The appendix is a small pouch-shaped organ on the right side of the abdomen. It is connected to the colon is the appendix. Appendicitis is caused due to the swelling of the appendix. The appendix is inflamed and pus-filled.
The causes of appendicitis are minimal and clear. A stomach infection could affect the appendix. Though, the predominant cause is adjudged as blockage in the lining of the appendix. A hard piece of stool may get trapped in the appendix. The bacteria multiply quickly causing inflammation and pus formation of the appendix. Appendicitis if not treated promptly can lead to serious complications such as rupture and pocket pus formation in the abdomen.
- Appendicitis shows progressive worsening. The pain is usually felt anywhere in the stomach area. It later intensifies and becomes more designate. The lower right hand side of the abdomen where the appendicitis pain is defined is called McBurney Point.
- Dull pain near the navel or the stomach area which later becomes sharp
- Pain in upper and lower abdomen, back and even rectum
- Vomiting followed by abdominal pain
- Abdominal swelling
- Inability to break wind
- Fever about 102 deg. F.
- Loss of appetite
- Uncomfortable or painful urination
Appendicitis can be a challenging diagnosis. Not all patients show similar symptoms and besides at times, the location of the appendix may also vary. The symptoms are also similar to Crohn’s disease, gastroenteritis, urinary tract infection or bladder infection and ovarian problems.
Appendicitis is diagnosed by:
Abdominal testing External abdominal examination is conducted by applying gentle pressure to the area. When the pressure is released, the pain usually worsens indicating pain in the peritoneum and inflammation. Women of child bearing age are even subject to a pelvic exam to rule out potential gynaecological problems.
Blood test A blood test will reveal a high white blood cell count if there is an infection.
Urine test A urine test may have to be conducted to rule out UTI and kidney stones. Also research demonstrated that protein detected in urine might also serve as an indicator towards appendicitis.
CT or Ultrasound An abdominal ultrasound or a computerized tomography scan will indicate whether the appendix is swollen or inflamed. Patients with acute suspicion of appendicitis undergo the CT scan first even before the other tests.