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A hernia occurs because of a weakness in the muscle tissues of the abdominal wall which allows internal organs to protrude outside. The weakness can be present at birth or occur later in life. Many factors which lead to weakness of tissues and increased abdominal pressure are preventable and can be controlled to prevent hernia. Here are a few guidelines-

1. Avoid smoking- Smoking causes weakness in the collagen tissue which binds muscle fibres together and hence predisposes to hernia formation. 
2. Constipation- Constant straining at stools is a major cause of increased abdominal pressure which can enlarge the weakened openings in the groin and around the navel giving rise to hernia. Preventing constipation with a high fibre diet, plenty of fluids and regular exercise will decrease chances of hernia. 
3. Urinary obstruction- A major factor for hernia in advanced age is urinary obstruction because of enlarged Prostate.  This leads to straining while passing urine which puts pressure on the groin muscles leading to groin hernia. Proper treatment of enlarged prostate by medication or surgery prevents its occurrence. 
4. Long standing cough- A long standing cough because of smoking, lung infection or asthma puts strain on the abdominal muscles and weakens them predisposing to hernia formation. 
5. Heavy weight lifting- Sudden or unaccustomed lifting of heavy weights can cause hernia formation because of injury to or tearing of muscle tissues. Proper technique of lifting with support can prevent this complication. 
6. Chronic liver or kidney disease- can cause protein deficiency leading to weakness of muscles predisposing to hernia formation. Avoiding heavy alcohol intake, taking plenty of fluids and avoiding overuse of painkillers can prevent liver and kidney damage preventing hernia formation in such individuals.

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