5 Major Symptoms Of Appendicitis That Signal The Appendix May Burst

Date December 28, 2017

Appendicitis is quite common – 1 in 20 people will develop appendicitis at some point in their lives. In some instances, the inflammation of appendix can be treated with antibiotics and doesn’t require surgery. But in most cases, the only option is appendectomy (surgical removal of the appendix). It’s considered a safe and routine surgery and is one of the most common surgical procedures; and post-appendectomy complications arise very rarely. But it’s important to know the symptoms of appendicitis (which sometimes resemble a bad food poisoning) to address the problem in a timely manner. Ruptured appendix leads to peritonitis which develops quickly and is often fatal.

READ ALSO: Sharp Pain In Your Belly May Be A Sign Of Appendicitis. Don’t Put Your Life At Risk, Call Your Doctor!

If you notice these 5 major symptoms, you need to call your doctor or go to the ER as soon as possible:

  1. You’re experiencing extreme abdominal pain

Appendicitis patients report that the pain caused by the inflammation of appendix is the worst abdominal pain they have ever experienced. The pain usually starts near the navel and then travels to the lower right quadrant of your abdomen. Movement (e.g. when you walk, sneeze, or cough) can also exacerbate the pain. If that’s what your pain is like, don’t waste any time and call your doctor.

  1. You have other symptoms, such as nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite

If you experience these symptoms, you may think it’s just a food poisoning, but it’s best to err on the side of caution and call your doctor right away. Not all appendicitis patients develop these symptoms, but they require medical attention anyway, especially if they are accompanied by extreme pain, and even if it’s not appendicitis – these can be symptoms of other serious condition.

  1. You have a frequent and intense urge to urinate, and urination is painful

This is the most common symptom of UTIs, but it can also be a symptom of appendicitis in some people. Cedrek McFadden, MD, a board-certified GI surgeon at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine Greenville and the Greenville Health System, explains: in some patients, the appendix is located lower in the pelvis, which is close to the bladder. And when an inflamed appendix touches the bladder, it can cause the inflammation of the bladder, too.

  1. You’re experiencing fever and chills

A fever and chills are a common symptom of inflammation. This is what happens if there is an inflammation, McFadden says: "The body responds by releasing several chemicals to ring the alarm and bring fighter cells to the area, which can manifest as localized pain as well as whole-body symptoms like fever and chills." Together with one or more symptoms described above, fever and chills might be a sign of appendicitis.

  1. You have mental symptoms, such as confusion and disorientation

These symptoms may signify that the infection is spreading. This is called sepsis, which can be life-threatening. Dan Gingold, MD, an emergency physician at Mercy Medical Center in Baltimore, says: "It's not that anything is going on in the brain—just that the infection is getting worse and expending a lot of body resources including oxygen, so the brain doesn't get enough and doesn't work normally." Mental disturbance can be a symptom of many other conditions (including a stroke), and also requires urgent medical attention.

Take care of yourself and stay healthy!

Source: Prevention, NIDDK

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