Appendicitis has been around for quite some time now but did you know that your poop may be one of the causes? It usually affects 5 to 7% of people usually between 10 to 30 years of age.
You may feel why there is yet another article repeating the same old thing. Well, for one, there are some misconceptions about the appendix that is prevalent in society. Also, there are some symptoms which you never knew could be related to an inflamed appendix.
What Is Appendicitis?
To start off, let’s begin with what is appendicitis. As you all know, there is an organ in the body called the appendix. Appendicitis occurs when this organ is infected, and it is most likely removed. Well, guess what, you may not need to remove it altogether after all. What is an Appendix? The Appendix was thought to be a useful organ and doctors used to operate and remove it every time a person suffered from appendicitis. But, this is not the case. Recent studies have revealed that the appendix, in fact, does serve a purpose. It is useful to repopulate your body with necessary bacteria. It is a kind of a repository for bacteria and refills the body if needed. The appendix is a tube-like organ which is situated at the end of the colon. When it is infected, it is most likely a block at one of its ends. This block is usually caused by poop (besides other causes). It’s poop that plugs it up, so a healthy diet is what can prevent this from happening.
Few Symptoms that you may be unaware of for Appendicitis:
- The area around the belly button hurts: Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen is the most common. But, the starting point is usually the belly button area and the pain then rapidly moves towards the right side of the abdomen.
- Pain Worsens with bumps: Bumpy rides or bouts of coughing and sneezing always increase the discomfort when suffering from appendicitis.
- Fever: You may think that you have caught some infection or are suffering from food poisoning. This is mostly because you may suffer from fever and also get chills. This is the reason why it is misdiagnosed many times. So if you have a high fever coupled with an unrelenting stomach ache it may mostly be appendicitis and not some stomach infection.
- Diarrhea or Constipation: This symptom may be confusing as you may think that it is definitely a stomach bug, but you should observe if your diarrhea consists of large amounts of mucus and it continues for more than a 2-3 days. If this is the case, you definitely suffer from appendicitis and not some stomach bug.
- Gas and Bloating: Gas is very common if you have just had a couple of beers and something like a pizza to eat. But, if the pain increases the next day and you continue to feel bloated, it may be a sign of appendicitis.
- Pain When you Release the Belly: When you hold your stomach, pressing it slightly and then release it, you may feel pain. In this case, the pain is most likely due to appendicitis. Avoid continuing to press your belly and instead rush to the doctor immediately.
- Pain discontinuing is not a good sign: In general, if the pain recedes, we think that everything is fine. In appendicitis though, this usually occurs when the appendix is ruptured. You should rush to the doctor in case this happens.
You should always assess the pain in the abdomen carefully before passing it off as a stomach bug. If detected on time, appendicitis can be treated with antibiotics alone.
Also, to keep yourself from suffering from an inflamed appendix, increase your intake of fibers to keep your colon clean. Now you are aware that the faster your poop is out of your body, the healthier and less at risk you are from Appendicitis!
An appendix is a small pouch attached to the beginning of the large intestine. Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. It is one of the most common causes of emergency abdominal surgery.
Appendicitis Causes – It usually occurs when the appendix becomes blocked by stool, a foreign object, or rarely, a tumor.
Appendicitis Symptoms – Typically, the first symptom is pain around the navel. The pain may be vague at first but becomes increasingly sharp and severe. The patient may have reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever. As the inflammation in the appendix increases, the pain tends to move into the right lower abdomen and focuses directly above the appendix.
If the appendix ruptures, the pain may lessen briefly and the patient may feel better. However, once the lining of the abdominal cavity becomes inflamed and infected (a condition called peritonitis), the pain gets worse and the patient becomes sicker. The abdominal pain may be worse when walking or coughing. The patient may prefer to lie still because sudden movement causes pain.
Later symptoms include – Chills, Constipation, Diarrhea, Fever, Loss of appetite, Nausea, Shaking, Vomiting.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis – History, Physical Examination, Abdominal ultrasound and Abdominal CT
Appendicitis Treatment – In an uncomplicated case, the appendix is removed – appendectomy.
If a CT scan shows that there is an abscess from a ruptured appendix, the patient is treated for infection and appendix is removed after the infection and inflammation have gone away.
Dr. Debdoot Soren | Consultant General & Laparoscopic Surgery | Brahmananda Narayana Multispeciality Hospital, Jamshedpur