7 Symptoms of Appendicitis You Need to Know
Since appendicitis symptoms are similar to other digestive issues, it's important to see a doctor to get diagnosed as soon as possible. Learn about some of the most common symptoms here.
Since appendicitis symptoms are similar to other digestive issues, it’s important to see a specialist to get diagnosed as soon as possible in order to avoid developing peritonitis.
The appendix is a small tube-shaped organ attached to the beginning of the large intestine.
It is located in the lower right section of the abdomen and its purpose is still unknown.
Appendicitis happens when something is blocking this small sac in a way that increases pressure and hinders blood flow to the point of causing inflammation.
It can be life-threatening when not treated in time because the organ can burst and spread infection throughout the abdomen.
However, before getting to this point, doctors can intervene with surgery and reduce the risk of complications.
Appendicitis is quite common between the ages of 10 and 30 years, but can occur at almost any age. It is, however, rare in children under the age of 2.
The main symptom of appendicitis is Abdominal pain. However, as it develops, other signs show up that may indicate this ailment.
Keep in mind that an early diagnosis is very important to prevent more serious problems. Now, let’s take a look at 7 symptoms that you should pay attention to.
1. Sharp pain
This type of pain usually occurs in the lower right of the abdomen. It often varies in intensity.
However, in many cases the first sign of pain is felt near the bellybutton and even lower back.
This symptom tends to get worse when moving your legs or abdomen (for example sneezing or coughing).
2. Fever and chills
The symptoms of this illness can be similar to those of a stomach virus. In addition to the pain, you may also experience fever, chills, and shivering.
Doctors warn that you should treat extreme changes in body temperature along with bad abdominal pain like an emergency. This will help prevent complications like peritonitis, an inflammation of the inner lining of the abdominal wall.
However, you should know that most cases occur with a moderate fever of around 99.5 or 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
3. Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite
Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are three symptoms that tend to come together when appendicitis develops.
They normally appear in at least 90% of cases, almost always after the appearance of pain in the lower abdomen area.
The problem is that many people often ignore this illness. This is because these signs are common in other medical problems.
If you have these symptoms and they keep coming back or continue throughout the day, it is essential to call a doctor to get a quick and precise diagnosis.
4. Constipation or diarrhea
Both constipation and diarrhea are common in patients with appendicitis.
Like the other symptoms, these may be normal and not necessarily a sign of something serious. However, it’s best to get examined by a professional, especially if they come with other complaints.
5. Gas and inflammation
Many foods can trigger the accumulation of intestinal gas and inflammation. But when both of these appear for no apparent reason, pay attention.
Problems in the appendix may cause persistent inflammation with gas and abdominal pain.
6. Loss of appetite
People that normally eat well but then suddenly lose their appetite should talk to their doctor to find out why they aren’t feeling hungry.
Many chronic illnesses can lead to a decreased appetite, including appendicitis and colon cancer.
Even though this doesn’t always mean you have a major problem, it’s best to pay attention to it and see your doctor.
7. Rebound tenderness
Rebound tenderness is a symptom produced when the lower right part of the abdomen is pressed and then released right where the pain is concentrated.
It is very important to avoid pressing this area too much, as this can cause complications in the appendix.
You should see a doctor if you feel pain after releasing the affected area.
If you think you have appendicitis, you should immediately see a specialist. He or she will perform the relevant examinations for diagnosis.
If inflammation of the appendix is confirmed, a surgical procedure will follow. This procedure consists of a small incision to remove it.
In addition, intravenous antibiotic medications may be administered to prevent serious infection.