Signs and symptoms of appendicitis

By  ,  Onlymyhealth editorial team
May 06, 2016
Quick Bites

  • Appendicitis is inflammation of appendix due to an infection.
  • It is a serious medical situation and can possibly be life threatening.
  • A dull pain in right side is usually the first sign of an inflamed appendix.
  • Medical help should be sought immediately if you suffer from any signs of appendicitis.

Appendix is a vestigial organ, which means it does not serve any purpose in the human body any longer. Any kind of blockage in the appendix can cause an infection and consequently inflammation of the appendix. The most common causes of infection are accumulation of mucus, parasitic organisms or faecal matter. Appendicitis can be very dangerous as any tear or rupture in an infected appendix can cause the infected fecal matter/ mucus to be spread throughout the abdominal cavity.


symptoms of  appendicitis


If an appendix bursts, immediate surgery is required and the situation can be life threatening. The most common signs of appendicitis are.



Dull pain in abdominal region

A dull pain in the upper or lower abdominal region is usually the very first sign which could indicate an infected appendix.Though usually this pain is hard to recognize or is easily dismissed.There is a slow onset in pain as the inflammation and infection worsens slowly. When the appendix becomes inflamed enough to irritate the peritoneum, the membrane which lines the abdominal cavity, it causes a sharp localised pain in the right lower part of the abdomen.



Pain in lower back

Sometimes, depending on the site of infection, the patient may not experience abdominal pain and instead suffer from pain in lower back or pelvic region. This kind of pain is generally not associated with appendicitis as it is fairly uncommon, but if this pain is present with other mentioned symptoms it can be an indication of swollen appendix.



Mild fever

Appendicitis is usually accompanied with a low grade fever, usually from 99 to 100 degree Celsius. However, if the appendix has ruptured the fever may suddenly rise with other symptoms such as Tachycardia, or elevated heart rate accompanied by severe pain in abdomen. If the fever reaches around 103 degrees Celsius, you should immediately see your doctor.



Loss of appetite

Anyone suffering from appendicitis may suffer from a loss of appetite in general. The patient may experience a sudden decrease in appetite and may feel bloated. Mild nausea and vomiting is sometimes an additional symptom along with decreased appetite. Diarrhoea or constipation is also experienced by some of the patients. If all these symptoms coincide with abdominal pain, it is time to visit a doctor.



Rebound tenderness

Most of the symptoms of appendicitis problems mimic symptoms of other digestive system ailments and are hard to recognize. However this is a good way to know if your appendix is swollen. Pushing the lower right side of the abdomen and experiencing pain when the pressure is released is a sign of appendicitis. If you suffer from rebound tenderness, see your doctor immediately and mention this symptom.


Image: Getty

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