If there is one body organ that does not really serve any purpose that would be the appendix. It’s a big question why it exists. Despite the many theories surrounding the probable purpose the appendix serves, its purpose still remains a mystery.
Unfortunately, despite its apparent uselessness, appendicitis can cause your death. When you develop appendicitis, you will need to undergo an operation to have it removed. Curiously, however, once the appendix is removed, you will live just fine. In truth, this is not surprising considering that the organ does not seem to serve any purpose. So, how do you know if you are exhibiting symptoms of appendicitis?
The Primary Symptom – Severe Abdominal Pain
First of all, appendicitis occurs when your appendix becomes suddenly swollen for no obvious reasons. It can happen to you regardless of your age or sex; although, it occurs more in people between the ages of 10 and 35.
The first thing that you will likely experience if you are suffering from appendicitis is abdominal pain. It is nowhere near the kind of pain you will suffer with indigestion or gas. People suffering from pain caused by appendicitis will likely rate their pain between 8 and 10 and even over 10. Indeed, this pain can be debilitating. People usually find relief by lying on their side and bending their knees upwards toward their chest. It’s highly unlikely that you can relieve the pain by taking painkillers. Only surgery can effectively relieve and remove the pain.
The symptoms of appendicitis usually start with a localized vague abdominal pain. Usually, the pain would start somewhere near the belly button or the navel. Over 24 hours, this pain will eventually move to the lower right abdomen.
Other Symptoms of Appendicitis
The classic symptoms include nausea, lack of appetite, vomiting and fever. Not all people suffering from the disease, however, experience all these symptoms. In fact, there are people who suffer the debilitating pain without any other accompanying symptoms of appendicitis. Commonly, however, people suffer only a combination of symptoms.
The full-blown symptoms of appendicitis take time to develop. In fact, it may take up to 48 hours or 2 days for you to develop signs indicating appendicitis. During this time, you may experience varying degree of pain. You may lose your appetite and you may experience bouts of vomiting. There are people who have reported diarrhea or constipation while many also reported no change in their bowel movements or habits.
Unfortunately, it can be difficult to diagnose appendicitis in its early stages since there are other stomach conditions that manifest similar symptoms. People suffering from gastroenteritis, for one, suffer from stomach and intestinal inflammation. They also suffer from severe abdominal pain. Because the symptoms are fairly similar, there are many people actually suffering from appendicitis who leave the hospital with a diagnosis of gastroenteritis. These cases are especially common in children and the elderly. Often, they have fewer symptoms of appendicitis, so it is far more difficult to diagnose them properly. Unfortunately, misdiagnosis often leads to severe complications.
The appendix does not serve any purpose, but appendicitis is not something you can ignore or trifle with. If you are showing symptoms of appendicitis, you should visit your physician immediately. There is no cure for the pain except surgery.