Appendicitis occurs when the appendix fills up with pus and becomes inflamed. The appendix is a tiny pouch that resembles a finger located in your abdomen’s lower right portion at the intersection of the small and large intestines. If you are not diagnosed with appendicitis as soon as possible, it may result in the appendix swelling and eventually rupturing, leaking the infected contents all throughout your stomach and resulting in a potentially fatal infection.
What Does an Appendicitis Attack Feel Like?
There’s no way to foresee who’ll get it, so knowing its warning signs is immensely critical for early diagnosis and accurate treatment. If you are having an appendicitis attack, the first symptom you’ll feel is pain surrounding your belly button. In the course of 12 to 24 hours, you’ll feel the pain gradually moving to your belly’s lower right portion and settling right above your appendix’s lowermost portion. If you feel this kind of pain, it’s best that you contact your family doctor in West Jordan right away, even if you’re not 100% sure that you have appendicitis just to be on the safe side.
Warning Signs of Appendicitis to Keep in Mind
Stomach pain is a very common symptom of many different health conditions such as gastroenteritis, irritable bowel syndrome or IBS, pelvic inflammatory disease, and urinary tract infections or UTI. You might feel stomach pain if you have food poisoning, are constipated, have an intestinal obstruction, or have kidney stones. This means that it’s vital that you look for these other symptoms of appendicitis when you have stomach pain:
- Appetite loss
- Low-grade fever
- Abdominal swelling
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Being unable to pass gas
You should also know that your stomach pain spikes whenever you’re sneezing, taking deep breaths, coughing, or moving around. The lower right portion of your abdomen will feel very tender, and you’ll feel pain upon putting pressure and releasing it quickly, which is a symptom known as rebound tenderness. In addition, if you think that you have appendicitis and you’re constipated, don’t ever use enemas or take laxatives because these can lead to your appendix bursting.
Appendicitis in Children
Usually, appendicitis affects older adults and teens, but it can also affect children. While most individuals suffering from appendicitis feel the same symptoms, others might present atypical symptoms or lack of specific symptoms, and this is particularly true with children. That being said, the most common warning signs of appendicitis in children include the following:
- Stomach pain that begins around the belly button moving toward the base of the appendix
- Rebound tenderness
- Bloated stomach, particularly in infants
- Appetite loss
- Increased white blood cells, indicating an infection
The most important takeaway from all this is that you should seek emergency help if you or your child experiences the warning signs of appendicitis. Left unaddressed, you risk your appendix rupturing and causing bacteria to get inside your abdominal cavity. Put simply, early diagnosis and treatment—appendectomy, surgery for removing the appendix—is extremely important. Delay treatment, and you risk experiencing complications.