Appendicitis results when the worm-shaped pouch attached to the large intestine, known as your appendix, is inflamed. Appendicitis is considered threatening if the inflammation is left untreated and the appendix ruptures, or bursts. Should the inflamed appendix burst, it will leak infectious waste into the abdominal cavity and cause a fatal condition known as peritonitis (inflammation of the peritoneum, which is the lining of the abdominal cavity), which must be surgically removed and treated with strong antibiotics extremely quickly.
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Here are the six most common signs and symptoms of appendicitis…
1. Abdominal Pain
According to Dr. Michael Payne, a gastroenterologist at the Harvard-affiliated Cambridge Health Alliance, appendicitis is difficult to diagnose. Dr. Payne explains that although appendicitis is “a very common illness…many people don’t have classic symptoms” aside from abdominal pain.
This pain is also often described by patients as a sharp pain that’s located near the navel and moves to the lower right abdomen and intensifies very quickly. This pain often worsens with jarring (i.e., coughing) or movement. Medical professionals usually diagnose appendicitis via an abdominal computed tomography (CT) scan.