Appendicitis: learn how it works and when to see a doctor | Healthy life

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Appendicitis is an inflammation that can happen in an organ located at the beginning of the large intestine, called the appendix. When this occurs, it is common for the person to experience a lot of pain in the right side of the abdomen and intestinal problems.

Inflammation of the appendix is ​​most often due to an obstruction in the passage. Consequently, if not treated in time, it is capable of generating an infection and an even more complex and dangerous condition.

For this reason, it is important to know how to identify the symptoms of appendicitis and seek medical help as soon as possible. In this post, learn how to recognize this problem and see how to deal with it in the best way!

What causes appendicitis?

Appendicitis is caused by an obstruction of the organ, which can happen in the presence of parasites, tumors, bacterial or viral infections and even fecal remains that have remained in the intestine.

To better understand what appendicitis is, it is worth understanding what this organ is that can become inflamed. The appendix is ​​a type of bag, measuring approximately 10 cm, and is positioned between the small and large intestines, on the right side of the abdomen.

In general, although not a consensus, it is believed that the appendix is ​​a vestigial organ. This means that, at some point in the evolution of the human species, it was relevant to health or survival, but that it is no longer useful.

Therefore, this is a part of the body present in the vast majority of people, but which, in some individuals, undergoes an inflammatory process, which causes great discomfort.

Most cases of appendicitis occur between the ages of 20 and 30. However, children, the elderly, and people outside this age group can also experience appendicitis — and everyone should seek medical attention.

What can happen if you don’t take care of appendicitis in time?

Appendicitis causes intense localized pain, which, in most cases, requires prescription medication to deal with the pain. This is one of the first reasons why you need to seek medical attention quickly.

It is important to know that the delay in caring for appendicitis can have serious consequences. An untreated inflammation can evolve into an infectious condition and contaminate several other organs.

This is mainly because untreated appendicitis can cause the appendix to rupture. When the condition evolves into this problem, in addition to increased pain, the risk of contracting a generalized infection in a matter of hours also increases. In the worst case scenario, if the condition continues without adequate treatment, it can lead the patient to death.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

In view of the severity of appendix inflammation, it is essential to pay great attention to the presence of symptoms. Thus, at the first signs, it is possible to seek medical attention and avoid the risk of developing the condition into any complications.

One of the most common early symptoms of appendicitis is a lack of appetite. Then, abdominal pain, specifically on the right side and at the level of the navel, appears as the biggest warning sign. This is a nuisance that starts out mildly and, throughout the day, gains intensity.

Along with the pain, symptoms of nausea, fever and a drop in the action of the digestive system may also appear. After all, in addition to the inflammatory reaction, the intestine stops working normally in the presence of appendicitis.

How to differentiate appendicitis from other diseases?

One of the main strategies for starting the self-diagnosis of appendicitis and seeking medical help is to identify the location of the pain. Many people know that inflammation of the appendix causes pain in the belly, but they do not pay attention to laterality.

So, keep in mind that the pain of appendicitis is punctual. She will always start on the right side and in a lower region of the abdomen, close to the navel line. If you notice this particular symptom, it is a sign that this is a medical emergency.

When consulting with the doctor, the diagnosis is confirmed with the patient’s report and with the abdominal touch procedure. In addition, some tests may be requested for confirmation and elimination of other hypotheses, such as ultrasound or tomography.

When to see a doctor?

It is essential to reinforce that the right time to see a doctor is at the exact moment when you feel the side pain. From the suspicions and the presence of a specialized professional, with a clinical examination, the diagnosis can be confirmed and the procedures for the treatment will be initiated.

It is worth mentioning that, in some cases, the patient’s hospitalization may be requested for treatment. Bear in mind that this is important and that there should be no resistance.

If you are the person with appendicitis, follow all medical advice. If you are accompanying someone with the painting, advise them to comply with the professional’s orders. This is important because, in most cases, treatment involves a surgical procedure — an important process to reduce the chances of progression of the condition and avoid sepsis.

In this case, the cut is small and the scars are almost invisible. After the surgery, it is necessary to avoid exertion for about 15 days and sleep on your back, so as not to lean on the healing skin.

In addition to being aware of the signs that the body gives, it is worth mentioning that it is possible to reduce the chances of having appendicitis by having healthy habits on a daily basis. A balanced diet, with intake of foods rich in fiber and plenty of water, helps to prevent intestinal problems and, consequently, the accumulation of feces in the appendix.

Want to know how to take care of intestinal flora? Check out great tips for keeping the gut microbiota in balance!

Technical review: Alexandre R. Marra, researcher at the Instituto Israelita de Ensino e Pesquisa Albert Einstein (IIEP) and permanent professor at the Graduate Program in Health Sciences at the Faculdade Israelita de Ciências da Saúde Albert Einstein (FICSAE).


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