The appendix lies on your lower right abdomen, a finger-shaped projection from the colon. Appendicitis means inflammation of the appendix.
9% of Americans suffer from the appendix in their lifetime, and it’s the most common cause of abdominal pain leading to surgery.
When the appendix becomes blocked, bacteria multiply, leading to pus formation and swelling. It also causes pressure in your abdomen.
Appendicitis can block the blood flow; if untreated, it bursts, and bacteria spills into your abdominal cavity, which is severe and sometimes fatal.
Acute Appendicitis is when pain develops and intensifies quickly over 24 hours.
Acute Appendicitis is most common in children and young adults, ages between 10 to 30 years.
Chronic Appendicitis is less common; symptoms are mild and dull. Symptoms may fade and reappear again in about weeks, months, or even years.
What are the causes of Appendicitis?
Blockage in the lining of the appendix is the main reason, leading to infection, bacteria multiplying randomly, and causing inflammation. And it gets filled with pus.
The exact cause of Appendicitis is unknown.
Many things can block your appendix, like
- Pile up of hardened stool
- Enlarged lymphoid follicles
- Intestinal worms
What are the signs and symptoms of Appendicitis?
- Right lower abdominal pain will occur suddenly.
- The appearance of sudden pain around the navel, and pain radiates towards your lower right abdomen.
- Pain will worsen if you make movements, like walking, coughing, nausea, and vomiting will be there.
- There will be a loss of Appetite.
- The appearance of low-grade fever that will worsen as the illness progress
- Constipation or Diarrhea
- Pain is intense as it will wake you from sleep.
- There will be abdominal bloating and flatulence.
- The site of pain may vary based on your age and position of the appendix.
There are a few other less common symptoms.
- You may feel to make bowel movements
- Inability to pass gas
Appendicitis may cause serious complications. If the appendix ruptures, it spills bacteria and fecal material into the abdominal cavity. Which leads to painful and life-threatening infections. Also leads to
How Is Appendicitis Diagnosed?
There is no single test to diagnose Appendicitis.
The doctor will speak to you regarding your symptoms and medical history. A doctor will do a physical examination to check for any tenderness, swelling, or rigidity in the abdomen.
They may also do a rectal examination.
The doctor will prescribe one or more tests to rule out other causes of abdominal pain. Once it’s ruled out, then it is considered Appendicitis.
To check for infection, the doctor will prescribe Complete Blood Count ( CBC)
Infection in the urinary tract may also cause similar symptoms.
A urine test is suggested to determine whether kidney stones are present.
A pregnancy test also will be done.
Abdominal imaging tests also rule out abdominal abscesses, fecal impaction, and inflammatory bowel diseases.
After diagnosis, the doctor will advise antibiotics and followed by surgery for the removal of Appendicitis. This process is known as appendectomy.