Hernias can make you feel bloated and gassy, like there’s pressure in your abdomen that can only be relieved by burping or passing gas.
Hernias happen when fatty tissue or parts of an organ squeeze through a weakening or tear in the tissues or muscles that surround it.
Read on to learn more about the types of hernias that can cause gas and bloating, how hernias are diagnosed and treated, and how to help prevent them.
A hernia can cause gas and bloating by changing the arrangement and shape of the organs in your abdomen. This can trap gas in your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and increase gas pressure in your GI tract to uncomfortable levels.
Types of hernias that can cause gas and bloating include:
- abdominal hernia
- inguinal hernia
- hiatal hernia
- umbilical (epigastric) hernia
Also called a ventral hernia, this type can happen when an organ pushes through your abdominal muscle. You can usually feel an
Some of the most common causes of an abdominal hernia include:
What are the symptoms of an abdominal hernia?
An inguinal hernia happens when fat or intestine pushes through your abdominal wall into an area near your groin called the
You have an inguinal canal on both sides of your abdomen. An inguinal hernia can happen in either side if your abdominal tissue or muscle is weakened and cause a large bulge to appear in your groin area.
Other inguinal hernia symptoms
- sharp pain when you cough or bend over
- a feeling of fullness in your groin
- scrotum swelling (in males)
Your stomach usually sits below your diaphragm, which helps move your lungs up and down when you breathe. But your stomach can sometimes squeeze through the hiatal opening in your diaphragm when you strain or overwork your diaphragm muscles by:
- throwing up
- straining too hard to poop
- lifting objects that are heavy
Other hiatal hernia symptoms
- heartburn that feels more painful when you lie down or bend over
- acid reflux in your esophagus
- pain in your chest or upper stomach
- difficulty swallowing
- burping frequently
Umbilical (epigastric) hernia
This type of hernia usually happens when your abdominal wall doesn’t close all the way as a fetus or a young child. It doesn’t always cause symptoms aside from a bulge under your skin in this area.
Other umbilical hernia symptoms
- bump getting bigger when you cough, sneeze, or laugh
- pain or tenderness around the bump
- having multiple bumps in this area
Contact a doctor or healthcare professional right away if you have any of the following symptoms:
Here are some of the diagnostic tests a doctor might use to detect a hernia:
- physical exam
- abdominal ultrasound to create more detailed images of the hernia and surrounding tissues using sound waves
- abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan to get detailed cross-sectional views of your body
- magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to produce high-definition views of your abdomen
- abdominal X-rays to examine your digestive organs
- endoscopy, using a thin, lighted camera to look inside your GI tract for the source of your gas and bloating
Some hernias will go away on their own with rest. A doctor may want to monitor them over time to make sure they don’t get worse.
Here are some tips for helping prevent gas and bloating caused by a hernia:
- Eat and drink slowly to reduce how much air you swallow.
- Avoid carbonated beverages to reduce carbon dioxide in your gut.
- Avoid chewing gum or candy that can cause you to swallow air.
- Quit smoking (this can be difficult, but a doctor can build a plan to quit that works for you).
- Go on a walk after eating to help move air through your GI tract.
- Take an antacid to reduce stomach acid that can cause gas and pain.
Some other common causes of
Hernias can cause gas and bloating that continues until your hernia goes away or gets treated.
Call 911 or local emergency services if you have intense abdominal or groin pain that doesn’t go away or happens along with a painful, swollen bulge.