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Appendicitis :- Symptoms, Causes, Sign, Diagnosis, Prevention, Treatment, General Home Care and Home Remedies of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is the most common of all serious intestinal disorders. It refers to an inflammation of the vermiform appendix. It presents itself in acute and chronic forms and affects both the sexes equally. This disease now ac­counts for about half the acute abdominal emergencies occurring between the ages of 10 and 30. It is more fre­quent in developed countries than in underdeveloped countries.

The appendix is a small tube located at the end of the caecum, the first part of the large intestine. It is usually three to four inches long: Its structure is made of the same tough fibrous outer, covering as protects the entire alimentary canal. There is a layer of muscular tissue under the outer covering 'and then a layer of lymphoid tissue. The function of the appendix, which is performed by this lymphoid tissue, is to neutralize the irritating waste material generated in the body or the organic poisons in­troduced 'through the skin or membranes.

Appendicitis Symptoms

Appendicitis usually begins with a sudden pain in the centre of the abdomen, which gradually shifts to the lower right side. The pain may be preceded by general discomfort in the abdomen indigestion, diarrhoea or con­stipation. The patient usually has a mild fever. Nausea is common, and the patient may vomit once or twice. The muscles of the right side of the abdomen become tense and rigid. The patient gets some comfort by drawing up the, right leg. The pain in. creases on the right side on pressing the left side of the abdomen. Coughing and sneezing makes the pain worse.

If the, inflammation continues to increase; the appen­dix may rupture and discharge its pus into the abdominal cavity. This may result in a serious state known as peritonitis. The temperature rises and the patient becomes pale and clammy. This condition may call for urgent operation. In the chronic state of appendicitis, the patient may suffer from recurrent pain in the right lower abdomen with constipation, loss of appetite and mild nausea.

Causes of Appendicitis

Appendicitis is caused by a toxic bowel condition.

When an excessive amount of poisonous waste material is accumulated in the caecum, the appendix is irritated and over-worked and becomes inflamed. It is an attempt on the part of nature to localize and 'burn up' the toxins.

This condition is brought about by wrong food habits and enervation of the system. Inflammation and infection comes from certain germs, which are usually present in the in­testinal tract.

Diagnosis of Appendicitis

Many abdominal problems have symptoms like those of appendicitis. The task of the doctor is to rule out other problems before diagnosing appendicitis. The first step in diagnosis usually involves a series of questions about the patient's pain: where did the pain begin; has it moved, and where is the pain now? The doctor also presses on the abdomen to find out where the soreness is and how rigid the abdomen has become.

The sequence of symptoms described occurs in about half of all patients with appendicitis. In certain cases those symptoms may be harder to detect. For example, abdominal pain is common in pregnant women and can be the result of any number of factors relating to a pregnancy. Elderly people are likely to have less pain and tenderness than younger patients. The absence of these symptoms can make diagnosis more difficult. In about 30 percent of cases involving the elderly, the appendix ruptures before a diagnosis has been made. Infants and young children often have diarrhea, vomiting, and fever in addition to pain.

Laboratory tests cannot totally determine appendicitis, but do help in the diagnosis. A blood test that shows a high white blood count may be an indication of the infection. Urine tests can rule out other possible causes of abdominal pain, such as an infection of the urinary tract.

People who are diagnosed with appendicitis are usually taken directly to surgery. The doctor then performs a laparotomy (pronounced lap-uh-ROT-uh-mee), an operation on the abdomen. The laparotomy usually confirms a diagnosis of appendicitis.

In some cases, additional tests may still be necessary. For example, an ultrasound test may help identify appendicitis or other conditions that may have the same symptoms. A computed tomography (CT) scan may also be performed to avoid surgery. A CT scan is a procedure by which X rays are directed at a patient's body from various angles and the set of photographs thus obtained assembled by a computer program. This procedure is sometimes called a computerized axial tomography (CAT) scan.

Often, a diagnosis of appendicitis is not certain until an operation is done. To avoid a ruptured appendix, surgery may be recommended without delay if the symptoms point clearly to appendicitis.

Additional procedures may be used for women of childbearing age. Women in this age group may have problems with their reproductive organs that produce symptoms similar to those of appendicitis. In these cases, a doctor may perform a laparoscopy (pronounced lap-uh-ROS-kuh-pee). In this procedure, a small incision (cut) is made near the navel. A tube containing a light and viewing device is then inserted through the incision. This allows a surgeon to look directly into the patient's abdomen. He or she can usually determine whether the patient has appendicitis or some other condition.

A normal appendix is found in about 10 to 20 percent of all patients who have a laparotomy. Sometimes the surgeon removes a normal appendix anyway to safeguard against appendicitis in the future. In about 30 percent of these cases, surgeons find other medical problems that have caused the appendicitis-like symptoms

Prevention of Appendicitis

In general, appendicitis cannot be prevented. The incidence of appendicitis is lower in cultures where people eat more daily dietary fiber, which is thought to decrease the viscosity of feces, decrease bowel transit time, and discourage formation of fecaliths, which predispose individuals to obstructions within the appendix In general, appendicitis cannot be prevented. The incidence of appendicitis is lower in cultures where people eat more daily dietary fiber, which is thought to decrease the viscosity of feces, decrease bowel transit time, and discourage formation of fecaliths, which predispose individuals to obstructions within the appendix

Appendicitis Treatment

Appendicitis is treated by immediate surgery to remove the appendix, called an appendectomy. Appendectomy is the most common emergency surgery performed by pediatric surgeons. In an open appendectomy, the appendix is removed through a standard abdominal incision. In laparoscopic appendectomy, surgeons insert a small scope through tiny abdominal incisions to remove the appendix. A laparoscopic appendectomy results in less postoperative pain and fewer surgical incision infections. However, the procedure is longer and requires specialized surgical experience in operating on pediatric patients. In female teen patients, laparascopy has the added benefit of being able to diagnose and treat gynecologic conditions and ectopic pregnancy during the appendectomy if the appendix is found to be normal.

Preoperative antibiotics are given to children with suspected appendicitis and stopped after surgery if there is no perforation. Antibiotic treatment kills bacteria, and stronger and longer courses of antibiotics are required if peritonitis occurs.

If the appendix is removed before perforation occurs, the hospital stay is usually two to three days. A child with a perforated appendix and peritonitis must remain in the hospital up to a week

General home care in Appendicits

Check the vital signs.

Keep a careful record of the following:

Abdominal pain and tenderness Nausea, vomiting, constipation, or diarrhea


Keep the person quiet and in a comfortable position.

Try to identify or rule out other causes of abdominal pain, such as stomach flu or overeating.

Do not give laxatives. They ran stimulate the intestine and cause the appendix to rupture sooner.

Do not give strong pain medica­tion. The location and severity of pain are diagnostic clues and strong pain relievers may mask them.

Home Remedies of Appendicitis

Green gram is a proven home remedy for acute appendicitis. An infusion of green gram is an excellent medicine for treating this condition. It can be taken in a small quantity of one tablespoon three times a day.

Certain vegetable juices have been found valuable in appendicitis. A particularly good combination is that of 100 ml each of beet and cucumber juices mixed with 300 ml of carrot juice. This combined juice can be taken twice daily.

Buttermilk is beneficial in the treatment of chronic form of appendicitis. One litre of buttermilk may be taken daily for this purpose.

The consumption of whole wheat , which includes bran and wheat germ, has been found beneficial in preventing several digestive disorders, including appendicitis. The bran of wheat can be sterilized by baking after thorough cleaning. This sterilized bran can be added to wheat flour in the proportion of one to six by weight. Two or three chapatis mane from this flour can be eaten daily for preventing this disease.

Call the doctor

If you suspect appendicitis, Review your observations of the symptoms with your doctor.

If there is severe, increasing, and continuous pain in the lower right abdomen for more than four hours.

If any stomach pain localizes to a specific point in the abdomen.

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