Inflammation of the appendix, better known as appendicitis in the medical world is a very painful and sometimes life threatening situation if the appendix ruptures.
Appendix is a vestigial organ, which means it does not serve any purpose in the human body any longer. Any kind of blockage in the appendix can cause an infection and consequently inflammation of the appendix. The most common causes of infection are accumulation of mucus, parasitic organisms or faecal matter. Appendicitis can be very dangerous as any tear or rupture in an infected appendix can cause the infected fecal matter/ mucus to be spread throughout the abdominal cavity.
If an appendix bursts, immediate surgery is required and the situation can be life threatening. The most common signs of appendicitis are.
Dull pain in abdominal region
A dull pain in the upper or lower abdominal region is usually the very first sign which could indicate an infected appendix.Though usually this pain is hard to recognize or is easily dismissed.There is a slow onset in pain as the inflammation and infection worsens slowly. When the appendix becomes inflamed enough to irritate the peritoneum, the membrane which lines the abdominal cavity, it causes a sharp localised pain in the right lower part of the abdomen.
Pain in lower back
Sometimes, depending on the site of infection, the patient may not experience abdominal pain and instead suffer from pain in lower back or pelvic region. This kind of pain is generally not associated with appendicitis as it is fairly uncommon, but if this pain is present with other mentioned symptoms it can be an indication of swollen appendix.
Appendicitis is usually accompanied with a low grade fever, usually from 99 to 100 degree Celsius. However, if the appendix has ruptured the fever may suddenly rise with other symptoms such as Tachycardia, or elevated heart rate accompanied by severe pain in abdomen. If the fever reaches around 103 degrees Celsius, you should immediately see your doctor.
Loss of appetite
Anyone suffering from appendicitis may suffer from a loss of appetite in general. The patient may experience a sudden decrease in appetite and may feel bloated. Mild nausea and vomiting is sometimes an additional symptom along with decreased appetite. Diarrhoea or constipation is also experienced by some of the patients. If all these symptoms coincide with abdominal pain, it is time to visit a doctor.
Most of the symptoms of appendicitis problems mimic symptoms of other digestive system ailments and are hard to recognize. However this is a good way to know if your appendix is swollen. Pushing the lower right side of the abdomen and experiencing pain when the pressure is released is a sign of appendicitis. If you suffer from rebound tenderness, see your doctor immediately and mention this symptom.
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