Having abdominal pain may be caused by many reasons. The only way to exactly know the possible causes resulting in abdominal pain is to get medical advice. Usually, mild abdominal pain can be resolved on its own or home remedies such as rest, placing hot packs on the abdomen and drinking plenty of water. However, when abdominal pain gets severe and there is no way of telling if it will get better, it is best to visit the nearest healthcare facility for investigation and treatments. One of the most common cases reported with abdominal pain is appendicitis.
Appendicitis is an inflammation of the inside of the appendix. Appendix is a thin tube, the size of a finger located attached to the intestine. Appendix plays a big role during childhood as it works as part of the immune system but as a person grows older, the appendix stops working as immunity support and other parts of the body work in the immune system. Appendicitis happens when the inside of the appendix called the vermiform is blocked. When the inside of the appendix is blocked, bacteria existing in the appendix accumulate and trigger the inflammation process.
Appendicitis can affect anyone at any age but most likely common in those aged between 5 to 45 years old. Males are likely to develop appendicitis especially when there is already a family history of such disease. It remains unclear what exactly causes appendicitis although many cases do agree on the theory that something has blocked the inside of the appendix. Here are 5 most common causes of appendicitis:
1) Blockage of the appendix caused by stones of appendix or faeces
2) Infections such as in the digestive tract or respiratory tract infection causing swollen lymph node of the bowel
3) Abdominal injury or blunt force trauma
4) Inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s disease
5) Growth inside the appendix typically tumours that may be cancerous or non-cancerous
Symptoms of appendicitis usually start with abdominal pain in the middle of the abdomen or around the belly button. This type of pain comes and goes. After hours, the pain then travels to the lower right part of the abdomen where the appendix is located. The pain now becomes constant and becomes severe. Any force exerted on this area, even light touch, movement such as walking and increased pressure inside the abdomen such as coughing, sneezing or taking deep breath will make the pain get worse. Other symptoms include feeling sick, fever, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhoea, constipation and trouble urinating.
Appendicitis is a medical emergency. If the appendix bursts, it can lead to great deadly infection to the whole inside of the abdomen called peritonitis. When a person is diagnosed with appendicitis, it is likely that the appendix will be removed through surgery. Removal of the appendix or appendicectomy is usually done through laparoscopy. At times, open surgery is the next alternative for appendix that has burst or minor surgery via laparoscopy is difficult due to limited access. When appendicitis is diagnosed early and treated early with surgery, usually recovery can be seen within the first 24 to 48 hours. Appendicitis after surgery should be fully recovered in a couple of weeks. It is important to avoid strenuous activities within the first 6 weeks after surgery.
It can be concluded that appendicitis can be caused by numerous causes. When a person experiences symptoms associated with appendicitis, they should get medical care immediately to prevent the disease from progressing further and to avoid complications by getting early diagnosis and treatments. It is best to ask for medical advice whenever you feel abdominal pain that is unexplained or gets severe.