Appendicitis: Everything you need to know

By: JohnBarnes

What is appendicitis and how can it be treated?

Appendicitis is when your appendix becomes inflamed. This could be due to a blockage. It can be either acute or chronic.

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Appendicitis, the most common cause for abdominal pain in the United States, is often treated with surgery. It is a common condition that affects up to 9 percent of Americans at one time or another.

The appendix is small pouch that attaches to the intestine. It is located in the lower-right part of your abdomen. If your appendix is blocked, bacteria can grow inside. This can cause swelling and pus to form, which can result in painful pressure in the abdomen. Blocking blood flow can also lead to appendicitis.

If left untreated, appendicitis may cause your appendix burst. This can lead to bacteria leaking into your abdominal cavity.

Appendicitis acute

Acute appendicitis refers to a sudden and severe case of appendicitis. It is more common in children and young adults aged 10-30 years. The pain can develop quickly and intensify over 24 hours.

You should seek immediate medical attention. It can lead to a ruptured appendix if it is not treated immediately. This could be fatal or serious.

Acute appendicitis occurs in approximately 7 to 9 percent of Americans. Find out more about the differences and similarities between these conditions.

Appendicitis chronic

Acute appendicitis and chronic appendicitis are less common. Only 1.5 percent of people with chronic appendicitis have ever experienced it.

Chronic appendicitis symptoms can be milder and usually develop after an episode of acute appendicitis. Sometimes, symptoms may disappear and then return over weeks, months, or years.

It can be difficult to diagnose this type of appendicitis. It can sometimes be difficult to diagnose until acute appendicitis develops.

Chronic appendicitis is dangerous. Learn how to recognize and treat chronic appendicitis.


Appendicitis pain can often start as mild cramping around your stomach or in the belly button area. This then progresses to the lower right quadrant. This is often called:

  • It all happens suddenly
  • It gets worse if you cough or move.
  • It is so intense, it can wake you up from your sleep
  • This is different from any other abdominal pain you have experienced
  • Within a matter of hours, the condition will worsen

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Appendicitis can also be manifested by other symptoms such as:

  • Appetite loss
  • indigestion
  • nausea
  • vomiting
  • Abdominal swelling
  • low-grade fever

You may also experience bowel problems less often, such as:

  • diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • The desire to have bowel movements
  • Inability to pass gas

Avoid using laxatives and enema if you are constipated. These treatments could cause your appendix burst.

If you feel tenderness on the right side or other signs of appendicitis, contact your doctor immediately. Appendicitis is a serious condition that can quickly escalate into a medical emergency. Learn how to recognize this serious condition.

Appendicitis is a condition in which a child experiences symptoms. It’s important to contact your doctor immediately if your child experiences these symptoms. Find out why it is so important to seek treatment.

Risk factors and causes

Appendicitis can be caused by many factors. Experts believe that it occurs when an area of the appendix becomes blocked or obstructed.

  • There are many things that could block your appendix.
  • A buildup of hardened stool
  • Lymphoid follicles enlarge
  • Intestinal worms
  • traumatic injury
  • Tumors

Abdominal pain can also be caused by other conditions. Click here to learn more about pain in the lower right abdomen.

  • Anyone can get appendicitis. However, some people are more susceptible to developing this condition than others. Appendicitis risk factors include:
  • Appendicitis is most common in teens and young adults, but it can also occur at any age.
  • Appendicitis occurs more frequently in males than in females.
  • Family history. Appendicitis is more common in those with a family history.

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If your appendix bursts, it can lead to serious complications. This can result in fecal matter or bacteria leaking into your abdomen cavity. An appendix rupture can cause painful, potentially fatal infections.

  • Peritonitis
  • Abscesses
  • Sepsis

Your doctor might prescribe medication, surgery or other treatments to prevent or manage problems. You might experience side effects or complications as a result of treatment.

The risks of antibiotics and surgery are usually far less frequent and more serious than those associated with untreated appendicitis.

How can appendicitis be diagnosed?

Your doctor will discuss your medical history and symptoms if they suspect you have appendicitis. The doctor will then conduct a physical exam to determine if there is tenderness or swelling in the lower right side of your abdomen. A digital rectal exam may be performed. Your doctor may order tests depending on your results from your physical exam.

Appendicitis can be diagnosed using multiple tests. Appendicitis can be diagnosed by your doctor if your doctor is unable to identify other causes.

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Blood tests

  • Your doctor may order a complete body count (CBC) to check for infection signs. They will take a sample from your blood and send it off to a laboratory for analysis.
  • Appendicitis can often be accompanied by bacterial infections. Appendicitis can also be caused by an infection of the urinary tract, or other abdominal organs.
  • To determine if you have other causes of abdominal inflammation such as an autoimmune disorder, chronic condition or another cause, your doctor might order a CRP test.