The appendix is a small pouch in the abdomen located between the large and small intestines. It's an organ that humans no longer use, and it is fairly easy to forget about — until it ruptures.
When the appendix gets infected, it fills with pus; a condition that is called appendicitis. Appendicitis can lead to inflammation and swelling. Eventually, the swelling can cause the appendix to rupture, releasing the infection throughout the body. The infection quickly spreads and can cause life-threatening conditions. The condition can affect anyone at any age, but most commonly affects children and teenagers between 10 and 19 years old, experts say. Also, males are more likely to get appendicitis.
The only cure for appendicitis is to surgically remove the appendix, a procedure called an appendectomy. Speed is essential, because the appendix can rupture within two or three days after the first sign of symptoms.
A great way to immediately speak with a health professional is to use a trusted website like Curely, where you can instantly speak with a doctor. Below are the five symptoms of appendicitis.
The appendix is located on the lower right side of the abdomen. Pain in your stomach, particularly if it becomes worse between six and 24 hours, is a symptom of appendicitis. You may find that pushing against that part of your stomach causes even more pain and that the area around your belly button is tender.
As time passes, the pain may become severe. Coughing, sneezing, taking deep breaths or just flexing the abdominal muscles may hurt.
Having a fever is a common sign of any infection, and appendicitis is no exception. The fever may be just under 100 degrees Fahrenheit as the appendix swells but can rise if the organ bursts. Chills can accompany the fever, according to health professionals.
A brewing infection in the abdomen can wreak havoc on the nearby organs. A common effect of appendicitis includes trouble digesting food that can result in loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, or constipation. You may also experience diarrhea or having trouble passing gas.
The infection causing the appendix to swell could result in your stomach visibly getting bigger, which is a bad sign. Seek medical attention immediately, as severe swelling of the abdomen will lead to a rupture. If this symptom appears in combination with abdominal tenderness and pain, immediately go to the emergency room.
The swelling of the appendix may cause the organ to press against the ureter. The ureter is the tube that connects the kidney to the bladder, and it may become irritated by the appendicitis. Consequently, if you are constantly going to the bathroom, a swollen appendix may be the issue.
Appendicitis is a very serious condition. Because the clock starts ticking as soon as the appendix becomes infected, it is important to know the signs and symptoms to decide whether you need medical help.