Appendicitis Definition and Symptoms

What is Appendicitis?

Appendicitis is an inflammation/infection of the appendix. Your appendix is an internal organ that is found in your lower right abdomen. It’s thin and sits where the small intestines join up to become the large intestines. Appendicitis can occur when there are blockages in your appendix. These blockages can be caused by faecal matter, mucus, and sometimes even eggs or parasites. Your immune system triggers inflammation and acidity in your appendix. This can be painful and cause a lot of discomfort including nausea, fever, vomiting, constipation and diarrhoea. It’s important to get yourself checked out if you have any pain, burning sensations or swelling of the right side of your abdomen. If you don’t get treatment for an inflamed appendix quickly, it can rupture and release deadly bacteria into your abdomen. This is a life-threatening situation that requires medical attention immediately. Bacterial infection of the appendix is called peritonitis and this condition has a high rate of fatality if not treated properly and right away. 

Symptoms of Appendicitis 

Appendicitis symptoms include:

  • Pain in the upper abdomen and around belly button
  • Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen
  • Loss of appetite
  • Indigestion
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Low-grade fever

Appendicitis symptoms can begin as mild abdominal or stomach pain. Over time, symptoms often become steadier, ranging from mild to severe pain. The symptoms of appendicitis typically originate in the upper abdomen or around the belly button, before moving over to the lower right quadrant of your abdomen. If your appendix is causing you to experience severe abdominal pain, especially if it’s tender to the touch, get in contact with your physician. Do not take it lightly even if the pain seems isolated because this could lead to a life-threatening medical emergency.

Risk Factors

Age: appendicitis most commonly affects those aged from 15 to 30

Sex: males are generally more susceptible to the condition

Family history: A history of appendicitis in one’s family raises the likelihood of developing it

The exact cause of appendicitis is not confirmed but professionals believe it happens when there is a burst or blockage in the appendix.

These occurrences happen after things like:

  • A build up of hardened stool 
  • Enlarged lymphoid follicles 
  • Intestinal worms
  • Traumatic injury
  • Tumors 

When your appendix becomes blocked, bacteria can multiply within it. It may lead to the formation of pus and swelling, causing painful pressure in your abdomen.

Types of Appendicitis

Appendicitis can be acute or chronic. In acute cases, appendicitis symptoms are often severe and develop suddenly resulting in an immediate need for surgical removal of the appendix. On the other hand, chronic cases of appendicitis may present pain that comes and goes over the course of several weeks, months, or even years.

This condition is usually uncomplicated, but sometimes it’s complicated by an abscess or perforated appendix. 

Treatment

Appendicitis is a very severe condition and must be treated as soon as possible. It can be treated with surgery by removing the appendix but if you’d prefer to not have surgery it can also be treated with Traditional Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture.

At Centre of Balance we specialise in TCM and acupuncture treatment and have had cases of appendicitis in the past. Our methods use a natural approach without surgery or pharmaceutical drugs that can have unwanted side effects. Visit our website or contact us to see how we can help you today.

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References:

https://www.healthline.com/health/appendicitis#risk-factors