Appendicitis happens when your appendix becomes inflamed, This is caused by a blockage in the lining of the appendix. A relatively common surgical disease, this ailment often presents with pus and is accompanied by symptoms of abdominal pain. This condition is typically considered a medical emergency, as the appendix, if infected, can burst when left untreated. This can happen as soon as 38 to 72 hours after symptoms surface, which is why patients are advised to seek medical assistance as soon as possible.
Appendicitis happens due to a blockage in the lining of the appendix. It can be because of infections in the digestive tract, such as viruses, bacteria, or parasites. It can also occur when the tube that joins the large intestine and appendix is blocked or trapped by stool. Tumours are another potential cause of appendicitis. The appendix can burst or develop holes or tears in its walls, allowing stool, mucus, and infection to leak into the stomach.
Below are some common signs of appendicitis:
1. Abdominal pain
This symptom first manifests as right lower quadrant pain, which gradually progresses to epigastric pain, and finally, pain around the navel. Some patients experience pain within two or three hours, and other may even experience pain for a day or more.
2.Fever, nausea and vomiting
Inflammation in the body leads to a high body temperature that intensifies if the condition worsens. Because the gastrointestinal tract is affected by inflammation of the appendix, there will also be some nausea and vomiting.
Patients suffering from appendicitis are likely to experience constipation or diarrhoea, flatulence, as well as loss of appetite.
To date, there is no proven way to prevent appendicitis. However, inculcating healthier lifestyles and eating habits – such as having a high-fibre diet with whole-grains, fresh fruits and vegetables may help.
WHEN TO SEE A DOCTOR
If you have abdominal pain that intensifies gradually, do seek professional medical help as soon as you can. While appendicitis can easily be confused with other conditions that involve less urgency, any condition that causes constant abdominal pain requires swift attention.
The appendix has no known purpose, and patients will not notice any difference in their bodies after removal. Patients who undergo laparoscopic surgery typically get discharged in a day, and return to their normal lifestyles within two or three weeks. Those with open surgeries can expect to spend a longer time recuperating in the hospital, and those with a ruptured appendix may need antibiotics medication and a few more weeks to recover.