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By Sasha de Beausset Aparicio, MSc

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What Is Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the term that characterizes a condition which appears when an organ called appendix is inflamed, sometimes to the point of possible rupture. In most cases, it is considered a medical emergency and requires the removal of the appendix, either by laparoscopy or laparotomy. The appendix is a narrow tube with a length of several centimeters which is attached to the first piece of the colon called cecum.

A particular feature of this organ is linked to mucus production which is released throughout the open central core of the organ and ends up in the cecum. The wall of the organ features some lymphatic tissues which are a part of the antibodies production. Additionally, its walls have a layer of muscle, but unlike other organs, it is underdeveloped.
Chronic and acute appendicitis was described for the first time in the year 1886 by Reginald Fitz and is viewed as one of the most common reasons behind acute abdominal pains on a worldwide scale. Furthermore, a correct diagnosis for non-acute appendicitis is known by the name of “rumbling appendicitis” while the term “pseudoappendicitis” only refers to a conditions that mimics its symptoms.


There are a few possible causes behind this medical condition. The most common one is a blockage of the link between the appendix and cecum. This is often because of a stool which enters the appendix from the area of the cecum or build-up mucus of thick proportions. The stool or mucus eventually hardens and becomes similar to a lock often named fecalith which blocks the opening of the organ.

In other situations, the lymphatic tissue may swell and end up being the one which blocks the opening. When the blockage happens, bacteria that are usually found in the walls, start to invade the walls and the organism responds by mounting an attack. This attack is actually the inflammation of the appendix.

Signs & Symptoms

The symptoms behind appendicitis can be easily recognized. Among the most common there is a loss of appetite, vomiting, nausea, abdominal swellings, a dull pain next to lower or upper abdomen which becomes sharp with movement, temperature between ninety-nine and one hundred two degrees Fahrenheit, an inability to pass gas, and constipation.

On the other hand, there are also some atypical symptoms such as painful urination, sharp pains in the back or rectum, and vomiting which precedes abdominal pain.

However, it is mainly important to look out for the abdominal pain. This usually happens suddenly, causing the individual to wake up at strange hours or feel pain that begins around the belly button and later moves to the right of the abdomen; if it’s a type of pain that hasn’t been experienced before by the person, worsens in several hours and every time movement, taking deep breaths, sneezing, and coughing are involved, then it’s more likely linked to this condition and the person should immediately seek the help of a healthcare provider, doctor, or hospital.

Diagnosis Appendicitis

When a person experiences one of the above-mentioned symptoms, he or she should seek the advice of a doctor. In the majority of cases, the condition is diagnosed by taking the patient’s medical history followed by a physical examination. If the condition has reached the point in which it’s too severe to be treated otherwise and surgery is immediately needed, the doctor suggests this type of intervention.

However, if an individual experiences atypical signs of appendicitis, imaging and laboratory testing is required in order to determine whether the person suffers from this condition or not. Tests are generally the way in which people who suffer from some types of medical issues are eventually diagnosed so that potential complications are avoided. In case this condition isn’t properly diagnosed, it may lead to a rupture of the appendix, also known as peritonitis which means that the bacteria will spread all over the abdomen and might sometimes affect other organs, thus leading to death.

Due to this potential danger, people who experience any of the described abdominal pains or feel like they have one of the symptoms generally linked to appendicitis should go to a control before it’s too late. Another way in which the condition can be traced in its early episodes is by having routine health checks.

Treatment for Appendicitis

In most of the cases, appendicitis is treated through the removal of the appendix because there are fewer chances of developing peritonitis. The surgery is named appendectomy and there are currently two ways in which is done, the old method – laparotomy, and the newer one called laparoscopy.

Through laparotomy, the appendix is removed through one incision in the lower region of the abdomen. On the other hand, laparoscopic surgery utilizes some smaller incisions as well as certain surgical tools with which the appendix is taken out through the cuts. From the two, laparoscopy is viewed as safer and generally creates fewer complications. In addition, the recovery time is shorter, thus the person avoids the infections that may appear in the hospital because he or she doesn’t have to spend more than two or three days inside it.

Unfortunately, in some cases, an abscess is formed around the appendix which can be either addressed while in surgery or drained prior to the intervention. The people who develop this abscess have to wear a tube in the abdominal area and go through an antibiotics treatment in order to drain it.

However, there are other types of treatment available on the nutritional and medication market, especially if the diagnosis is not confirmed. There are some studies which suggest that the appendix may get better without a surgical intervention. For instance, antibiotics can be used alongside a liquid or soft diet until the subsidence of the organ. Additionally, there are other more unconventional treatments such as those with natural supplements. These often feature Magnesium phosphoricum, Symphytum officinale, and Meadowsweet as core ingredients. Furthermore, formulas that have Symphytum officinale and Arnica in their composition may also because they are generally viewed as a reliable addition for tissue healing and promotion of cellular growth.
A fast recovery may also be promoted through some hers like Echinacea purpurea, Withania somnifera, and Inula helenium which can be taken even after the operation. No matter the treatment utilized for appendicitis, it is important to trace the condition in its early stages in order to have a choice for its treatment and don’t be obliged to appeal to surgery.