General Awareness About Appendicitis

December 15, 2020

Appendicitis occurs because of the infection and inflammation of the appendix. It can be acute or chronic.
Despite its rareness claims in India, it still remains one of the most typical abdominal emergencies that calls for surgery.
If appendicitis is not treated timely, it can result in appendix rupture. This causes bacteria to spill into your abdominal cavity, which can be severe and sometimes fatal.
Read more to learn about appendicitis symptoms, diagnosis, and treatments.
 

Symptoms:

The appendix’s position often changes in the abdominal region.
So, the pain of appendicitis varies from:

  • around your belly button
  • the right side of the lower abdomen
  • pelvic cavity

And some of the most common symptoms are:

  • loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea or constipation
  • abdominal swelling
  • low fever

When appendicitis is in its initial stage, you may experience mild crampings around your belly button, then moving to the lower right side of your abdomen.
It often becomes more severe over time if left untreated.

If you feel constipated and you suspect that you may have appendicitis, you should avoid taking any laxatives or the use of an enema. These methods may cause your appendix to burst.
Contact your doctor if you have tenderness on the right side of your abdomen, along with any other symptoms of appendicitis. Appendicitis can quickly become severe. Learn about this condition to recognize it quickly.
 

Causes of Appendicitis

Broadly, the exact cause of appendicitis is unknown but, Some experts believe that appendicitis develops when part of the appendix gets obstructed.
The things that can potentially block your appendix are:

  • stool buildup
  • lymphoid follicles enlargement
  • worms
  • abdominal injuries
  • tumors

Blockage of the appendix leads to a multiplication of bacteria inside it. This causes the formation of pus and swelling, which can cause pressure in your abdomen, which is painful.
 

Tests for appendicitis

On suspicion of you having appendicitis, your doctor will perform a physical exam. They will check for swelling or tenderness in the lower right part of your abdomen.

Depending on your physical exam results, your doctor may ask for more tests to clarify the signs and other potential causes of these symptoms.

Generally, appendicitis is not diagnosed with a single test result. If your doctor can’t identify the causes of the symptoms, they may interpret them as appendicitis.

Your doctor may have to perform other tests like:

  • abdominal ultrasound or CT scan
  • blood count
  • urine tests
  • abdominal X-ray
  • pregnancy test

To eliminate any other possible suspicion of abdominal pain.

 

Treatments for appendicitis:

Depending on the condition of appendicitis, your doctor may recommend one or more of the following treatments:

  • surgically removing your appendix
  • abscess drainage by needle
  • antibiotics and pain relievers
  • IV fluids and liquid dietIn some rare cases, appendicitis may get better without surgery. But in most cases, you may have to undergo surgery to remove the appendix. This is called an appendectomy.
    If your appendix hasn’t ruptured yet, your doctor may drain the Abscess with needles before you go for surgery.
     

    Surgery for appendicitis:

    Your doctor may use Laparoscopic Appendectomy, minimally invasive surgery to remove your appendix in case of early diagnosis of appendicitis.
    This surgery has a short recovery time as the incision is small.
    But, if your condition is severe and the appendix has ruptured, they will have to clean your abdominal cavity to prevent any further infections. Which will require a larger incision, and there are some risks associated with it.
    However, the risks of untreated appendicitis are far more significant.
     

    Appendicitis complications:

    Appendicitis can cause serious complications left untreated. For instance, it can cause Abscess, which is a pocket of pus in your appendix. This may lead to pus-leakage in your abdominal cavity.
    Appendicitis can also cause a rupture of your appendix. If your appendix bursts, it can spill the bacteria into your abdominal cavity.
    If bacteria spill into your abdomen, it can cause infection and inflammation in your abdominal cavity lining.
    This condition is known as peritonitis, and this can get very serious, even fatal.
    Bacterial spillage can also infect other organs in your abdomen. For example, bacteria from a ruptured appendix may enter your colon or bladder. It may also travel to other parts of your body through your bloodstream.
     

    Prevention of appendicitis:

    There’s not any sure way to prevent this condition. But you might be able to lower the risk of developing it by eating fiber-rich meals in your diet. Although more research is required on the potential role of diet, appendicitis is less common in countries where people eat high-fiber diets.
    High fiber-Foods include:

  • fruits and vegetables
  • beans, lentils, split peas,, and other legumes
  • brown rice, whole wheat, oatmeal, and other whole grains
Content Reviewed by – Asian Hospital Medical Editors