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Appendicitis – Causes and Symptoms of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the inflammation or swelling of the appendix as it gets filled with pus. The appendix is a finger like pouch that projects out from the colon towards the lower right side of the abdomen.Though appendix is of no use to the body, but it can cause problems. Appendicitis causes pain that starts at the umbilicus and it drifts to the lower right abdomen. The pain increases over a period of 12-18 hours and becomes very severe.

Causes of Appendicitis
Appendicitis is caused by the following reasons:
Fecolith:

  • Fecolith happens when the feces gets collected in the lumen of the appendix.
  • This blocks the feces and it does not pass down the lumen.
  • If this happens frequently, it results in appendicitis.

Mucus

  • Mucus mixes with the cells in the wall of the appendix and forms a very thick pug.
  • This gets accumulated and cause blockage of the lumen.
  • This results in decreasing the blood supply to the appendix.

Worm Infestation:

  • Worm infestations are still rampant in some parts of the world.
  • In such places, worm infestation is so high that, they block the lumen of the appendix.
  • In developing countries, this the main cause of appendicitis.

Foreign Body

  • Foreign bodies in the form of cereals, grain, fruits or sand get stuck in the lumen of the appendix.

Tumor

  • It occurs very rarely in elderly patients.
  • The tumor may rise from the from the appendix or spread from the tumor site.
  • The tumor is not exactly one of the cause but it can worsen the disease.
  • Carcinoid tumor of the appendix is usually associated with acute appendicitis.

What are the symptoms of Appendicitis?
The symptoms of appendicitis include:

  • Slight pain at the umbilicus and it shifts to the lower right abdomen
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Fever of 99 degree to 102 degree Fahrenheit
  • Loss of appetite
  • Inability to pass gas
  • Painful urination
  • Severe crampy pain
  • Constipation or diarrhea with gas
  • Tenderness at the lower right side of the abdomen

Statistics

  • In United States of America, 1 in 15 people suffer from appendicitis.
  • It can occur at any age but is most common among 15 to 30 years of age.

When to consult your Doctor?

  • If the pain does not subside, seek medical help immediately.
  • Never take pain killers, laxatives, antacids as these can rupture the inflamed appendix.
  • Never wait for the pain to subside, if the appendix ruptures it results in intestinal block.
  • Sepsis is the final stage in which the infecting bacteria travels to other parts of the body.
  • This is a very severe and a critical condition where the death of the patient takes place.
  • Take immediate action as soon as the pain starts.

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