What is Appendicitis?
Appendicitis is inflammation of Appendix which is a small finger-like pouch located at the junction of small and large intestines. At the initial stage of life, it works as the immune systems of our body but later, It is taken as an unused part of the body not involved in any functioning.
Symptoms of Appendicitis:-
Approx 5% of the total population may have the problem of Appendicitis at some point of time. Although it may occur to anyone but teens or people having the age of twenties commonly get affected with the same. We will read the symptoms of Appendicitis as follows:-
- Pain in Abdomen
- starts with the belly button and then moves Lower to the right
- gets worse with the spending hours
- gets worse if you move around, cough, sneeze or take deep breaths
- is severe in nature and different as you have felt before
- raise suddenly and may wake you up while sleeping
- Loss of Appetite
- Nausea and Vomiting
- Constipation and Diarrhea
- An inability to pass gas
- A low-grade fever
- abdomen Swelling
- feeling discomfort in any bowel movement
Causes of Appendicitis:-
All the causes are not clear although some of the possible cause may be:-
- Blockage of opening in the appendix
- Infection in gastrointestinal tract may cause enlargement in the wall of appendix
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Any injury or trauma to your abdomen
- Stool, parasites the can block appendiceal lumen
Complications of Appendicitis?
An untreated appendicitis will lead to huge complications If it ruptures such as Peritonitis. Peritonitis is dangerous and serious condition and it happens when appendix bursts and the infection spread to the abdomen. Patients may have fever, nausea, severe tenderness in abdomen, vomiting, an abscess called appendiceal abscess.
When should I seek a doctor's help:- It is an emergency which should be treated as immediate level. If your child or your family member feel the above-mentioned symptoms, seeking doctor’s help and treatments will reduce the symptoms and chances of complications.
Diagnosis of Appendicitis
Doctor may suspect the disease with the symptoms. Some of the diagnostic methods are as mentioned:-
- Medical History:- The health care person would like to know about the duration of abdomen pain, exact location and severity of pain, medical conditions, previous illness history, previous surgical procedures, drinking & eating habits and other symptoms affecting the abdomen.
- Physical Exam: Healthcare professional will check the body by touching or applying pressure in some area of the abdomen. the following responses may indicate that you have Appendicitis such as Rovsing's sign, Psoas sign, Obturator sign, Guarding, Rebound tenderness.
Digital rectal Exam and pelvic Exam may be undertaken to analyze the Appendicitis.
Diagnosis or Appendicitis may include some Lab tests such as:-
- Blood Tests:- It will show the high white blood cell counts which is a sign of infection. it is also used to check dehydration and electrolyte imbalances.
- Urinalysis:- It is done with the sample of urine to find out UTI (Urinary Tract Infection) or a kidney stone.
- Pregnancy Test:- This can be done with the urine or blood sample to check for the pregnancy symptoms.
- Imaging Tests:- imaging or Capturing internal images will help to diagnose the Appendicitis or other causes of abdominal pain.
- Ultrasound:- Radiologist will apply a Gel and then use a device called transducer over the abdomen to click the internal images from the various angles. This image may show the signs of:
- Burst appendix
- Other sources of abdominal pain
- A blockage in appendiceal lumen
- CT Scan:- It uses X-rays and computer technologies without using any anesthesia. It is best for the children as it can be done while sleeping. CT scan of the abdomen can show the following as:-
- Enlarged or burst appendix
- Appendiceal abscess
- Blockage in appendiceal lumen
Women planning to conceive must undergo a pregnancy test as CT scan rays may be harmful to the fetus.
Proper examination and thorough analysis is necessary before prescribing any treatments or surgery. Know more about Appendicitis Surgery & Treatments