What is Appendicitis and How to Recognize Its Symptoms?

Belinda Keegan

Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix, a finger-sized organ attached to the large intestine. It is typically seen in people aged 10 to 30 years old and if left untreated, it can become life-threatening. In this article, we will go over the causes, symptoms and treatment of appendicitis.

Causes of Appendicitis

It’s unclear what exactly causes appendicitis but there are some commonly known scenarios. One possible cause is when a hard stool gets lodged in the opening of the appendix, blocking its blood supply and leading to death of the organ.

Another potential cause could be existing infection somewhere in or around the digestive tract that causes swelling of lymph nodes and mucus or pus buildup inside the appendix. Other possible reasons include irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), injury or trauma to the area, or growths inside the appendix itself.

Symptoms of Appendicitis

The most common symptom associated with appendicitis is sudden pain around the belly button area that spreads across your entire stomach or down into your right lower side.

You may experience one or two episodes of vomiting as well as avoiding food altogether. The pain might worsen when you move, touch it, cough, take deep breaths or sneeze. Additionally, children may have fever and difficulty urinating or passing stools/constipation.

Note that it’s not necessary for someone with appendicitis to have all these symptoms present at once; also never take painkillers as they can mask some symptoms leading to misdiagnosis.

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Diagnosis for Appendicitis

Patients usually present with tenderness when you press on their belly button area and right lower side when diagnosing appendicitis. A Scanton ultrasound scan may be performed along with CT scans and MRI (for pregnant women).

Urine tests are often done too in order to differentiate between urinary tract infections and appendicitis while blood tests are used to check for infection presence within body fluids.

Treatment Options for Appendicitis

The treatment plan depends on how severe your pain is feeling at diagnosis time; milder cases may only require antibiotics, painkillers and fever reducers while more extreme cases need an appendectomy (surgery involving removal of appendix from body).

There are two types – open which involves more complications as well as longer hospital stays (7+ days) versus laparoscopic which has fewer complications plus shorter hospital visits (2 days max.).

After surgery a course of antibiotics should be taken along with fiber-rich foods to help pass gas easily while recovering from procedure fully without any major issues afterwards!


Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix usually seen in people aged 10–30 years old which can become life-threatening if left untreated.

Its symptoms include sudden pain around belly button area that spreads across stomach region plus fever & difficulty urinating/passing stools/constipation at times too – diagnosis includes ultrasound scan/CT scan/MRI & urine tests whereas treatment involves supportive care & an appendectomy surgery depending on severity level – after surgery one should follow antibiotics course & eat fiber-rich foods for easy recovery back into normal life!

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