Appendicitis – Symptoms & Causes (Q&A )
July 3, 2020
You will know that appendicitis causes stomach pain and can be life threatening if not treated immediately, but just what is appendix? Why does it cause so much pain? Find answers to these questions and more here.
What is appendix?
Appendix is a three and a half inch tube of tissue in the lower right side of your large intestine.
What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix caused by infection.
What causes appendicitis?
Appendix is a small tube extending from the large intestine. When the opening is blocked by anything, the appendix is infected and swells up causing pain and discomfort.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
The early symptom of appendicitis is pain in the lower belly near the navel that moves lower.
Other common symptoms include:
Severe pain in the lower right belly
Nausea and vomiting
Loss of appetite
Inability to pass gas
There may be certain additional symptoms in some people including:
- Pain in the upper or lower abdomen, back or bottom
- Pain during urination
- Severe cramps
- Constipation or diarrhea with gas
Can you prevent appendicitis?
Appendicitis cannot be prevented but you can reduce the risk of developing appendicitis by eating a high fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables.
What are the treatment options for appendicitis?
Appendectomy is the surgery to treat appendicitis. The infected appendix is removed surgically to prevent complications. Antibiotics may help reduce infection, but a surgery is nearly always advised.
Sometimes a pocket of pus called abscess may form. Antibiotics are used to cure the infection and a drainpipe is inserted through your abdominal wall to drain the abscess. After the infection is cleared appendectomy is performed to remove the infected appendix.
Can you postpone appendicitis treatment?
No. Appendicitis is a medical emergency requiring immediate surgery. If delayed the inflamed appendix will rupture and spread infection throughout the abdomen leading to a life threatening condition called peritonitis.
If you have any of the symptoms of appendicitis, contact your doctor immediately.