The appendix is a tube of tissue that has a total length of 3 ½ inches and extends from the large intestine to the colon. Though the true function of the appendix is unknown, it is believed to play a role in immunity of the gut. While the job of the appendix may not be known, what is known is that people can live without it.
Like all other organs and tissues in the body, the appendix can become swollen and inflamed. When this happens, the condition is referred to as appendicitis.
While there are several theories that exist relating to the cause of appendicitis, it has been determined that the most likely cause is a blockage in the lining of the appendix, and that infection develops into an infection. Once infected, the bacterium inside can multiply quickly, which leads to swelling, inflammation and pus.
While the appendix may not be a critical organ, when it becomes infected, treatment is a medical emergency. If left untreated, the appendix can burst, which results in toxic materials spilling out into the abdominal cavity. This can turn into a serious inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity known as peritonitis. This condition can result in death if it isn’t treated promptly.
Since appendicitis requires prompt treatment, it’s important to be aware of the signs and symptoms. Here are 16 signs that can indicate you have developed appendicitis.
One of the first symptoms of appendicitis is nausea. Initially, the nausea is mild, but it will rapidly worsen. Nausea is a common symptom of any type of infection, and in the case of appendicitis, the appendix is infected. As soon as the body recognizes that it is being invaded by foreign pathogens, it prepares itself to purge. Purging is the body’s natural way of trying to rid itself of said foreign pathogen. Of course, nausea is symptom that is commonly associated with several other medical conditions, such as a common stomach bug and food poisoning. However, if you find that you are feeling intensely nauseas and you are experiencing any other symptoms on this list, chances are you have appendicitis.