Early symptoms and care for Appendicitis

The appendix, a vestigial organ that is totally useless to us, can actually put your life under great risk. Inflammation of the appendix is called appendicitis and it is treated as an emergency by medical experts. When a food particle enters the appendix, it swells up immediately putting pressure on the entire digestive system. In severe cases, the organ bursts spilling all infectious material into the digestive canal. That can be dangerous and can sometimes lead to death too.

The causes for appendicitis are still a mystery to Doctors. Foreign bodies, intestinal worms and fecal deposits in the digestive system are a few reasons as to why the appendix suddenly inflames. It can happen to children, teenagers, adults and the elderly, all alike. No medical specialist can predict appendicitis but there are a few earliest symptoms that act as warning bells.

Keep a close check on your body if you observe any of these signs.

  • Belly button pain – This pain is often confused with indigestion. People with an inflamed appendix usually suffer from throbbing pain near the lower right side of the tummy. But this pain starts at the belly button and spreads to the right side. It worsens when they sneeze, cough, and go on a bumpy car drive or when they walk.
  • Low grade fever – An inflamed appendix shoots the body temperature by a couple of degrees. Many people experience chills and body aches that are associated with fever. Paracetamol doesn’t help such fever.
  • Nausea and vomiting – Since the digestive tract is being suppressed by an inflamed appendix, the tummy cannot hold food. Throwing up and nausea worsen in the person.
  • Constipation – Losing appetite, getting constipated, diarrhoea and trouble passing gas hit a person much before he experiences pulsating pain in the appendix area. If you suddenly feel there’s something wrong with your tummy, it is advisable you get yourself checked.

The most common mistake everybody does when they have a painful tummy is to gulp down pain killers. When they are constipated, over-the-counter digestive pills are definitely a must for them. But painkillers and pills to aid digestion can rupture the appendix almost immediately. A ruptured appendix is nothing but a life threatening condition. Do not take any medication without consulting a doctor. If you experience any of these early symptoms, rush to a sehat.com General surgeon or a Gastroenterologist to get it evaluated.

Usually all appendicitis cases end up in surgery because the appendix is inflamed. Only rarely does it get treated with medicines. Earlier, doctors used to cut up the tummy to operate and stitch it later. Now laparoscopy technology is being used widely to perform appendicitis surgeries. Small incisions are made on the right side of the stomach and the appendix is removed. This surgery hardly takes time and has no complications as such. However, post surgery, a lot of care needs to be taken.

  • Do not miss pain medication or the antibiotics that are prescribed by your health care provider. Always take them on time and follow the instructions.
  • Never bend or squat on the floor soon after the surgery. Though it is a minor surgery, your body will take time to heal. Bed rest for up to 10 days is ideal.
  • Walk only short distances and do not strain yourself.
  • Sitting for longer durations is not recommended. Always sit on the edge of the bed. While getting up or lying down, always be gentle. Never rush.
  • Stick to a soft diet that is easy to digest. Spices, fries, salt and heavy food can be dangerous to your digestive system.