Appendicitis – Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment
The disorder known as appendicitis is caused by inflammation of the appendix, a tiny pouch connected to the largest intestine. Abdominal pain, fever, nausea, vomiting, and appetite loss are typical signs of appendicitis. Appendectomy, also referred to as appendix removal surgery, is frequently used as a treatment for appendicitis. Antibiotics may be administered to lessen inflammation before the surgery. It is important to get medical assistance if you experience any appendicitis symptoms because a ruptured appendix can cause life-threatening consequences. Come see us at Dr. Alfred Johnson, M.D., Gastrointestinal Surgeon for accurate diagnosis and treatment. For more information, contact us or schedule an appointment. We are conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street Merced, CA 95341.
Table of Contents:
What does appendix pain feel like?
What are the first signs of appendix problems?
What are the 5 most common causes of appendicitis?
When should you go to the ER for appendicitis?
Appendicitis is a medical condition characterized by inflammation of the appendix, which is a small, finger-shaped pouch attached to the large intestine in the lower right abdomen. The inflammation usually occurs due to a blockage in the appendix, which leads to the growth of bacteria and swelling of the appendix. This condition can cause severe pain in the lower right abdomen, nausea, vomiting, and fever. If left untreated, the appendix can burst, leading to a potentially life-threatening infection. Appendicitis is usually treated with surgery to remove the appendix, a procedure called an appendectomy.
Appendix pain typically starts as a dull, aching pain around the navel or upper abdomen, and then progresses to a sharper, more severe pain in the lower right abdomen. The pain may be constant or intermittent, and it may worsen with movement, coughing, or sneezing. Some people may also experience other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, fever, constipation or diarrhea, and a feeling of bloating or fullness in the abdomen. It is important to note that not everyone experiences the same symptoms, and some people may have atypical symptoms or no symptoms at all. If you are experiencing severe abdominal pain, it is imperative to seek medical attention immediately, as untreated appendicitis can lead to serious complications.
The first signs of appendix problems may vary from person to person, but some common early symptoms of appendicitis include:
● Dull pain around the navel or upper abdomen that eventually shifts to the lower right abdomen
● Loss of appetite
● Nausea and vomiting
● Mild fever
● Abdominal swelling or bloating
● Constipation or diarrhea
It is important to note that these symptoms may not always be present, and some people may not experience any symptoms at all. However, if you experience severe abdominal pain, particularly in the lower right side of the abdomen, along with any of the above symptoms, please seek medical attention immediately as appendicitis can lead to serious complications if left untreated.
The exact cause of appendicitis is not always clear, but the following are some of the most common factors that can contribute to its development:
● Obstruction — Appendicitis often occurs when the opening of the appendix becomes blocked, usually by a piece of stool or other debris, leading to inflammation and infection.
● Infection — A viral or bacterial infection in the digestive tract or elsewhere in the body can lead to inflammation of the appendix.
● Enlarged Lymphoid Follicles — Lymphoid tissue in the appendix can become swollen, leading to inflammation and blockage of the appendix.
● Trauma — Injury to the abdomen, such as a blow or trauma, can cause the appendix to rupture or become inflamed.
● Genetics — Some people may have a genetic predisposition to developing appendicitis, although this is not well understood.
If you suspect that you or someone else is experiencing symptoms of appendicitis, it is important to seek medical attention immediately. In general, you should go to the emergency room for appendicitis if you experience any of the following:
● Severe Abdominal Pain — Appendicitis often causes severe pain in the lower right side of the abdomen that may be sharp, stabbing, or constant.
● Nausea and Vomiting — Appendicitis can cause nausea, vomiting, and a loss of appetite, which can lead to dehydration.
● Fever — A low-grade fever or a high fever of 101°F or above can be a sign of an infection.
● Difficulty Moving — Appendicitis can cause difficulty walking, standing, or sitting up straight.
● Other Symptoms — Appendicitis can cause other symptoms, such as bloating, constipation, diarrhea, and fatigue.
If left untreated, appendicitis can lead to serious complications, such as a ruptured appendix, so it is important to seek medical attention as soon as possible. In the emergency room, a healthcare provider can evaluate your symptoms, perform diagnostic tests, and determine the best course of treatment, which may include surgery to remove the appendix.
If you are experiencing the signs or symptoms of appendicitis, trust the medical professionals at Alfred B Johnson MD (Gastro Surgeon) to help you find relief. Contact us today to book an appointment for appendicitis treatment, or visit our clinic conveniently located at 240 East 13th Street, Merced, CA 95341 We look forward to serving you! We serve patients from Merced CA, Atwater CA, Winton CA, Bear Creek CA, Planada CA, Le Grand CA, and Athlone CA.