Appendicitis - Symptoms

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What were the signs and symptoms you experienced with appendicitis?

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What are the symptoms of appendicitis?

The main symptom of appendicitis is abdominal pain. The pain is at first diffuse and poorly localized, that is, not confined to one spot. (Poorly localized pain is typical whenever a problem is confined to the small intestine or colon, including the appendix.) The pain is so difficult to pinpoint that when asked to point to the area of the pain, most people indicate the location of the pain with a circular motion of their hand around the central part of their abdomen. With time, the pain may localize to the right lower quadrant and the patient may point to the exact location of pain. A second, common, early symptom of appendicitis is loss of appetite which may progress to nausea and even vomiting. Nausea and vomiting also may occur later due to intestinal obstruction.

As appendiceal inflammation increases, it may extend through the appendix to its outer covering and then to the lining of the abdomen, a thin membrane called the peritoneum. Once the peritoneum becomes inflamed, the pain changes and then can be localized clearly to one small area. Generally, this area is between the front of the right hip bone and the belly button. The exact point is named after Dr. Charles McBurney--McBurney's point. If the appendix ruptures and infection spreads throughout the abdomen, the pain becomes diffuse again as the entire lining of the abdomen becomes inflamed.

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Comment from: Kelsey, 19-24 Female (Patient) Published: November 19

I am a 20 year female who experienced the worst pain in my entire life. On November 12th, (last Thursday), at around 2:00 PM I started feeling a little nauseous, but not so bad that I couldn't do anything. At 7:00 PM I rolled around and I decided to go to my usual Zumba class at the gym. I felt okay, and when I got home at 8:00 PM I had made some eggs. I still felt a little off and I tried to study for my test the next day and couldn't even deal looking at my papers. So I went and got in bed, and I couldn't sleep. I was so nauseous and at about 11:30 I went to my bathroom and started throwing up. I figured I would be somewhat relieved after throwing up a couple times, but no, the more I threw up, the more it started hurting and the more I got nauseous. So I threw up nonstop, and at 2:30 I had my roommate take me to the emergency room (ER). I got to the ER and did nothing but vomit in their bathroom. So in my head I was thinking I am being ridiculous, this is a stomach bug, so I didn't even stay at the ER. I left and went back home. I nearly passed out walking back to my apartment after parking the car. I was back in my bathroom vomiting for about 7 more hours straight. I am not joking, I didn't leave my bathroom. My parents weren't answering the phone (which never happens). So 9:30 AM the next morning, I had my family friend take me to the hospital. When I arrived I had a lot of blood work done, had to urinate in a cup, etc. Then they told me they were guessing it was more than likely my appendix, so I was sent to get a CAT scan done. After the CAT scan, it was immediately confirmed that it was appendicitis. I went into surgery one hour later. This is nothing to play around with. Don't be stubborn like I was. You know your body better than anyone else, when something isn't right, go to the doctor to be safe.

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Comment from: Karen, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: June 21

Around 1 pm I lost my appetite. I ate a piece of fruit and went out for a few hours. I noticed I started getting an ache in my stomach, which felt more like it was in my pelvis and walking straight hurt. I had a persistent urge to go to the toilet. At 6 pm the pain got worse. Lifting my leg up towards me hurt. So I went to the emergency department. My white blood cell count was high. An ultrasound showed a very swollen appendix. I had an appendectomy the next morning and was on antibiotics. I never experienced fever or vomiting, only slight nausea 6 hours after the first symptoms began. Never ignore pain. All appendicitis symptoms are different for each person. My dad suffered appendix pain for 4 days before going to the hospital and he had a gangrenous appendix. Some people don't experience anything more than an ache or a pain in their stomach.

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