Main Warning Signs of Appendicitis
Your appendix is narrow pouch that protrudes from your large intestine, and is located on the right side of your lower abdomen. Appendicitis (inflammation and infection of the appendix) is caused by an obstruction or blockage that can occur as a result of parasites, fecal matter, or mucus buildup. Once the obstruction occurs, bacteria multiplies quickly inside of the appendix.
When appendicitis develops, treatment needs to be acquired quickly before the appendix ruptures, which can be life-threatening. Fortunately, the appendix provides no vital function in the body, and patients are able to live healthily without the organ—but being able to recognize the signs and symptoms of appendicitis is an important first step toward recovery and safety.
Pain is the most commonly experienced symptom. You may notice a gradual onset of pain in your abdomen, and the pain can be dull, aching, cramping, or sharp. As the appendix becomes more swollen, the pain will sharpen.
The pain can begin on the right side or around your navel, and then shift to your right side. However, the exact location of your pain can vary based on where your appendix is positioned and if you are pregnant. The pain will often be worse if you walk or cough.
You might notice a mild fever with appendicitis. If your appendix bursts, the infection can cause your temperature to rise higher, to above 100.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Nausea and Vomiting
Some patients experience nausea and vomiting, in addition to loss of appetite, constipation, bloating, or diarrhea. Any type of gastrointestinal upset could be a symptom and is often combined with abdominal pain.
Keep in mind that children who experience these symptoms may not be able to accurately describe how they are feeling. If your child complains of abdominal pain or is showing signs of illness, stay aware of their symptoms and contact their doctor immediately if appendicitis is a possibility.
Not every patient experiences symptoms, but it is important to visit a doctor as soon as possible if you suspect that your appendix is inflamed.