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In India, approximately 6% of the population suffers from acute appendicitis during their lifetime . Appendicitis is caused due to the inflammation of the appendix, a 5-10 cm organ that remains connected to the large intestine. It mainly occurs due to a blockage and may be chronic or acute in nature . It causes severe pain in the abdomen area and may require emergency surgery to remove the appendix in severe cases. Appendicitis is found to be highest among the age group of 11-20 years .
Here’s a quick glance at the symptoms, causes, diagnosis, medications and complications of appendicitis.
|Symptoms||Sudden pain occurs at the right of the lower abdomen area|
|Complications||If not treated, the appendix may burst and lead to the release of life-threatening bacteria|
|Causes||Blockage or obstruction of appendix|
|Onset||Inflammation of appendix|
|Diagnosis||Blood tests, urine tests, pelvic exams, etc|
|Prevention||Including more fibre in your food|
|Medication||Medication unavailable. Standard surgery is the prescribed procedure.|
Delve into a detailed guide on the appendicitis symptoms complications, causes and prevention of appendicitis.
Initially, the pain related to appendicitis starts as a mild cramp around the belly button or the upper abdomen area. Slowly it moves towards the lower right quadrant of the abdomen. The pain can occur in the following ways:
The other symptoms of appendicitis may include the following:
The various causes of appendicitis are as follows :
There are various risk factors as well that can increase the chances of this disease. Some risk factors are as follows :
There are three types of appendicitis which are as follows:
This kind of appendicitis may lead to intense and intolerable abdominal pain. This type of pain worsens quickly within a matter of a few hours .
Under this appendicitis type, there will be recurring abdominal pain. However, the intensity of such abdominal pain will be mild in nature. The pain starts but also subsides quickly, and in many cases, patients may not even realise that they have appendicitis till it changes into an acute one .
This type of appendicitis may or may not be caused due to inflammation. The symptoms could last for more than 4 weeks .
With the advancement in modern medicine, you can control appendicitis pain by undergoing surgery to remove the appendix. Visit a medical practitioner or call a doctor when you are experiencing the following:
All such symptoms should be immediately brought to the notice of your doctor. The medical practitioner will take a call on whether there is scope to reduce the pain through medications or whether you would need immediate surgery.
Appendicitis can be a tricky disease to diagnose unless you are experiencing typical symptoms. This is because a large number of people have their appendix in different body parts like the pelvis, around the small bowel or near the lower right part of the liver.
There may be intolerable pain around the abdomen area, but it may also be due to gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome or a urinary bladder tract infection. Therefore, tracking and diagnosing appendicitis could be challenging.
There are various stages of diagnosis that doctors will carry out to confirm the presence of appendicitis :
First, the doctor will conduct a physical exam in which he/she will jiggle or rub the area where the pain is occurring. It will help the doctor get an idea regarding the problem and whether further tests are required to confirm appendicitis.
Next up, if required, doctors can also conduct a blood test to confirm the development of appendicitis condition. The blood tests will tell us about white blood cells, which may be a sign of infection. Moreover, a urine test can also validate appendicitis.
The various imaging tests include abdominal ultrasound, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), and computed tomography.
Apart from the tests mentioned above, doctors can also go ahead with a pelvic rectal exam.
Appendicitis can be a chronic or acute medical condition. But it can easily be treated with the help of various surgical interventions or medications. Usually, this condition develops early on in one’s life, particularly during the teenage years.
Therefore, it becomes imperative for individuals to be more prudent and avoid every risk related to this condition. You should not take pain near the abdomen area, vomiting, nausea, or loss of appetite in a casual manner. If timely treatment is not provided to affected persons, it can also become a life-threatening condition.
After the surgery, take extra care of your body and give it time to rebuild. You should maintain a healthy diet and avoid any other complications.
If you are suffering from appendicitis, the only possible treatment available for this medical condition is the removal of the appendix by surgery. The procedure to remove the appendix is appendectomy. The appendix does not perform any critical function, and removal of the said organ may not be harmful.
The appendectomy is performed by a general anaesthetic. There are two methods of conducting this surgery :
Also called laparoscopy, this is the most popular way of conducting appendectomy. The major benefit of this surgery is that recovery time is comparatively lesser.
Open surgery is carried out by doctors when keyhole surgery is not safe and may lead to further complications. It usually occurs when the appendix has burst or the patient has a history of abdominal surgery.
The recovery time in a keyhole surgery is quite less; you can go home within a few days of successful completion of the surgery. In many cases, doctors may also allow the discharge of patients after 24 hours of the operation. After the conduction of appendectomy, it is important to maintain a proper healthy diet and drink a lot of fluids so as to avoid any other complications.
Although there are various factors at play related to the development of appendicitis, however, you can prevent the same by maintaining some healthy food choices. The foods that you should include in your diet so as to increase the resistance against appendicitis are as follows:
Apart from this, here are some food items that you should avoid:
Apart from these food habits, doctors also advise leading a less stressful life and regular exercise as a means to keep this disease at bay.
If appendicitis is not taken care of at the right time, it may also lead to life-threatening consequences. The different complications arising from appendicitis are as follows:
Peritonitis is a situation in which the appendix bursts and your abdomen lining gets completely filled up with bacteria. If left unattended, it can cause severe damage to the internal organs. The symptoms of peritonitis are high-grade fever, shortness of breath, severe abdominal pain, etc.
If the appendix gets bursts, an abscess may form around that area. It is a painful accumulation of pus that gets formed when the body’s internal resistance mechanism is fighting the infection. It can be treated by antibiotics, but severe cases require draining out of pus.
The cost of appendicitis varies on a case-by-case basis. If it is normal appendicitis, the costs incurred may not be high. On the other hand, treatment of severe or chronic appendicitis will involve huge costs. The cost of appendectomy, which is the surgery to remove appendix, ranges between ₹17,000 to ₹1,70,000.
This is just an estimate, and the actual costs may be higher or lower than the figures mentioned. It has been observed that the cost of treatment of appendicitis in tier 1 or metropolitan cities will be quite higher than in tier 2 cities and small towns.
Appendicitis can be life-threatening if not attended to in time. This disease can become fatal if the early signs are ignored, which could eventually lead to the bursting of the appendix and cause further complications and even emergency surgery. Consult a doctor immediately to get the right treatment.
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The various stages related to appendicitis are early stage, suppurative stage, gangrenous stage, perforated, phlegmonous, recurring and chronic condition.
The appendix may explode or rupture after 48-72 hours of early symptoms. Bursting of the appendix can cause bacterial infection and damage to other organs.
No, if you have appendicitis, your appendix will need to be surgically removed as soon as possible. It’s safer to remove the appendix before it bursts and leads to complications. It is advised to consult the doctor immediately after seeing early signs.
You should avoid any stressful activity for 4-6 weeks after the surgery, have a peaceful sleep, and not indulge in heavy workouts immediately after the surgery.
Yes, pregnant women can develop appendicitis as well. If the appendix organ gets inflamed or infected during pregnancy, it requires immediate diagnosis and treatment.
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