Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch attached to the cecum, the beginning of the colon, on the lower right side of the abdomen. The appendix is not necessary for life, but it can become diseased. If untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst, causing infection and even death. Appendicitis can affect people at any age. It is most common in people ages 10 to 30.

The cause of appendicitis is usually unknown. It may occur after a viral infection in the digestive tract or when the opening connecting the large intestine and appendix is blocked. The inflammation can cause infection, a blood clot, or rupture of the appendix. Because of the risk of rupture, appendicitis is considered an emergency. Anyone with symptoms needs to see a doctor immediately. Symptoms include

pain in the right side of the abdomen
nausea
vomiting
constipation
diarrhea
inability to pass gas
low fever that begins after other symptoms
abdominal swelling
anorexia
The pain usually begins near the navel and moves down and to the right. The pain becomes worse when moving, taking deep breaths, coughing, sneezing, and being touched in the area.

Not everyone has all the symptoms. People with symptoms of appendicitis should not take laxatives or enemas to relieve constipation because these medicines could cause the appendix to burst. Pain medicine can mask symptoms that the doctor needs to know about, so it should not be used before consulting a doctor when appendicitis is suspected.

The doctor bases an appendicitis diagnosis on symptoms, a physical exam, blood tests to check for signs of infection such as a high white blood cell count, and urine tests to rule out a urinary tract infection. Usually doctors use CT scan or ultrasound to see whether the appendix looks inflamed.

If the diagnosis of appendicitis is not certain, people with equivocal signs of appendicitis may be watched and sometimes treated with antibiotics. People with definite appendicitis have surgery to remove the appendix, which is called an appendectomy. Doctors may use laparoscopic surgery for appendectomy. This technique involves making several tiny cuts in the abdomen and inserting a miniature camera and surgical instruments. The surgeon then removes the appendix with the instruments, so there is usually no need to make a large incision in the abdomen. People can live a normal life without their appendix--changes in diet, exercise, or other lifestyle factors are not necessary.

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Additional Information on Appendicitis

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for the Combined Health Information Database (CHID). CHID is a database produced by health-related agencies of the Federal Government. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources.

To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of CHID. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on Appendicitis.

If you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access the CHID Online website and search CHID yourself.


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National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse
2 Information Way
Bethesda, MD 20892-3570
Email: [email protected]

The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse (NDDIC) is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK). The NIDDK is part of the National Institutes of Health under the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Established in 1980, the clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. NDDIC answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and Government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.

Publications produced by the clearinghouse are carefully reviewed by both NIDDK scientists and outside experts.
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replied December 10th, 2003
Anonymous
Re: Appendicitis Information
lewis wrote:
appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix, a small pouch attached to the cecum, the beginning of the colon, on the lower right side of the abdomen. The appendix is not necessary for life, but it can become diseased. If untreated, an inflamed appendix can burst, causing infection and even death. Appendicitis can affect people at any age. It is most common in people ages 10 to 30.


The cause of appendicitis is usually unknown. It may occur after a viral infection in the digestive tract or when the opening connecting the large intestine and appendix is blocked. The inflammation can cause infection, a blood clot, or rupture of the appendix. Because of the risk of rupture, appendicitis is considered an emergency. Anyone with symptoms needs to see a doctor immediately. Symptoms include

pain in the right side of the abdomen
nausea
vomiting
constipation
diarrhea
inability to pass gas
low fever that begins after other symptoms
abdominal swelling
anorexia
the pain usually begins near the navel and moves down and to the right. The pain becomes worse when moving, taking deep breaths, coughing, sneezing, and being touched in the area.


Not everyone has all the symptoms. People with symptoms of appendicitis should not take laxatives or enemas to relieve constipation because these medicines could cause the appendix to burst. Pain medicine can mask symptoms that the doctor needs to know about, so it should not be used before consulting a doctor when appendicitis is suspected.


The doctor bases an appendicitis diagnosis on symptoms, a physical exam, blood tests to check for signs of infection such as a high white blood cell count, and urine tests to rule out a urinary tract infection. Usually doctors use ct scan or ultrasound to see whether the appendix looks inflamed.


If the diagnosis of appendicitis is not certain, people with equivocal signs of appendicitis may be watched and sometimes treated with antibiotics. People with definite appendicitis have surgery to remove the appendix, which is called an appendectomy. Doctors may use laparoscopic surgery for appendectomy. This technique involves making several tiny cuts in the abdomen and inserting a miniature camera and surgical instruments. The surgeon then removes the appendix with the instruments, so there is usually no need to make a large incision in the abdomen. People can live a normal life without their appendix--changes in diet, exercise, or other lifestyle factors are not necessary.


------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------



additional information on appendicitis

the national digestive diseases information clearinghouse collects resource information on digestive diseases for the combined health information database (chid). Chid is a database produced by health-related agencies of the federal government. This database provides titles, abstracts, and availability information for health information and health education resources.


To provide you with the most up-to-date resources, information specialists at the clearinghouse created an automatic search of chid. To obtain this information, you may view the results of the automatic search on appendicitis.


If you wish to perform your own search of the database, you may access the chid online website and search chid yourself.



------------------------------------------ --------------------------------------

national digestive diseases information clearinghouse
the national digestive diseases information clearinghouse (nddic) is a service of the national institute of diabetes and digestive and kidney diseases (niddk). The niddk is part of the national institutes of health under the u.S. Department of health and human services. Established in 1980, the clearinghouse provides information about digestive diseases to people with digestive disorders and to their families, health care professionals, and the public. Nddic answers inquiries, develops and distributes publications, and works closely with professional and patient organizations and government agencies to coordinate resources about digestive diseases.


Publications produced by the clearinghouse are carefully reviewed by both niddk scientists and outside experts.
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replied February 28th, 2005
Appendix
Hi,

about a two months ago I started having sharp pains in my right and left sides, mostly right. It hurt to breath in, I was nausitated and vomiting black stuff. I went to the emergency room thanksgiving day and the took a urinary sample and it confirmed a uti and they took a blood test saying I had a very high count of white blood cells. The same day the decided to give me a ulta sound because they thought it was my gallbladder it showed nothing. They discharged me. I still had the pain a couple of weeks later. So I went to a surgeon. He gave me a dye test to see if it was my gallbladder. My gallbladder wasn't releasing the dye so he set a date for sugery. Well now i've had my surgery and i'm still having the same symtoms but now the pain is much worse, and mostly on the left side. So i've been doing research and it seems to me that its my appendix. Do you have any suggestions, any help would be appreciciated!

Thankyou
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replied June 22nd, 2005
Anonymous
Pain In Lower Stomach And Right Side
The beginning of last week I went to the emergency room. I awoke with severe pain in my lower stomach and right side. I could not hardly breath, walk or sit. I tried to lay down but it only got worse. I started vomiting and running a fever of 102. The emergency room took blood work and a urine test and said I had a slight bladder infection and that my white blood cell count was up. They gave me antibiotics and pain medicine and sent me home. The end of last week the pain was still continuing so I followed up with my doctor and she did a urine test and it came back fine. She then sent me to have a ct scan of my lower abdomen for my appendix and the results came back fine. I am still having the pain, fever, chills, sweats, but the pain has moved up to my upper side right below my ribs and it sometimes feels like it is pushing up on my ribs, sometimes it even seems to move to the left side. It hurts to breath at times, move, and when I eat. I still get sick to my stomach when I eat, as well as hurting. This has been going on for 2 weeks now. Does anyone have any suggestions?
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replied November 30th, 2005
Anonymous
If I have apendicitis witouht knowing my appendix can burst without pain??
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replied November 30th, 2005
I doubt your appendix would burst without you knowing you have appendicitis. If you have pain in that area, then its advisable to discuss it with your Dr.
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