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Appendicitis: A pain in side can be a sign of trouble
Good Day! Melisaweblog.com fans. I was just speaking to my 90 something year old auntie. (She refused to tell her real age, I go along and act like I don’t know) Last year she had appendicitis. It was a real pain in the, well, the side. She told me she has only been in the hospital 3 times and that was for child birth. She had 6 kids; some were born sans hospital or doctor. Auntie is old school and hard core! Epidurals are for sissies! (Her words were she didn’t want drugs in her babies)
Anyway, my point is appendicitis strikes otherwise healthy folks. So I decided tonight I will give out some information of the big pain in the A so that you can keep it in the back of your mind for future reference. I will just note, untreated, appendicitis can kill you. Therefore, read on.
We don’t know. Sorry we don’t. Not really in any case. It is essentially a condition where the appendix, a little worm like organ connected to the large intestine becomes very infected. Along with that infection comes a bunch of symptoms that scream “go to the darn hospital” I would say being that close to the intestines is a recipe for disaster but I am not a doctor so what do I know? We don’t know what the appendix does but we know people live long and happy without it so there, naughty little organ off with your head!
The appendix is a worm or finger shaped hollow tube like projection connected the large intestine on the right side. When it gets infected, it fills with pus. Pus is essentially dead cells in a fluid form. It often contains while blood cells and antibodies that were fighting an infection within the body.
Appendicitis can be chronic or acute. People can have an infection and have the symptoms slowly come into play or they can have acute appendicitis. This is the worst case and generally when people notice a problem.
Signs and symptoms:
Since there are about 300,000 cases of appendicitis in the US every year, this is not a rare condition. It often hits people between 10-19 but it can strike at any age.
Main Symptoms 1: Pain in lower right abdomen (area under your belly button) This pain may be dull and achy and constant. It may also be horrible and intensifying. At that point you are screaming get me to a doctor. Some women have said it was as intense as childbirth ( yowza!) If you have pain there, please see a doctor before it gets to that point. You know I always say better have a doctor and not need one than need one and not have one.
Main Symptom 2: Bloating in the abdomen or swelling in abdomen may occur. What’s the difference?
Bloating is “puffy” feeling and is often relieved by a little flatulence, but not entirely. It is caused by gas.
A swollen abdomen, particularly on the lower right hand side means pus is in the area. It feels more like a full bag than a balloon. It is often painfully tender to the touch or even movement.
Main Symptom 3: Nausea accompanied by fever and chills. This is almost always mistaken for the flu. If it comes with pain and tenderness in the right abdomen, go to the doctor. Heck goes for the flu too.
Main Symptom 4: Diarrhea – keep hydrated. Do not stop eating and drinking fluids. Instead look to see if there is mucus in your stool. Sometimes you will have a high frequency of bowel movements and maybe even heightened TENESMUS. That’s the word for the feeling of relief you have after a bowel movement. Yes it is a real word – google it! Anyway, sometimes a bowel movement can relieve some of the pressure in your intestines and offer a small amount of pain relief. Again, if accompanies by #1 go to the hospital. Chronic diarrhea alone means you are ill and if over the counter remedies don’t lessen your symptoms within a few hours just head out.
Main Symptom 5: Vomiting and fever this is always a good time to see a physician.
Appendicitis is usually treated with antibiotics and surgery to remove the infected appendix. Surgery is usually required because people do not pay attention to the symptoms until the infection is well in place. If the appendix bursts, it will release the infection into the body causing sepsis and maybe death.
Not to be an alarmist, I just want you to know what to look for. I am not a health care professional so it is not my duty to be super specific or use big words. I simply want to inform you.
Have you or a loved one ever had appendicitis? Let me know about it!
I am at MsMelissa@melissaweblog.com
Love and light,