Tummy Troubles: Is it Your Appendix?

What is the appendix?
It’s a small appendage about the size of your little finger off of the beginning of the colon. This appendage might play a role in immunity, but doctors don’t fully understand its function. 

What is appendicitis?
It’s an inflammation of the appendix. Anytime there’s infection in the abdomen like appendicitis, you must drain it or get rid of it. The surgery is not a complicated operation unless people wait too long to get help and have formed complications. 

What are the signs and symptoms of appendicitis?
It really depends on the age group. Generally, it starts off with an uncomfortable feeling in your abdomen. Normally, the initial pain is around the navel. Inside the body, it is not uncommon for pain to be referred to another area. In other words, outside pain doesn’t always correspond to the exact location inside the body. 

Early on, people experience a loss of appetite, though not necessarily nausea and vomiting. Over the next 6 to 14 hours, the pain slowly migrates down to the right lower side because the appendix starts to inflame the lining of the abdomen around it. And that’s why people then have tenderness in that area. 

At what point should someone go to the emergency room?
If you push on your abdomen and it hurts, go to the emergency room. 

How is appendicitis diagnosed?
Basically if you’ve have tenderness in the right lower quadrant with abdominal pain and an elevated white blood cell count, it probably appendicitis.
A urine test is conducted to rule out a urinary tract infection. But the CT scan is by far the best diagnostic test. If there is a strong suspicion of appendicitis from the physical examination and lab findings, a CT scan of abdomen and pelvis should be considered. Ultrasound can be used, but gas in the intestines interferes with ultrasound. And the other problem with ultrasound is the bladder has to be full to evaluate the pelvis in females. 

What conditions is appendicitis sometimes confused with?

Read more: http://www.righthealth.com/topic/Appendix_Symptoms/overview/healthology20#ixzz1FglZeO8L

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