In appendicitis, the appendix becomes infected, filling with pus. It primarily occurs in those between 10 and 30 years of age, though it can happen at any time. Your doctor will typically resolve the problem by removing your appendix through surgery. Recognize the signs of appendicitis in you or your loved ones.
Why You Should Watch for the Signs
Many shrug off stomach pain, thinking that it might be related to food or to gas. While the appendix doesn’t seem to have any real purpose, an infection in your appendix could be a serious problem. If it ruptures, it can allow the contents of your intestines to seep into the abdominal cavity, which can cause further infection. A quick diagnosis can prevent this problem. If you wait too long, an abscess may form around the area.
If you have appendicitis, you will experience pain in the right abdomen, but it may start around the center of your stomach. The pain increases if you touch the area, with a sharp pain from poking the area. You may also feel nauseated, vomit, have a low-grade fever or experience a loss of appetite. Digestive issues, such as constipation, diarrhea or the inability to pass gas, are also common.
Appendicitis progresses quickly, with pain increasing in just a few hours.
Other Possible Causes of Appendicitis Signs
A stomach ache — even if it includes sharp pains — does not necessary indicate appendicitis. Sharp pains in the stomach could come from diverticulitis, pelvic inflammatory disease, kidney diseases and inflammatory infections in the upper right abdomen.
When to Call a Doctor
It’s smart to contact your doctor whenever you fear you or your child has appendicitis. It may be nothing, but as appendicitis is a serious issue, it’s better to catch it early.