Appendicitis is usually caused due to an obstruction or blockage of the appendix. This infects the appendix and causes inflammation, which results in painful appendicitis symptoms. A part of the gastrointestinal tract, the appendix is located on the lower right side of the abdomen. It is connected to the large intestine and is shaped like a tube or a pouch.
Similar to the tailbone and body hair, the appendix is a vestigial organ. It does not have any crucial function. However, if the appendix is filled with parasites, mucus, or fecal matter, it leads to appendicitis. The blockage causes rapid multiplication of bacteria in the appendicitis, and it becomes swollen and irritated. It is necessary to receive medical attention as soon as the early appendicitis symptoms manifest. If treatment is delayed, the appendicitis may rupture, and harmful bacteria might be released to the abdomen causing serious infection. This condition is also known as peritonitis.
Here are a few early appendicitis symptoms that might help in a quick diagnosis:
- Pain in the belly button: The very first sign of appendicitis is a persistent discomfort near the belly button. This discomfort then progresses towards the lower abdomen, on the right side. In some cases, the pain may not be restricted only to the lower abdomen but is experienced in the different parts of the abdominal region. The pain can aggravate due to sudden movements of the abdomen or legs, during coughing or sneezing, and even during a bumpy ride.
- Fevers and chills: Often the early appendicitis symptoms are similar to those of stomach bugs infection. A person may experience shaking, chills, or low-grade fever. A fever of 100 degrees is nothing much to worry about. However, a severe abdominal pain with a fever of 103 degrees is a cause for concern.
- Nausea and appetite loss: One of the early appendicitis symptoms include a loss of appetite with vomiting and mild nausea. It is necessary to consult a doctor if these symptoms are followed by abdominal pain and fever. However, if the symptoms of nausea and appetite loss go away in a couple of days, there is no need to worry.
- Bloating and gas: It is quite normal to experience bloating and gas once in a while, especially if you had greasy food. However, if the bloating and indigestion is followed by extreme abdominal pain, it might be one of the early appendicitis symptoms. There might be a lot of gas, bowel pain, and some difficulty in passing gas.
- Diarrhea and constipation: These early appendicitis symptoms often follow abdominal pain. You may experience a mild form of diarrhea or constipation. If the appendix is blocked with mucus, it is highly likely there might be diarrhea.