Do you Know the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

November 12, 2012

Do you Know the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

Essentially, the appendix is a blind narrow tube that is attached at the beginning of the large intestine also known as the colon. The appendix has come to us by way of evolution. There was a time when man ate raw meat and the appendix was important for handling that. Today, it is rare that we eat raw and therefore the appendix has atrophied in to a small structure that basically isn’t used any more. The muscle in the wall of the appendix is weak in nature and can’t expel materials that get trapped in there. Fecal matter can accumulate and generate symptoms of appendicitis.

Several things can occur to cause inflammation of the appendix (appendicitis, itis means inflammation). Sometimes the opening between the appendix and colon become blocked. This can be due to mucus accumulation or fecal matter accumulation. Either way eventually the material becomes hardened and blocks off the opening. The hardened material is actually called a fecalith. It is also possible that patches of immune tissue located in the appendix that contain white blood cells swell and that ends up blocking the passage. Some time later, bacteria overwhelm the area setting off a massive immune response that generates further inflammation. If this continues, the appendix may rupture unleashing deadly bacteria to your blood stream as well as other tissues in the surround directly.

Some individuals get lucky in that the inflammation becomes walled off and a healing process occurs correcting the problem so they don’t require surgical intervention. Any symptoms of appendicitis disappear and a scar forms but otherwise the patient is fine. This is often seen in the elderly who have been on antibiotics for some time.

It is a good idea to be familiar with the symptoms of appendicitis so you have some idea what is going on and when to get help. The first symptom is abdominal pain somewhere in the lower right quadrant but it isn’t really well localized. The pain may be minor at first and with time begin to build and become sharp. The second symptom is generally a loss of appetite. The loss of appetite may be followed by nausea and it may progress to vomiting. Vomiting may be due to the fact that your intestinal tract has become blocked. At this point, inflammation continuous possibly causing bulging on the outside of the appendix wall. You should be able to pin point where your pain is now. If this continues, the infected area may rupture causing infection to spread throughout the abdominal cavity. Tissues surrounding the abdominal cavity known as the peritoneum become inflamed and the pain you feel becomes diffuse again.

So, know your symptoms of appendicitis. It starts with a dull pain in the lower right quadrant of the abdomen but not particularly localized yet. The second symptom is loss of appetite. The third symptom of appendicitis is nausea and this could be followed by vomiting particularly if the intestinal tract is blocked. Make sure to contact your healthcare provider right away and if necessary go to the emergency room.

Category: Articles