How Do You Know If You Have Appendicitis?
The appendix is a 3.5-inch long extension of the large intestine that, according to researchers, plays a possible role in gut immunity. The inflammation of the appendix is appendicitis. Although we can live without an appendix without any apparent consequences yet it is very important to properly treat this inflammation as a medical emergency and visit an urgent care clinic as it may lead to complications.
To avoid complications related to appendicitis, timely identification of appendicitis is very important. We will help you know how to identify appendicitis, treatment, cautions and why it is important to treat appendicitis.
Appendicitis causes abdominal pain. In order to differentiate it from other reasons of pain you should look for some classic symptoms that may include:
- The first sign is a sudden dull pain in the upper abdomen or near navel area that moves to lower right abdomen and gets sharper during this process
- Abdominal pain followed by vomiting and/or nausea
- Abdominal swelling
- Fever that gets worse with time
- Inability to pass gas
- Lack of appetite
Some other symptoms may include
- Diarrhea or constipation with gas
- Difficult and/or painful urination
- Severe cramps
If you notice any of the symptoms mentioned above, visit any an urgent care center or 24-hour clinic immediately. It is a medical emergency and it may cause complications if it is not treated in time. Although in some cases it can be treated by with antibiotics but appendectomy, which is the surgical removal of the appendix, is the standard treatment for appendicitis.
In normal conditions, if doctors suspect appendicitis, one step procedure is followed and they quickly remove the appendix just to be on the safe side.
In some cases, if the appendix has formed puss, doctors follow a two steps procedure. In the first step, they remove the puss and fluid inside the appendix and in the second step they remove the appendix.
What to do?
After an appendectomy, you should be able to return back to your normal routine in 2 to 3 weeks. However, you should contact your doctor or visit any walk in clinic immediately if you:
- See pus in the wound
- Feel increased pain in the abdomen and/or in your incision
- Have uncontrolled vomiting
- Have blood in your urine or vomit
- Have fever
If you notice any of the symptoms of appendicitis, NEVER try to treat it at home. Don’t use any heating pads, laxatives, antacids. Avoid eating or drinking as well. Trying self-medication and self-treatment may cause the inflamed appendix to rupture.
Importance of treatment
The condition is treated as a medical emergency because if it is not timely treated and the inflamed appendix is not removed it may cause severe complications that may cause death.
If left untreated, the affected appendix eventually bursts or leaks and spills all its infectious materials into the abdominal cavity. The dangerous leaked substances may affect the abdominal cavity’s lining and cause inflammation, called Peritonitis. Peritonitis should be timely cured with antibiotics otherwise it can be fatal.
Appendicitis can happen to anyone and it can’t be prevented but people who eat fruits, vegetables and high fiber foods are at low risk of having appendicitis. You may get more information regarding prevention from a 24-hour clinic or your local walk in clinic.