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The appendix is a small pouch-like organ that is attached to your large intestine right at the junction between it and the small intestine. It is a vestigial organ in our body.
That means it has no function!
And while most of us go through our entire lives without a single peep from it, in some of us (roughly 5% of the world), it causes a severe medical emergency called appendicitis.
Appendicitis is Deadly!
When the appendix becomes blocked by mucus, parasites, or feces (a.k.a poop), it suddenly develops severe inflammation and gets infected in a very quick span of time.
That's when the first signs of appendicitis are observed in an individual.
And if the person fails to report to a hospital quickly (within a few hours to days) when the signs show up, this inflamed organ tends to burst open within the abdomen, causing severe peritonitis (infection of the abdominal cavity), followed by septicemia and death.
So if you observe any of these following signs, please report to the hospital closest to you immediately!
#1 Pain Around the Belly Button
The appendix is located in the lower right hand side of our abdomen. And that's exactly where you feel the pain caused by appendicitis.
It usually begins as a vague discomfort around your belly button, which quickly spreads to the lower right side of your abdomen (and sometimes areas of the other side as well).
In fact, the pain tends to increase when you walk, move your legs or abdomen, laugh, cough, sneeze, or even travel over a bumpy road.
#2 Rapidly Increasing Pain
The pain caused by appendicitis is known to intensify pretty quickly. Sometimes in the span of just a few hours.
In fact, the pain is so severe sometimes that it can even wake up a person from deep sleep.
#3 High Fever, Chills, and Shivering
On their own, these symptoms simply indicate that you have an infection somewhere in your body. But when they are seen in conjunction with severe abdominal pain, it is usually because of appendicitis.
#4 Nausea and Vomiting
Again, these symptoms simply indicate a case of stomach infection.
But if you continue to vomit for more than 12 hours, and have severe abdominal pain and diarrhea, you should immediately go to the hospital because it is a sign of appendicitis.
#5 Loss of Appetite
Loss of appetite combined with severe abdominal pain, vomiting, and diarrhea is a major sign that you have appendicitis.
#6 Diarrhea or Constipation
While the exact nature of your bowel crisis depends solely on your physiology, if you have diarrhea or constipation in conjunction with severe abdominal pain for over 2 - 3 days, then you might have appendicitis.
In fact, a major sign is presence of mucus in stool with pain in the lower right side of the abdomen.
#7 Bloating and Flatulence
A bloated belly and a bad case of farting is nothing to be worried about. But if the bloating does not subside even after 8 hours of sleep, and continues to stay in place for the next few days (along with difficulty in passing gas), then you might have appendicitis.
This is usually accompanied by pain in your bowels (lower abdomen).
#8 Rebound Tenderness
This is a classic sign of appendicitis, and is observed when you press the lower right side of your abdomen.
On releasing the pressure, if you get pain (a.k.a rebound tenderness), then it is a sign you have appendicitis.
WARNING: Do not do this again! This can rupture your appendix!
#9 High WBC Count
Appendicitis is an infection. That's why if you get your blood tested during this time, you will observe an abnormally high white blood cell (WBC) count in your body.
This is an indication that your immune system is on hyperdrive and is trying to fight a huge infection inside your body.
What Should I Do Next?
If you see a few or all of these signs, then don't waste time with painkillers or home remedies for stomach pain. Go to the hospital immediately and get yourself checked by a doctor.
There is no cure for appendicitis.
The only treatment is surgically removing this infected organ from your body before it is too late.
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