Typical symptoms of appendicitis include pain in the lower right abdomen, often accompanied by loss of appetite and nausea. In order to prevent life-threatening complications such as intestinal perforation, appendicitis is almost always practiced.


In order to understand its role in the human body, it is first important to know its location: the appendix, also known as the vermiform appendix, is part of the beginning of the large intestine, connected to the cecum, giving it a closure and has a cylindrical shape with a diameter approximate 6.18 mm.

The function that this organ fulfills is not exactly known, but the theory that scientists maintain is that the appendix serves as a refuge for bacteria that benefit the function of the intestine, the theory that the appendix is ​​a vestigial organ is also handled , which does not fulfill any specific function and is nothing more than a remnant of the cecum, which helps it in the degradation of cellulose.

Very few cases have been discovered in which, through laparoscopy , people who do not have an appendix and their gastrointestinal function is not affected are found, giving greater weight to the theory that the appendix is ​​a vestigial organ.

Appendicitis also known as acute appendicitis is a disease that occurs due to the obstruction within the walls of the appendix causing the number of bacteria to multiply and this in turn leads to an inflammation of the appendix where the affected person quickly begins to feel pain under the abdominal area and if it is not treated preventively, internally the appendix fills with pus and can rupture. This, in addition to being extremely painful, compromises the rest of the neighboring organs, causing death.

Symptoms and signs

  • Pain in the lower right part of the abdomen and sometimes around the navel
  • When coughing and making sudden movements there is pain
  • The abdomen tends to swell
  • Fever that increases as the illness passes
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea

Abdominal pain tends to vary depending on the age and location of the appendix. In pregnant women the pain is in the upper part of the appendix since it is in a higher position. This is a disease that affects everyone equally regardless of gender or age, but it usually occurs in people between 10 and 30 years of age, but it affects men and adults more frequently, although no traces have been found that hormones are the culprits.

Other similar conditions:

  • Acute pancreatitis: It is the sudden inflammation in the pancreas area which, unlike appendicitis, pain is experienced in the upper abdomen and is accompanied by symptoms such as dizziness, vomiting, yellowish pigmentation of the skin (jaundice) and indigestion.
  • Ulcer: It is a damage that is generated in the esophagus, stomach or in the small intestine so that the pains are present in the upper part of the abdomen, this generates heartburn and indigestion. 
  • Gallstones : Disease that if not treated in time generates inflammation in the organ (gallbladder) causing cancer or pancreatitis, its signs are distinguished by nausea, difficulty in digesting food and in other cases diarrhea. 
  • Diverticulosis: It is a condition in which some kinds of bags are generated within the large intestine and when these bodies become inflamed, the clinical picture becomes diverticulitis where the patient manifests abdominal pain, alteration in intestinal habits and sometimes fever. 

It is also worth mentioning that people who are lactose intolerant suffer from symptoms such as stomach pain, gas, diarrhea, bloating and indigestion, so before starting to draw conclusions, knowledge of the patient’s clinical case must be made. 

Most of these diseases differ from appendicitis in that the pain due to inflammation manifests in other areas of the abdomen and that it is accompanied by a fever that increases as the condition is not treated, appendicitis is characterized due to suffering from intense pain at the level of the umbilicus and that later with analysis is located in the lower right area of ​​the abdomen precisely in the right iliac fossa.

Taking into account the symptoms, the person suffering from it should urgently go to a general practitioner or gastroenterologist to undergo a series of analyzes and tests including blood and urine to confirm a case of acute appendicitis where the only treatment is an operation in which the appendix is ​​removed to lower the inflammation and in some cases the appendicitis is subacute so first you will be given antibiotics and then undergo extraction of the appendix.

There are more severe cases in which there is an accumulation of pus that causes an abscess and the surgeon must drain it and then administer antibiotics and finally remove the organ.

By Dr. Eric Jackson

Dr. Eric Jackson provides primary Internal Medicine care for men and women and treats patients with bone and mineral diseases, diabetes, heart conditions, and other chronic illnesses.He is a Washington University Bone Health Program physician and is a certified Bone Densitometrist. Dr. Avery is consistently recognized in "The Best Doctors in America" list.

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