Appendicitis Definition and How to Identify the Symptoms

Appendicitis is a condition in which the appendix becomes inflamed, swollen, pus-filled. The appendix is a small pocket in the form of a small finger. It is on the right side of the abdomen, connected to the colon. Appendicitis is considered to be a serious illness and the most efficient treatment at the time being involves medical surgery. Appendicitis is therefore a surgical emergency and it can be efficiently overcome only by removing the diseased appendix from the body.

Appendicitis can be either acute or chronic. Acute appendicitis develops faster and the presence of the illness is easier to detect. Chronic appendicitis is slower to evolve and it is more difficult to diagnose. Charles Darwin's theory that although the appendix has no use for modern humans, which could have been an organ our ancestors used to digest plants. Recent studies indicate it may be a dedicated environment for friendly bacteria that aid digestion and fight infection.

Causes for appendicitis include one or more of these two factors: a difficulty within the appendix, an abnormal change in tissue accompanied by the death of cells within appendix and the attack of bacteria. Appendicitis usually occurs after an digestive tract infection, or when the tube connecting the large intestine and appendix is blocked by trapped feces or food. The causes of appendicitis may include invasion of bacteria or other microorganism. Under such circumstances, bacteria multiplies within the organ and then appendix starts to swell and then as a result gets filled with pus, a fluid formed in the infected tissue which contains white blood cell and cellular debris.

Although appendicitis can't be effectively prevented, it is thought that a diet rich in fibers may reduce the chances of developing the illness. According to statistics, appendicitis affects about 6-7 percent of the population in the United States and Europe. Statistics also indicate that in the last decade both the number of people diagnosed with appendicitis and the mortality rate of the patients have considerably decreased. However, appendicitis is a serious illness and can be life-threatening if it is not treated in time.

Appendicitis medication is most often treated with combination of surgery and antibiotics. Drug therapies like antibiotics and medications are often taken to ease nausea. An appendectomy is the removal of the appendix through a slim cut in a person's abdomen that could be several inches in length. Certain herbs and supplements also help in preventing appendicitis, strengthen the immune system, or help recover from surgery quickly. Eating green vegetables, sprouts, tomatoes, peas, beans, may offer supplemental protection against appendicitis. Acupuncture is often helpful in relieving pain, control peristalsis together with improvement in blood flow.

The main symptom of appendicitis is the pain often accompanied with fever and vomiting but tenderness at a particular point in the abdomen is often recognized as the hallmark of the disease. Appendicitis pain can affect all genders and it can occur at any age with varying levels of severity. Person feels pain in abdomen in a diffused and un-localized manner, on being asked about the location of the pain; patients typically circle the central part of the abdomen where as it is only in close vicinity. Nature of the appendicitis pain will finally localize to the right lower quadrant of the abdomen.

An interesting aspect of appendicitis is that it can be very difficult to detect and diagnose correctly, due to the unspecific character of its symptoms. In some cases, the patients might not have any symptoms at all (elderly people, people that have previously suffered surgical interventions, people with HIV, people with diabetes and overweight people). The form of appendicitis that generates no specific symptoms is called atypical appendicitis. The rate of mortality among patients with atypical appendicitis is very high.

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