Contrary to popular belief, a hernia is not restricted to the stomach. However, it is true that most people who do get hernias do have them in the stomach. Hernias are basically protrusions in the organ wall of various organs. They can occur in other internal organs, such as kidneys or liver, in addition to occurring in the stomach. But, for some reason, the possible laxity of muscles in the stomach walls make the stomach rather susceptible to hernias.
Most of the time, you will not even notice the beginning of a hernia. This is because they start out as very small breakthroughs. They often initially manifest as very small bumps under the skin. They do not seem to be a problem worth noticing, because they rarely hurt at this point. It just seems like a little bump in a strange place. However, as one should be aware, these lumps are important to investigate. Lumps not only herald hernias, but they are also indicators of tumors, some possibly malignant. It is an important rule of thumb to pay close attention to any development in your body. Lumps especially should be monitored. If they persist, it is usually a sign that there is something wrong, and that you have more than a minor irritation to deal with.
Hernias do not remain as small, barely noticeable lumps. They progress to larger bumps as they are pressured by whatever organ it is affecting. Once the hernia gets big enough, it is called an incarcerated hernia. As this hernia continues to grow, pushing through the weakest point of the organ's wall, it becomes more painful and it also causes other problems. The bulge leaves a void in the wall. The bigger the bulge, the bigger the gap it leaves behind. After a while, the organ responds. It moves to close the gap and create a smooth wall. When this starts to happen, a narrow neck forms and then is pinched off. Pinching off the hernia has dire consequences for the organ. It slows blood flow, and can actually sometimes stop it altogether. This is a problem because the blood is what carries oxygen and nutrients to the organ. Without these necessities, the organ struggles and begins to shut down.
At this stage, most people begin to feel a great deal of pain. If the hernia is located in the stomach, severe nausea can accompany the feelings of pain. This is very unpleasant, and can lead to death if untreated. It is important to treat a hernia once you suspect that it exists. If you catch a hernia early enough, the protrusion can actually just be pushed back into place. Well, it is not quite that simple, but it is preferable to full out surgery. If the hernia progresses beyond the point at which it can be pushed back into place, surgery is required to repair the damage.
Taking care of your body is very important. Watch for signs of hernia carefully. If something seems out of place on your body, it probably is. You should see your doctor for regular check ups, and, if you notice something unusual in between scheduled check ups, you should not be embarrassed to have it checked.