What is Appendicitis?
It’s a common medical condition, caused by inflammation in appendix mostly at the age of 10-30 yrs. Upon the occurrence of symptoms of appendicitis it requires immediate removal of appendix by surgery which is referred to as appendectomy.
Appendix is a tube or vermiform liked organ present in the lower right abdomen region of the body. As per the experts appendix is a vestigial structure and some consider appendix helpful in maintaining the gut flora.
According to the studies male predominance is seen over female in appendicitis.
Often appendicitis symptoms are misunderstood as other health issues and some of conditions can also mimic like it, proper diagnosis with in apt time frame is very important, if not treated inflamed appendix may burst spreading infection in the whole body and can be more fatal by causing peritonitis.
What causes Appendicitis?
It may occur due to blockage of appendix which may be complete or partial in case of complete blockage immediate surgery in needed. Blockage may be caused by:
- Fecal matter
- Bacterial infection
When there is blockage in the appendix it may help to flourish bacteria inside it leading to the formation of pus, also increasing the pressure on the blood vessels and reducing blood supply to that part, which may further cause gangrene. Peritonitis and abscess are another issues faced during appendicitis.
Peritonitis i.e. inflammation of abdominal tissues, if the appendix rupture it causes other nearby organs to be infected. Rupture appendix may lead to accumulation of unwanted substances in the abdomen making it a risky situation.
Instead of rupture if appendix leaks it’s called as abscess.
What are the symptoms of Appendicitis?
In early stage appendicitis symptoms may be mild but as they persist it becomes more intense, in child and adults usually symptoms of appendicitis are seen same which are as follows:
- Loss of appetite: It refers to decrease of desire to eat, also called as anorexia. In appendicitis it’s very commonly noted. If you feel this for week it’s advisable to report your doctor though appetite loss may be because of various reasons.
- Sudden Abdominal pain: The appendix pain starts from lower right side of abdomen, some may feel it near belly button.
The intensity of pain increases when patients moves, sneezes or coughs. Appendix pain is severe and its intensity increases with time.
- Nausea and Vomiting: It’s a feeling of uneasiness and throwing up the stomach content, vomiting is the involuntary action of the body. It’s often notice that after this abdominal pain starts.
- Painful coughing or sneezing
- Diarrhea: Loose or watery stools caused usually due to infection in body. Continuous loss of water may lead to dehydration.
- Low grade Fever: Appendicitis can be mimic by other health condition. Fever is a usual symptom but if its 103 degree with abdominal pain, than you must surely visit your doctor.
- Swelling in abdomen
- Bloating and gas: This may occur due to accumulation of gas in abdominal area making it swollen and one may also experience pain. Although uneasiness in the abdominal area may have varying reasons. But if it’s on the lower right side may be because of appendicitis.
- Cramps: They are the sudden involuntary action felt in the muscles of the body. During appendicitis sever cramps are observed.
In some cases no symptoms of appendicitis is seen. The rupture period of appendix may take 48-72 hours, so it is advisable to consult doctor as soon the appendicitis symptoms appears.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis:
This can be little tough! as the symptoms of appendicitis are common to many other health issues like gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection (UTI), kidney stones and Crohn’s Disease.
It’s not necessary that everybody will have appendicitis, examination by doctor is must. Patients with fever, pain in right abdomen which doctor pushes there and as per his prescription following test can be done:
- Blood test: The increased in number of white blood cell can depicts various health conditions of the body, as there increased number suggest infection in the body.
Though it can’t be considered as the defining test as increase in number may be because of different reasons.
- Urine test: Urine analysis helps to detect the various infection through examination of urine. Urine has numerous amount of waste in, there are various parameters on which the urine analysis is done.
In case of severe appendix pain, infection may spread to bladder, ureter resulting in abnormal urine test outcomes.
- CT scan/ ultrasound: This is helpful in viewing swollen appendix; if there are any other organs like ovary, fallopian tubes which may imitate like appendicitis so it will be clear by scan. Ultrasound is helpful analyzing pregnant women as it is safe and more accurate.
- Laparoscopy: This is a surgical method, in which a laparoscope- long, tube like structure with a camera in front is inserted into the body through a lesion.
The fixed camera is helpful in proving the images, which can be seen enlarged on the monitor outside, allowing the doctors to view without open surgery.
Also called as key hole surgery method. It’s safer and easy as compared to the old style of surgery method. It’s also helpful in those patients in which other condition may looks like appendicitis for e.g. ovarian cyst.
- Rectal Examination: This is done to view problems associated with abdomen.
Treatment for Appendicitis:
Removal of appendix called as appendectomy, is the most common solution for appendicitis. Some results shows that having antibiotic may help avoiding surgery. If the rupture seen in patients is present from many days, it may cause abscess.
There might be both possibility that is drainage of the pus formed or removal of appendix. Sometimes doctor may find it apt to remove appendix which is normal as it is senseful to remove appendix than facing sever future infections.
- Appendicitis treatment or appendectomy starts with dosage of antibiotics to boast immune system.
- 2-3 inch long lesion is made around the abdomen area.
- With carefully examination appendix is removed from the colon, then hole in colon is sewed.
- The abdominal lesion is then stitched closing the layers. Patients can recover within 2-3 weeks of surgery.
Laparoscopy is the new advancement, which is more easy and faster than the old surgical method used in removal of appendix. If appendicitis is detected it is removed by passing special instrument in the abdomen called laparoscope.
Process of surgery include making a small cut and inserting laparoscope, which provides inner images and once the appendicitis treatment is done the cut is sealed. Recovery time by laparoscopy depends on the individual but it is less than in open type of surgery method.
This method of surgery has its own benefits like, less painful than convectional surgery, it also allows the doctor to have an inside look so that he can insure about remaining infection or clear cause of appendicitis. Drawback of laparoscopy that it may damage the other inner organs while examination.
After effects of treatment:
After surgical procedure, concern is new infection in the wound which may require another dosage of antibiotic to overcome the infection caused.
In severe condition abscesses in seen, pus formed can be drained, dizziness, vomiting and constipation. Infections are less common in the laparoscopy.
Looks like Appendicitis!
There are conditions which can mimic like appendicitis or may feel like symptoms of appendicitis, proper diagnosis is necessary before appendicitis treatment. Below is the list of health issues which can imitate like appendicitis:
- Ovarian cyst
- Ectopic pregnancy: It refers to the condition when the fertilized eggs in attached outside uterus usually in Fallopian tube.
- Kidney Diseases
- Meckel’s Diverticulitis: It’s the inflammation in Meckel diverticulum, which is the congenital abnormality.
- Inflammatory Disease
Effects of Appendicitis in Pregnancy?
Appendicitis can be real painful for the pregnant women, thought its common in 2nd and 3rd semester of pregnancy. Its diagnoses can be difficult some time as the symptoms of appendicitis can be misunderstood to normal pregnancy discomfort.
Avoiding or delaying diagnosis can be risky for the mother and the baby. The infectious particles can be harmful for the baby.
Formation of pus and rupture of appendix is common in pregnant women as in normal women. Appendectomy is suggested as appendicitis treatment without any delay, proper monitoring and care is needed for pregnant women by their doctor or physicians. The recovery period may take up to two – three weeks.
How can I prevent Appendicitis?
It’s always suggested “that prevention is better than cure” there is no hard and fast way of appendicitis treatment, it can happen to anybody irrespective of their sex.
Through diet and proper life style the occurrence of symptoms of appendicitis may be controlled.
Research suggested that incorporating fiber rich food in your diet can be helpful.
High fiber food can help to prevents many diseases a rich fiber diet can help to clear out the digestive tract. As per the studied conducted there is lack of fiber consumed product by the americans, which can be a challenging health situation.
A Healthy Outside starts from Inside…!!!
Here are a list few fiber rich food:
- Black beans
- Flax seeds
Having rich fiber diet can help to regular bowel movement, maintain cholesterol and also can fight against cancer.