What is appendicitis? It’s a painful condition that can be brought on by an obstruction or infection of the appendix, a small pouch at the end of your large intestine. The appendix may become inflamed, which causes the pain and swelling.
But what causes appendicitis? How can you quickly diagnose it? Let’s find out!
Appendicitis is most commonly caused by a blockage of the appendix. This blockage could come from something inside the stomach passing into the appendix, such as food stuck in the pylorus (the opening to the duodenum), or from an outside cause like a bacterial infection. Once the appendix becomes blocked, fluid begins to fill up the appendix and pressure builds on the tissues inside the appendix. This pressure then causes inflammation of the appendix and the surrounding tissue.
While appendicitis can occur in both children and adults, it is more common in young men than women. In fact, appendicitis is one of the two leading causes of emergency abdominal surgery in American kids ages 15–19.
Here are some other possible causes for appendicitis:
Bacteria and viruses
If bacteria get into the appendix, they can cause an infection that will result in appendicitis. Bacteria also have been known to cause appendicitis when introduced through the blood stream during an injury or cut.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the gastrointestinal tract. If Crohn’s disease involves the appendix, it can lead to appendicitis. Other symptoms include diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive system but is usually found in the colon and/or small intestines.
A hernia occurs when there is a hole or weakness in the muscle wall of the abdomen that allows the contents of the body cavity—such as the intestines—to push through into the belly. Hernias are most often seen in infants and children. A very small percentage of adult patients with hernias develop appendicitis.
Common signs and symptoms of appendicitis
Since the appendix is located deep within the pelvis, finding any sign or symptom of appendicitis can be difficult. Here are some of the most common signs and symptoms of appendicitis:
Abdominal pain that is sharp and shooting in nature. The pain is typically felt just below the ribcage in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.
Swelling in the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.
Vomiting, cramping, and constipation.
Weakness in the legs.
An unusual amount of mucus.
Signs and symptoms listed above can occur together or alone. They can last anywhere from 24–72 hours and then disappear, only to return later.
How to treat appendicitis
The treatment of appendicitis depends on how severe the case is. If the appendix is infected, antibiotics will be used to treat it. However, if the appendix is not infected, the patient will be treated with anti-inflammatory medications.
Antibiotics can help prevent appendicitis from becoming infected. Antibiotics can also reduce inflammation in the appendix so that it does not swell up as much and therefore reduces the chance of complications occurring.
Surgery is another option for treating appendicitis. This type of treatment includes removing the appendix. If the appendix is unblocked, it’ll heal itself. But if the appendix has already become infected, the appendix will need to be removed along with the affected section of the bowel.
Once the appendix is removed, the remaining area of the intestine continues to grow back. However, this growth process takes longer than normal which makes it harder for the person to gain weight after the surgery. And because the appendix was removed, the person has to take special care to avoid getting sick and passing bacteria into their body. So while people who had surgery for appendicitis do regain their strength faster, they may still feel weak for some time after the procedure.
The risk of developing appendicitis increases once a person reaches adulthood. People who are older than 40 years old have about a 5% chance of being diagnosed with appendicitis each year.
However, even though appendicitis is relatively rare in adults, it can still be life threatening. That’s why everyone should keep track of their health by having regular checkups and keeping up with routine physical exams. These tests will help detect any potential problems early so that doctors can better treat them.
After reading all of the above paragraphs you may wonder that where is your appendix if this is your question then we are here to help you. Appendix is mainly located on the lower right side of the abdomen in human body. It is having a narrow finger like structure which is projected out from the colon. If your appendix ever gets filled with pus then there are high chances of getting appendicitis.