Seven Symptoms of Appendicitis You Need to Know

January 21, 2019
Since appendicitis symptoms are similar to other digestive issues, it's important to see a specialist to get diagnosed as soon as possible.

The appendix is a small tube-shaped organ attached to the beginning of the large intestine. It’s located in the lower right section of the abdomen and its purpose is still unknown. Appendicitis happens when something is blocking this organ in a way that increases pressure and hinders blood flow to the point of causing inflammation.

A woman with appendicitis.

It can be life-threatening when not treated in time because the organ can burst and spread infection throughout the abdomen. However, before it gets to this point, doctors can intervene with surgery and reduce the risk of complications.

Read more here: Symptoms of Appendicitis in Children

Appendicitis is quite common between the ages of 10 and 30 but can occur at almost any age. It is, however, rare in children under the age of two.

The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. However, as it develops, other symptoms manifest that may indicate this ailment.

Keep in mind that early diagnosis is very important to prevent more serious problems. This is why we decided to share the seven appendicitis symptoms that you should pay attention to.

Seven symptoms of appendicitis

1. Sharp pain

A woman with abdominal 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 belly button and even lower back.

This symptom tends to get worse when you move your legs or abdomen (for example, when you sneeze or cough).

2. Fever and chills

The symptoms of this condition 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 body temperature changes along with bad abdominal pain like an emergency. This will help reduce your risk of complications like peritonitis, an inflammation of the inner lining of the abdominal wall.

However, you should know that most cases manifest with a moderate fever of around 99.5 or 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

3. Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite

A woman with nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

Nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite are three symptoms that tend to manifest 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 them because these symptoms are common in other medical problems.

If you have these symptoms and they keep coming back or continue throughout the day, it’s 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 manifest with other complaints.

5. Gas and inflammation

A person with abdominal 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 who 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 conditions can lead to decreased appetite, including appendicitis and colon cancer.

Even though this doesn’t always mean you have a major problem, it’s best to 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.

Discover: What is Appendicitis and What Causes It?

It’s 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. They’ll carry out some tests to diagnose you.

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.

We hope you enjoyed learning about the symptoms of appendicitis!