Any swelling or infection of the finger like pouch that is connected to the large intestine leads to a painful condition called appendicitis. The appendix which is situated near the lower right region of the abdomen is quite thin in appearance and measures about two to four inches in length.
Immediate medical attention and timely surgical intervention is required to relieve the patient of the excruciating pain caused by appendicitis and to save his or her life.
The primary cause of appendicitis is bacterial infection of the appendix. Besides bacterial infection, the appendix can also become swollen when the lymph tissues lining the walls of the appendix become inflamed. Trauma to the abdomen, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease and the appendiceal lumen becoming clogged due to the presence of tumors, or feces are the other causes behind appendicitis.
Signs of Appendicitis
The primary sign of appendicitis is pain in the lower right region of the abdomen. Other than pain there are many subtle and obvious signs which are indicative of the fact that an individual is suffering from appendicitis. Some common signs of appendicitis have been described below.
The first sign of appendicitis is pain. The abdominal pain due to appendicitis is initially mild. Later on, as the patient’s condition deteriorates, he or she often complains of severe, stabbing pain.
Appendicitis pain typically starts just below the belly button. As the patient’s condition worsens, the pain radiates downwards to the lower right region of the abdomen. The increasing pain is indicative of the fact that the appendix has become highly inflamed. If immediate medical treatment is not administered, the patient’s appendix may even rupture. A ruptured appendix can lead to blood poisoning.
Along with abdominal pain the patient also complains of feeling feverish. The fever due to appendicitis is basically a low grade fever. As the inflammation in the appendix worsens, the fever begins to rise. During this period, the patient either sweats profusely or develops chills.
Rising fever is a clear indication that the patient’s condition is worsening. If immediate medical care is not provided to the patient, it may even result in his or her death.
Health care practitioners will detect rebound tenderness when they conduct a physical examination of the patient’s abdomen. During a physical examination by the doctor, the individual suspected of having appendicitis, will complain of severe pain when the doctor removes pressure from the abdomen. This is a clear indication that the appendix has become highly inflamed.
Loss of Appetite
Another sign of appendicitis is loss off appetite. Loss of appetite need not necessarily be indicative of appendicitis. However, if loss of appetite is accompanied by severe abdominal pain then it is definitely indicative of an appendix problem.
Nausea or Vomiting
Nausea and vomiting is commonly noted is appendicitis patients. Patients with appendicitis will initially complain of feeling nauseous. As their condition deteriorates, they start throwing up violently. The vomit of individuals with appendicitis will have an extremely foul smell.