Appendicitis or inflammation of the appendix can be dangerous if left untreated. It occurs when the appendix, a small tube-like organ near the large intestine, becomes inflamed and infected. Symptoms of appendicitis usually include abdominal pain and tenderness, nausea, vomiting and a low-grade fever. If not treated promptly and properly, an appendicitis attack may lead to rupture of the appendix which can cause life threatening complications.
People at any age can experience appendicitis; however it is most commonly seen in people between 10 to 30 years old. The exact cause of appendicitis remains unknown but many health professionals attribute it to obstruction within the appendix caused by infection or inflammation from other sources. Diagnosis of this condition typically involves physical examination as well as laboratory tests such as complete blood count (CBC) and imaging studies like CT scans or ultrasound exams.
1Common Symptoms of Appendicitis
Appendicitis can be extremely painful if not treated promptly. Knowing the symptoms can help you detect it early, so you can seek appropriate treatment and reduce your risk for complications.
Sudden abdominal pain
Sudden abdominal pain is a common symptom of appendicitis, and it can be quite severe. It’s important to take this symptom seriously as it can indicate a need for emergency surgery to avoid complications.
When the appendix becomes inflamed, sudden abdominal pain may begin in the lower right side of the abdomen. This pain may become gradually worse over time and may feel like an intense cramping sensation that comes in waves. Pain from appendicitis tends to be constant and will not go away without medical treatment. Other symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, or fever may accompany this type of sudden abdominal pain and should also prompt immediate medical attention.