Appendicitis is a painful condition that involves the infection and resulting
inflammation of the appendix. Symptoms ranging from abdominal pain and
swelling to nausea and loss of appetite can all signify an appendix condition,
so it's important that these symptoms not be overlooked. For years,
many medical professionals have argued that the appendix, attached to
the end of the large intestine, doesn't serve a known purpose in the
body. This is the extent of what most of us know about the appendix, but
there's a lot about appendicitis that you may not know. Here are four
facts about appendicitis that just might surprise you.
The appendix isn't useless, after all! Recent research indicates that the appendix is actually a safe haven and
breeding ground for your body's good bacteria. These micro-organisms
make their way to your large intestine following any major loss of gut
bacteria, like after prolonged antibiotic use or intestinal illness."
Surgery isn't always necessary. In the majority of cases, an appendectomy, or complete removal of the appendix,
is the go-to fix for appendicitis. In recent years, however, the
Journal of the American Medical Association has suggested that those with appendicitis give antibiotics a try before
heading straight to surgery.
Appendicitis is most prevalent in people between the ages of 10 and 30, though it's possible to come down with this condition at any age. It
can also manifest differently depending on the person’s age. For
example, children with appendicitis experience a symptom commonly referred
to as "rebound tenderness," which is a sharp pain that occurs
when pressure is quickly applied to and removed from the lower right abdomen.
Children also tend to experience a high white blood cell count, a common
sign of infection that can be spotted with a simple blood test.
Even if the pain stops, you still need to see a doctor. If you're feeling pain and symptoms that resemble appendicitis, and
that pain suddenly goes away, that doesn't mean you should just ignore
the episodes. It's possible that the appendix ruptured, causing the
pain and pressure to feel relieved while actually releasing harmful fluids
into the abdomen. Once the appendix ruptures, surgery needs to be performed
immediately. It's imperative that a surgeon clean out the abdominal
cavity and remove the tissue as soon as possible.
It's always best to see your doctor if you're experiencing any
prolonged pain, illness, or discomfort in the abdomen so that potential
issues can be diagnosed.
Have you had your appendix removed? Share a comment below.
This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical
care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.