Appendicitis Causes, Symptoms and Treatment

Appendix is a small appendage of the gastrointestinal tract found on the right side of the body just above the hip joint; it is a small extension of the colon or the large intestines.

Causes of appendicitis

Appendicitis is an infection of the appendix that occurs from bacteria that infect the appendix whose source is from eating contaminated food with pathogenic bacteria or from ‘friendly’ bacteria found in the gut that can become opportunistic and cause an infection. The infection can complicate to an abscess or peritonitis (infection of the abdominal wall).



Symptoms of appendicitis

The main symptom of appendicitis is pain which is felt on the right side of the abdomen a place commonly referred to as macburneys point.

Clients normally complain of major deep seated pain on the right side which in most times they are not able to describe or talk about because it is so excruciating, for this reason the condition is listed as a medical emergency in that it has to be attended to a soon as possible to avoid life threatening complications.

The pain can at times be referred to another part of the body especially the upper part of the right shoulder due to the same nerve supply supplying the two regions

Other symptoms include: nausea, vomiting, fever, loss of appetite and abdominal tenderness

Diagnosis of Appendicitis

The condition can be diagnosed through the patient’s history and physical examination. Laboratory examinations reveal increased white blood cells indicating an infection. Other invasive diagnostic procedures may include laparoscopy which direct visualization of the abdominal organs

Appendicitis Treatment

Antibiotic therapy can be initiated on the first suspected symptoms of appendicitis but major and most relieving therapy is appendicectomy that is removal of the appendix surgically and since its role in the body is not clearly defined the individual; does not suffer any major complications following its removal


Differential diagnosis of Appendicitis

Appendicitis can be often mistaken for other condition like pelvic inflammatory disease (PID), merekels diverticulitis, gall bladder disease, liver disease and right kidney disease

Prevention of Appendicitis

There is no specific prevention measure for the condition though early and prompt consultations can help prevent major complications related to the condition

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