Appendicitis: What you should know and understand

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Appendicitis is well known as a sickness that is common to people of varying ages, but treatable. What is less known is the signs and symptoms that you may have a problem.

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix, a small, tube-like structure that is attached to the large intestine becomes inflamed and infected. Nonetheless, while the reasons for this happening is not always clear-cut, it is thought that the blockage in the appendix, often by a stool or lymph nodes is the main cause.


The most common symptom of appendicitis is pain in the lower right side of the abdomen. The pain usually starts around the belly button before moving to the lower right abdomen. Other symptoms include:

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Low-grade fever
  • Diarrhea or constipation
  • Abdominal swelling
  • Painful urination

The aforementioned symptoms are general symptoms, but there may be atypical symptoms such as pain in the upper abdomen, back, rectum or in some cases, no symptoms at all. 


Diagnosing Appendicitis

If you have suspicion of appendicitis, there is no harm in seeking medical attention. Generally, imaging tests such as CT scan or ultrasound is the plan of action, but blood tests may also be ordered to look for signs of infection and inflammation.


Treatment of Appendicitis

Appendectomy is the most common treatment for appendicitis. The procedure essentially surgically removes the appendix, and is done as soon as possible to prevent rupturing the appendix. An appendix rupture can cause serious damage and complications such as peritonitis, a potentially life threatening infection of the abdominal cavity.

Although there are cases that no surgery was performed and rather antibiotics was used, it is only recommended in special cases, such as when surgery is not possible or should the patient not be deemed as a good candidate for surgery. 


Preventing Appendicitis

Despite the fact that there is no foolproof way for prevention,  there are certain steps that can be made in order to reduce your risk. A rich diet fiber, drinking plenty of water and maintaining a healthy weight may go a long way to prevent blockages in the appendix. 


Health Insurance 

Appendicitis can be covered by health insurance. It can be brutally expensive as generally it requires a few nights at the hospital for recovery. At CHAZ, we can provide options that allow the alleviation of such costs. 


CHAZ take

Appendicitis is a common medical condition that can be serious if left untreated. Seeking medical attention immediately is highly recommended, but also taking out a health insurance policy can mitigate not only the financial burden but emotional stress as well.

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