meal a day is not enough to keep you healthy. Doing this will prompt the body to go into starvation mode and to hold on to body fat. Your metabolism will slow and your lean muscle will be consumed. Honestly, the best way to lose weight is to eat portions that are the size of the palm of your hand, which is the size of your stomach. This is the portion size you should be eating. Also, eat a lot of fruits, as it has fibers that break down fatty acids. Drink six to eight (6–8) glasses of water but not much more then eight (8), as you can actually poison yourself from water. In addition, remember to eat proteins, as it also helps break down fat.

Thanks for liking and following Straight, No Chaser! This public service provides a sample of what http://www.SterlingMedicalAdvice.com (SMA) will offer beginning November 1. Until then enjoy some our favorite posts and frequently asked questions as well as a daily note explaining the benefits of SMA membership. Please share our page with your Friends on WordPress, and we can be found on Facebook at SterlingMedicalAdvice.com and on Twitter at @asksterlingmd.

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

2 Comments

Filed under General Health and Wellness, Personal Training

Straight, No Chaser: Hernias – Turn Your Head and Cough!

hernias

Hernias are an uncomfortable topic (no pun intended, for many reasons). Hernias are yet another example of body parts not being in their proper place. They are caused by weak muscles or tissue allowing other tissue to push through in the face of pressure.  Hernias can be found in many places and can be caused by many things.

Here are some examples of places hernias occur:

  • In your groin, different types of hernias occur when either the intestine or bladder pushes through groin (inguinal canal) or the abdominal wall.  The most common type of hernias here are called inguinal hernias.
  • In the upper thigh, the intestine can push through a different space where arteries are normally carried.  These are called femoral hernias.
  • In your abdomen, your intestine may protrude through an area where you’ve had surgery (rendering that area relatively weak).  These are called incisional hernias.
  • The small intestine can protrude through the area immediately at or near your belly button. These are called umbilical hernias.
  • Part of your stomach can push through an opening in your diaphragm near the end of the feeding tube (your esophagus). These is called hiatal hernias.

The ‘so-what’ of hernias is similar to other outpoutchings throughout the body. Prolapsed intestines (to use one example) can become unable to be relocated into the proper area (an irreducible or incarcerated hernia) or once trapped, it may have blood flow cut off from that part of your intestine (a strangulated hernia).  This could lead to death of that tissue. Given the contents of your intestines, any such situations could lead to rupture and infection throughout your body (sepsis). Such complications are life-threatening and require immediate surgery.

Here are causes and risk factors (remember the common denominators are pressure and weakness of the affected area):

  • Lifting heavy objects is a particular risk if your abdominal muscles are weak. Men are structurally weaker in the groin anyway.
  • Pregnancy and obesity lead to femoral hernias and umbilical hernias (although this type is most common in newborns).
  • Surgery obviously places you at risk for an incisional hernia, particularly if you’re inactive.
  • Pressure within the abdomen is also increased by sneezing, coughing, diarrhea and constipation (Don’t strain!).
  • Smoking, obesity and poor dietary habits also increase the risk by lessening muscle strength.

Don’t let this happen to you! I welcome any questions.  Hold the comments!

hernia

Copyright © 2013 · Sterling Initiatives, LLC · Powered by WordPress

10 Comments

Filed under Gastrointestinal, Musculoskeletal System