Appendicitis is a condition that occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed, a small pouch connected to the large intestine. It is one of the most common hospital care emergencies.
The main function of the appendix is to receive and protect the bacteria that favor the proper functioning of the colon. This inflammation usually occurs when the appendix becomes clogged with a foreign body or fecal matter, causing an overpopulation of bacteria.
This condition can manifest itself at any stage of our life, although it is more frequent between 10 and 35 years of age.
The symptoms of appendicitis are often very varied, so making your diagnosis is not always easy. Especially when it occurs in children and the elderly, where these signs are often confused with other illnesses typical of those ages.
5 imminent signs of possible appendicitis
Keep in mind that if not attended to in time, the appendix can explode and cause an infection inside the abdomen (peritonitis). Therefore, it is vital to recognize the signs of possible appendicitis:
1. Acute abdominal pain
The first sign to consider possible appendicitis is a sharp pain around the navel. It can be mild at first and gradually build up until it becomes unbearable.
This pain usually appears in the lower right part of the abdomen. It can also get worse when you cough, walk, or make sudden movements.
There are atypical cases in which pain occurs in the left side of the abdomen, usually when the appendix is longer than usual and extends causing greater pain intensity in this area.
2. Nausea, vomiting and fever
A few hours after the onset of acute abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting and, in some cases, fever may appear. At this point you may begin to suspect that it is actually an ongoing appendicitis.
3. Constipation or diarrhea
Appendicitis usually triggers diarrhea, constipation. All of these stomach problems, along with the ones mentioned above, are the most accurate signs that your appendix is experiencing a chronic condition.
Also Read: 7 Appendicitis Symptoms That We Should Never Ignore
4. Symptoms don’t stop over time
The affected person may notice that the pain does not disappear over the hours, even if they have rested. On the contrary, you may feel that the condition is getting worse, making it very difficult to get up and even walk.
5. Touch sensitivity
If the pain you feel intensifies just by touching the affected area or pressing the lower right part of the abdomen and then releasing it, it’s almost certainly appendicitis. It is advisable to consult a health professional as soon as possible.
Seek medical attention
If you find that the signs your body is giving match the symptoms of appendicitis, avoid medications and see your doctor right away.
A specialist is the right person to confirm or rule out the disease and provide the appropriate treatment.
Once the doctor listens to you and confirms the diagnosis of appendicitis, the next step should certainly be to remove the appendix.
If that’s the case, don’t worry, the risk of having an inflamed appendix is much greater than living without this organ. Most patients recover quickly after appendectomy.
Recommendations to consider
While you are not going to the doctor to confirm the diagnosis, it is very important to avoid treating the symptoms at home, therefore:
- Do not consume any type of medication.
- Avoid taking laxatives.
- Discard the use of hot compresses.
- Do not eat or drink anything until you are examined.
Prevention is also a factor to consider. Maintaining a high fiber diet facilitates the digestive processes and decreases your chances of suffering from appendicitis. Include fruits and vegetables in your meals, whole grains and plenty of water.