What is Appendicitis and What Causes It?
Inflammation of the appendix is a very frequent infirmity at any age. In the majority of cases, surgical intervention is needed in order to remove this little segment that “sticks out” from the large intestine and is found very close to the small intestine. Keep reading to learn more about this condition: what is appendicitis and why does it occur?
What is appendicitis and what does the appendix do?
Many people say that the appendix has no useful purpose and thus the decision of doctors is to remove it when it begins to be a bother. But this small organ does have functions related to the immunological system, although it’s not considered essential. It forms a part of the overall harmony and good functioning of the body, and therefore should not be easily discounted. As they say, “it’s there for a reason.”
But what is appendicitis? It is when the appendix becomes inflamed for unknown reasons. Some relate this inflammation with a poor diet or with tension and stress. However, nothing has been proven scientifically, especially when very little children are the ones affected.
This pathology is dangerous because, if it is not treated in time, it can perforate the appendix and cause part of the intestinal content to leak out into the body. The harmful substances, toxins and negative bacteria are dispersed throughout the abdomen. This condition is called peritonitis and is very serious since it can cause a dangerous infection and even death.
If it is a woman who suffers from peritonitis, it can infect her ovaries and Fallopian tubes and even cause infertility.
How to detect an inflamed appendix
There are some symptoms that are very characteristic and others that are shared with other diseases, therefore, it is necessary to pay close attention in order to avoid a misdiagnosis that could make the situation worse if the appendix were to burst. Not all patients experience the same symptoms, nor do they have all the symptoms at once. Some of the most frequent are:
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Strong and sudden pain the lower right abdomen.
- Strong and sudden pain around the belly button.
- Pain when pressure is applied to the area and exacerbated by removing the hands or fingers.
- Body temperature between 99.5 °F and 110.4 °F.
In the case of appendicitis, fever increases, pain is generalized and shock can occur.
It is not always easy to detect the symptoms of appendicitis because they are often confused with the first signs of flu or a liver attack. Also the opposite can occur: inflammation is diagnosed in the appendix, an operation is performed but it turns out not be appendicitis.
Recommendations to help avoid problems with the appendix
Assuming that appendicitis develops as a result of a poor diet or emotional problems, we could work on changing some of our habits. This is no guarantee that the appendix will never burst but, at least, we will reduce the possibility.
Emotional rest is very important and it is necessary to do so periodically. Anxiety, stress and nerves bring negative consequences to our health. Try not to live under pressure, angry, worried, unsatisfied or anxious about the future. Give yourself time to do the things you like and that “fill your soul” such as reading a book, taking a nap, playing with your children or going for a walk in the park.
Maintaining a balanced diet is essential to feeling well and ensuring that your intestine is also in good health. And it will help you avoid appendicitis. Try to eat more times during the day, but in less quantity, instead of eating a lot only twice a day. Avoid animal fats, processed meats, dairy products, sugar, and refined flours. All of this causes an accumulation of toxins which may cause intestinal problems. Choose whole grain cereals, fruits and vegetables, beans and legumes and dried fruits and nuts.
Play sports two or three times a week in order to free tensions and to enjoy life a little, leaving aside all those obligations and problems. Also, you can maintain a healthy weight and escape from the routine of sitting in front of the computer all day. Walk, ride a bike, run, swim, dance, jump…Whatever you want, but keep your body moving.
After the operation, then what?
If you have had an operation for appendicitis or peritonitis, it is important that you know that for some time you will have to follow a special diet and take good care of yourself. The hospital stay is between 2 and 6 days in the case of inflammation of the appendix. If, on the other hand, it was a more serious problem, perhaps the hospital stay will be a couple of weeks, it all depends on each case.
It is important that you eat very healthy and good quality food after the operation to remove the appendix. In this way your intestines will always be clean and will not accumulate toxins. During the three months after the operation do not eat:
Sugar or white flour
Fined foods are bad for your health in general and they are especially bad if you need to undergo an operation. They generate many toxins that accumulate in the colon and promote the arrival of germs.
In this group we can include everything fried and processed, including sausages. These fats become “glued” to intestinal walls and also enter the blood stream.
Foods of animal origin
It would be good for a few months after surgery to follow a vegetarian or vegan diet, eliminating all dairy products, eggs and red meats. All these foods not only contain hormones and other dangerous products, but also, for example in the case of milk, cause a coating on the intestinal walls.
Other foods that you should avoid
- Alcoholic beverages
- Spicy foods
- Strong condiments of spices
Remember that you will be very sensitive and all this will be very heavy and bad for your body. Do not do physically intense work, rest as much as possible, go for short and slow walks and avoid stress, all as a part of your recovery.