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"If the pain in my stomach doesn't go away does that mean that I have a hernia?"
I had what I thought was just some muscle pain in my stomach in the ab muscles. But it has been about two months and the pain is still not going away. Possible hernia? I don't understand how you tell the difference between these two things.
You should discuss these symptoms with your doctor soon. Abdominal wall muscle pain and hernia pain can sometimes feel very similar to each other, and as a result, it is difficult to distinguish them apart. Hernias usually don't come on slowly but is usually a sudden onset type of pain. One day you did not have a hernia, and one day you have it. The pain comes with physical exertion or straining. This pain usually ameliorates when you are resting, and patients will frequently feel a lump or a bulge where they have pain. This is very important to note when going to see your doctor as the bulge does not always present itself. If the hernia is large enough (say larger than 2 centimeters), a small knuckle of bowel can get pushed into the hernia sac. Over hours or days that small loop of bowel may get edematous and too large to be able to get out of the hernia. The longer it is in the sac, the harder it is for the bowel to get free. This can often lead to bowel necrosis and perforation. I believe you are wondering if the pain you have is from within your stomach, not the muscle wall. For example, gastritis and peptic ulcer disease can cause a gnawing pain, sometimes a deep boring pain that is relieved with antacid or maalox or just water. If you have these symptoms, it is best to talk to your doctor and possibly get an upper endoscopy to look into your stomach. If the doctor thinks it is more likely that you have a hernia, then you'll need to see a surgeon to discuss further work up versus getting surgery.
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