Appendicitis occurs when the appendix is inflamed, typically due to an infection or a blockage due to stool, a foreign body or other reasons.
Appendicitis can be an extremely serious condition that, in rare instances, can even be fatal. Even though the body does not need the appendix – in fact, it is not clear why we even have the organ – if something goes wrong with it there could be major consequences.
Appendicitis pain can be intense to the point that it is completely debilitating. This inflammation of the appendix is a true emergency situation that needs to be treated as fast as possible to reduce the chances of a potentially life-threatening burst of the organ. If this happens, bacteria can spread throughout the abdomen that, in rare instances, can be fatal.
Here are some of the signs of appendicitis so that you can act quickly and get to your nearest Complete Care emergency medical facility.
Symptoms of Appendicitis
Appendicitis pain hits in the lower right side of the abdomen. However, in the early stages the pain is tolerable – and many people dismiss it as a result. The condition is caused by a blockage and inflammation of the appendix lining and affects less than 10 percent of Americans. However, when it hits it can hit extremely hard. If it is not treated quickly, it can lead to not only an infection but can also severely restrict blood flow.
There are several different symptoms associated with appendicitis. Some people will experience different symptoms than others. But all of them must be taken seriously and you must get medical help as soon as you can. A ruptured appendix could occur in as little as 48-72 hours after symptoms begin.
This is one of the most telling signs of appendicitis. Dull pain in the area of the belly button that changes near the lower right portion of the stomach is a very common symptom. In most instances, the pain increases and intensity without subsiding.
The path of the pain is also significant. For example, if the pain moves from your navel to the area over your appendix, this could be a sign that an appendicitis attack is imminent – possibly as soon as 12-24 hours. The appendix is typically located at the lower right portion of the abdomen, about a third of the way between the belly button and the hip bone.
If your abdomen is painful to the touch, that is a sign you should get to an emergency medical facility as soon as possible. Be aware of “rebound tenderness” as well. This is where you feel pain quickly after you release after pressing.
- Decreased appetite
- Chills and shaking
- Back pain
- Digestive system problems
Know When to Act
If you begin feeling discomfort, touch the area gently and see if it feels tender. Pay special attention if the pain worsens when you sneeze, cough or breathe deeply. If the pain increases and is accompanied by nausea, constipation or abdominal swelling, or you are unable to pass gas, there is a very good chance you will need to get to a doctor right away.
If you have any reason to believe you are suffering from appendicitis pain, it will be very important not to take any pain medicine. The reason is that medicine could mask your pain and make it more difficult for the doctor to make an accurate diagnosis. It will also be extremely important that you do not take any laxatives, because that could lead to an abscess or a rupture.
Contact Complete Care About Appendicitis
You need to get to your nearest Complete Care location as quickly as possible if you suspect you or a loved one has appendicitis. Failure to do so could result in a burst appendix, which could potentially be life-threatening. At Complete Care, we have a great deal of experience in treating patients with appendicitis. You need to get to your closest Complete Care location as soon as you can.