Appendicitis is a condition that occurs when the appendix, a small pouch connected to the large intestine, becomes inflamed. It’s one of the most common hospital emergencies.
The main function of the appendix is to receive and protect the bacteria that help the proper functioning of the colon. Inflammation usually occurs when the appendix is obstructed by a foreign body orfecal matter, causing too much bacteria to appear.
We can develop this condition at any stage of our life, although it’s more frequent between 10 and 35 years of age.
The symptoms of appendicitis are usually very varied, so it’s not always easy to establish your diagnosis. This is especially when it occurs in children and the elderly where these signs are often confused with other illnesses that people of those ages tend to suffer from.
5 impending signs you may have appendicitis
Keep in mind that if you don’t treat this condition in time, your appendix can burst and cause an infection inside the abdomen (peritonitis). Therefore, it’s necessary that you are able to recognize possible signs of appendicitis.
Here are the symptoms that you should be aware of:
1. Acute abdominal pain
The first symptom of appendicitis is acute pain around the navel. Symptoms can be mild at the beginning, but can worsen until it becomes unbearable.
Then, this pain usually moves to the lower right part of the abdomen. However, it can also get worse when you cough, walk or make sudden movements.
There are cases where pain occurs on the left side of the abdomen. This usually occurs when the appendix is longer than usual and extends meaning you feel more discomfort around that area.
2. Nausea, vomiting and fever
A few hours after the acute abdominal pain starts, you may show signs of nausea, vomiting and in some cases fever. When this happens, you can begin to suspect that it’s appendicitis and that it’s progressing.
3. Constipation or diarrhea
In addition, appendicitis usually comes with with diarrhea, constipation and rectal tenesmus.
All these stomach problems and the conditions above are usually the most accurate signs that your appendix is trying to come with a chronic condition.
4. Symptoms don’t get better over time
Next, the affected person may notice that the pain doesn’t stop over time, even when they’re resting. On the contrary, you may feel that the condition is getting worse. This makes it very difficult to stand up and even walk.
5. Sensitivity to touch
If the pain gets worse by just touching the affected area, then this it’s almost certain that you have appendicitis.
At this point in time, you should consult a health professional as soon as possible.
Get medical care
If you believe that your symptoms are similar to those related to appendicitis, avoid medications and go straight to the doctor.
A specialist is the only person who can confirm or rule out the illness and provide you with the appropriate treatment.
When the doctor has examined you and confirmed the diagnosis of appendicitis, the next step will be to remove your appendix.
If this is the case, don’t worry. The risk of having an inflamed appendix is much greater than life without this organ. Fortunately, most patients recover quickly after an appendectomy.
Recommendations to consider
While you go to the doctor to confirm the diagnosis, it is very important to avoid treating the symptoms at home. Therefore:
- First, don’t take any type of medication.
- Avoid taking laxatives.
- Discard the use of hot compresses.
- Then, don’t eat or drink anything until you are examined.
In addition, prevention is also a factor to consider. Following a diet rich in fiber facilitates the digestive processes and decreases the chances of suffering from appendicitis. Include fruits and vegetables in your meals, whole grains and plenty of water.
Plus, it’s important to note that not all people suffering from appendicitis show these symptoms (some only report feeling a general malaise). However, if you experience several of them you should contact your doctor and go to the hospital.