What is appendicitis?
This is a blockage or obstruction, in the appendix which may lead to an inflammation and infection of your appendix, this is known as appendicitis. The blockage may due to a buildup of mucus, parasites, or most commonly, fecal matter.
The obstruction provides an avenue for bacteria to proliferate quickly inside the organ which in turn leads to intense irritation and swollen of the appendix.
Appendix is found in the lower right side of your abdomen. It’s a narrow, tube-shaped pouch protruding from your large intestine. Although the appendix is a part of your gastrointestinal tract, it’s a vestigial organ. This means that it provides no vital function and that you may live a normal, healthy life without it.
What causes appendicitis?
It remains obscure and vague to medical doctors about the real causes of appendicitis, however, the possible causes hover around the following, meanwhile, not so substantiated.
- Abdominal injury or trauma.
- Blockage at the opening where the appendix connects to the intestines.
- Digestive tract infection.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Growths inside the appendix
Symptoms of appendicitis
Appendicitis causes a variety of symptoms, including:
- Sharp abdominal pain at the right side of the lower abdomen
- Pain that worsens if you cough, walk or make other jarring movements
- Nausea and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Low-grade fever that may worsen as the illness progresses
- Constipation or diarrhoea
- Abdominal bloating
- Flatulence, difficulty passing gas
- Low fever
Not all people will have the same symptoms, but it’s crucial that you see us at Adebayo living tower hospital as quick as possible.
Symptoms of appendicitis in children
Children aren’t always able to describe how they’re feeling. They also may have a difficult time pinpointing the pain, and they may say that the pain is in their entire abdomen. This can make it difficult to determine that appendicitis is the cause. Often than not, parents can easily mistake appendicitis for a stomach bug or urinary tract infection (UTI).
It’s always better to be cautious when it comes to appendicitis. A ruptured appendix can be dangerous for anyone, but the risk of death is highest in infants and toddlers. The common symptoms are:
- abdominal bloating or swelling
- a tender abdomen
Symptoms of appendicitis during pregnancy
Many appendicitis symptoms are similar to the discomforts of pregnancy. These include stomach cramping, nausea, and vomiting.
However, pregnant women may not always have the classic symptoms of appendicitis, especially late in pregnancy. The growing uterus pushes the appendix higher during pregnancy. This means pain may occur in the upper abdomen instead of the lower right side of the abdomen.
Pregnant women with appendicitis are also more likely to experience:
- Alternating episodes of constipation and diarrhoea
Can a rupture be prevented?
There’s no way of knowing when or if appendicitis will occur, so you can’t prevent it. However, you can avoid a ruptured appendicitis is treated right away.
The key is to be aware of the symptoms of appendicitis. If you develop them, seek medical attention immediately.
Risk factors and prevention
Appendicitis can happen at any time, but it most often occurs between the ages of 10 and 30. It’s more common in men than in women. You can’t prevent appendicitis, but there are steps you can take to lower your risk.
Appendicitis seems less likely if you have a diet rich in fiber. You can increase your fiber intake by eating a healthy diet that contains lots of fresh fruits and vegetables.
Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet can prevent constipation and subsequent stool buildup. Stool buildup is the most common cause of appendicitis.
How Is Appendicitis Diagnosed?
Diagnosing appendicitis can be tricky. Symptoms are often unclear or similar to those of other illnesses, including gallbladder problems, bladder or urinary tract infection, Crohn’s disease, gastritis, kidney stones, intestinal infection, and ovary problems.
The following tests have in diagnosing appendicitis:
- Examination of your abdomen to look for inflammation
- Urine (pee) test to rule out a urinary tract infection
- Rectal exam
- Blood test to see whether your body is fighting an infection
- CT scans
You are therefore advised to seek immediate medical assistance once you notice pain in your lower abdomen as this is one of the striking signs of appendices. Ruptured appendicitis is fetal and lowers the survival rate.