An upset stomach can be bothersome to deal with. When that upset stomach turns to severe abdominal pain it can be unbearable. If this pain is causing you to be nauseous or vomit, you are extremely weak or have trouble standing, it could be something serious. You could be suffering from appendicitis. Appendicitis is a condition that occurs when the appendix becomes inflamed; this is usually caused by some sort of infection. It is important to know the signs and symptoms of appendicitis. If this condition is left untreated it could lead to death.
Appendicitis is the result of a blockage or obstruction of the appendix. Once the appendix is obstructed it fills with mucus. This causes swelling and infection. The infected bacteria may begin to leak from the organ causing the appendix to burst, which could lead to death if not treated quickly.
Most of the symptoms associated with appendicitis disturb bowel function. Symptoms include: pain, vomiting and fever.
- Pain: Pain associated with appendicitis will usually occur on the lower right side of the abdomen. The slightest touch in this area cause severe pain and discomfort.
- Vomiting: Due to the bacteria in your system you will be unable to keep solid foods down if you have appendicitis.
- Fever: Patients affected by appendicitis will experience a high fever as well as excessive sweating.
Due to the fact that these symptoms mirror those of ectopic pregnancy, women may require an ultrasound to determine if they are truly suffering from appendicitis.
There are a number of treatment options available for those with appendicitis. The option that is best for you will be determined by your doctor based on the extent and severity of your infection. You may be required to have one or more of the following: appendectomy, laparoscopic surgery or antibiotics to remove or treat any infection of the appendix.
- Appendectomy: This process completely removes the appendix from your body. This is an emergency procedure performed on those at risk for a burst appendix or in cases where it has already occurred. You may require blood transfusions afterward as this type of surgery is considered invasive.
- Laparoscopic Surgery: This type of surgery is also referred to as minimally invasive and completely removes the appendix as well. Unlike appendectomy there is minimal blood loss and a transfusion will likely not be required with this surgery. There is also less pain medication required, shorter hospital stay and a quicker recovery with laparoscopic surgery.
- Antibiotics: In rare cases, surgery for appendicitis is not immediately required as the hole from infection repairs itself. These cases do still however require treatment. This can be taken care of with antibiotics. Even with antibiotics however, fluid will still need to be drained from your appendix and surgery performed at a later date.
Although you can live without your appendix and it is considered a useless organ, the consequences of leaving it untreated if it becomes infected can be dire. A severe infection left untreated can harm other organs or even cause death. It is also important to note that once your appendix is removed you will have to change your diet to avoid further infection as well as take medication to protect against bacterial growth.