Appendicitis is a condition that can be life-threatening if left untreated.
It occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed and filled with pus.
If left untreated, the appendix will rupture, leading to even more serious complications.
That’s why it’s important to be able to identify the early warning signs of appendicitis.
In this in-depth post, I will discuss eight of the most common symptoms of appendicitis.
If you experience any of these symptoms, please see a doctor right away!
Let’s dive right in.
1. Abdominal pain
One of the most common symptoms of appendicitis is abdominal pain.
The pain can be severe and located in the lower right side of your abdomen.
In fact, the pain may start near your navel and move to the lower right side of your abdomen.
It may worsen over time and become more intense when you move, cough, or sneeze.
If you experience this type of pain, please see a doctor right away!
2. Nausea and vomiting
Appendicitis may also cause nausea and vomiting.
The exact reason why appendicitis causes nausea and vomiting is not fully understood.
However, it is believed that the inflammation of the appendix may lead to a build-up of pressure in the abdomen, which can cause nausea and vomiting.
Additionally, appendicitis may cause an ileus, which is a condition that prevents food and liquids from moving through the intestines.
Ileus can also lead to nausea and vomiting.
What’s more, when the appendix bursts, it can release bacteria into your stomach, which can also provoke nausea and vomiting.
Nevertheless, if you experience nausea and vomiting that is accompanied by abdominal pain, please seek medical attention immediately.
Read more: 8 Tips to Get Rid of Nausea
3. Fever and chills
Another warning sign of appendicitis is a fever that comes on suddenly and is accompanied by chills.
When a person develops appendicitis, their body’s immune system kicks into high gear in an attempt to fight the infection.
This can cause a fever and chills.
Appendicitis fever is typically a high fever, and it may rise as high as 99°F (37.2°C) and 100.5°F (38°C).
4. Loss of appetite
Since the appendix is located near the small intestine, it’s not surprising that one of the signs of appendicitis is a loss of appetite.
When you have appendicitis, your intestines may not be able to absorb food properly, which can lead to a loss of appetite.
Additionally, the pain and nausea caused by appendicitis can also make eating difficult.
If you have lost your appetite and are not eating normally, you may want to consult your doctor.
5. Inability to pass gas
People with appendicitis may also experience difficulty passing gas.
This is because the inflammation of the appendix can cause intestinal blockages, which can lead to painful gas bubbles.
If you are having trouble passing gas, please consult your doctor.
Trouble having a bowel movement (constipation) is another common sign of appendicitis.
This is because the appendix is located in close proximity to the large intestine and bladder.
When the appendix becomes inflamed, it can put pressure on these organs, leading to constipation.
Additionally, when you have appendicitis, your intestines may not be able to absorb food properly, which can also lead to constipation.
Also read: 9 Foods that Relieve Constipation Quickly
7. Severe diarrhea
If you are experiencing watery diarrhea, it could be a sign that you have appendicitis.
Although it is not as common as other symptoms, appendicitis can sometimes cause diarrhea that consists of mucus.
Diarrhea may be accompanied by abdominal pain and fever.
If your diarrhea lasts more than two days, see your doctor.
Also read: How to Stop Diarrhea Fast
8. Swollen belly
In some cases, the abdomen may swell up when a person has appendicitis.
This is because the appendix may become blocked and fluid may build up in the abdomen.
The swelling may be gradual or sudden, and it is usually most noticeable around the navel.
How is appendicitis treated?
While the symptoms of appendicitis can vary, the condition is typically treated with surgery to remove the appendix.
Laparoscopic surgery is the most common type of surgery used to treat appendicitis.
During laparoscopic surgery, a small incision is made in the abdomen, and a thin tube with a light and camera at the end (a laparoscope) is inserted.
Other instruments can also be inserted through other small incisions to help remove the appendix.
In most cases, patients are able to go home the same day or the day after surgery.
Recovery times vary, but most people return to their normal activities within a week or two.
Surgery is usually considered a safe and effective treatment for appendicitis, with a low rate of complications.