Appendicitis Symptoms

Appendicitis is a painful swelling and infection or inflammation of the vermiform appendix. The vermiform appendix is a finger-like pouch attached to the large intestine and located where the large and small intestine join, in the lower right area of the abdomen. The appendix has no known function and hence is also called as vestigial organ.

Symptoms of Appendicitis:

Abdominal Pain: Most people with appendicitis have classic symptoms that a doctor can easily identify. The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. The pain usually begins with a sudden pain in the center of the abdomen, above the belly button, which gradually shifts to the lower right side. It may cause the person to wake up at night. The pain is new and unlike any pain felt before and usually it increases over a period of six to 12 hours. Lying on one side and drawing up both the knees towards the chest could bring some comfort. The pain increases when moving, taking deep breaths, coughing, or sneezing.

Some of the other symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Pain when touched on the lower right side of the abdomen
  • Tense and rigid abdomen muscles on the right side
  • Fever, usually low-grade (under 100 degrees)
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Diarrhoea
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased pulse rate

In case of Peritonitis, that is when the appendix ruptures and discharges its pus into the abdominal cavity, some of the symptoms include:

  • High Fever
  • Pale complexion
  • Clammy composure

It is very dreadful condition and may call for urgent operation. It is advisable to avoid laxatives and pain medications in this situation and it is suggested to visit a qualified physician as it is a medical emergency case.

Some Less Known Appendicitis Symptoms:

Awareness about the less known symptoms of this ailment, can help us to gather more relevant information. This can in turn equip us to deal with it better on daily basis. Though understanding the these symptoms in details require more effort, at the end of the day it is worthwhile. Especially when we find our loved ones suffering from this ailment in a better state because of our enhanced knowledge on this particular topic.

Rovsing’s Sign: The iliac fossa is a smooth, smooth, concave surface situated on the hip bone. As a sign of appendicitis, there is continuous deep palpation from the left iliac fossa to right iliac fossa casing pain. When an object is felt based on its shape, location and firmness as part of medical diagnosis, it is called Palpation. The pain is caused by bowel contents which push this organ more towards the appendix, increasing pressure on it.

Psoas Sign: The peritoneum is the outer layer of the abdominal wall. The psoas muscle is an important muscle which provides stability and a base to the spine, allowing it to flex and cause the hips to rotate freely. As a sign of appendicitis, swelling may take place in these regions and the patient experiences pain whenever the hip is extended or the leg is straightened. Shaping the hip into what is called a fetal position, provides relief.

Obturator Sign: The obturator internus is a muscle situated partly at the other side of hip-joint and within a section called the lesser pelvis. When a swollen appendix comes in contact with this muscle during rotation of the hip, a pain is experienced in an area of the abdomen below the navel called hypogastrium.

Blumberg Sign: Soft internal organs of the abdomen are collectively technically called the viscera. Deep palpation in them Deep palpation over the swollen appendix and release of the pressure suddenly causes the severe pain in this region. This is Blumberg’s sign coupled with peritonitis.

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