6 warning signs of appendicitis
If appendicitis is left untreated, the appendix can burst and become life-threatening. As a result, appendicectomy (removal of the appendix) is often the most common emergency surgery performed in hospitals around the country.
But if it happened to you, would you know what to look out for? Here, we’re taking a look at six of the most common warning signs of appendicitis.
1. Nausea and vomiting
Often appendicitis sufferers mistake symptoms like nausea, vomiting and a lack of appetite for a stomach bug. However, these are also signs of an inflamed appendix, as it can impact other parts of the gastrointestinal tract and nervous system.
2. Constant urge to urinate
In some people, the appendix is located closer to the bladder. As a result, when it becomes inflamed, it can place pressure on the bladder, making it too become inflamed and irritated. This can increase your urge to pee and, in some cases, can cause discomfort or pain when urinating.
3. Fever or chills
These common flu-like symptoms can also be signs of appendicitis. How? According to gastrointestinal surgeon Dr Cedrek McFadden, when the appendix is inflamed, it can have a knock-on effect throughout the body. “The body responds by releasing several chemicals to ring the alarm and bring fighter cells to the area, which can manifest as localised pain as well as whole-body symptoms like fever and chills,” he told Prevention.
4. Confusion or fogginess
Brain fog and disorientation could be a sign that the inflammation is worsening. In some severe cases, the infection can enter your blood, causing sepsis, which can be fatal. As a result of the inflammation, your body uses more resources (like oxygen) to try and get itself working normally, thus leaving your brain starved of oxygen, leaving you in a state of confusion.
5. Worst stomach pain ever
Tummy aches are reasonably normal, but when it’s the most severe pain you’ve ever experienced (especially if it affects the area between the belly button and the lower-right side of the abdomen), it’s worth a trip to the ER. However, appendicitis doesn’t always create pain in this specific area. Some patients recall discomfort while walking, coughing or driving over a speed bump, which could indicate the whole wall of the abdomen is inflamed.
6. Gut issues
A classic sign of appendicitis is an inability to pass gas. However, other symptoms include constipation or diarrhea with gas. So unless you can pinpoint the cause of your gastrointestinal issues and treat it, it’s worth getting checked out by a doctor.