Have you ever felt a sharp pain in your abdomen and wondered if it was just indigestion or something more serious? Well, if the pain is on your right side, it could be your appendix causing trouble! But before we get into where exactly the pain could emanate from, let’s first understand what appendix even means.
What is an Appendix?
The appendix is a small finger-shaped organ that attaches to the large intestine at its lower end. It sits in the lower right part of our abdomen and acts as a storage unit for good bacteria. While doctors are still unsure about why humans even have this organ, one thing they do know is that when it becomes inflamed due to bacterial infection or obstruction, things can take a nasty turn!
Can Appendicitis be Fatal?
Yes! If not treated promptly with antibiotics or surgery (appendectomy), an inflamed appendix can rupture causing peritonitis (inflammation of the lining of the abdominal cavity) leading to sepsis which is potentially life-threatening.
Symptoms of Appendicitis
Appendicitis symptoms come without warning and usually worsen over time. No two people exhibit identical symptoms but here some that are usually common:
- Initially begins as mild cramping around umbilicus
- Later migrates and localizes in iliac fossa on right-hand side
- Low-grade initially but progresses with worsening appendicitis
- Loss of Appetite
These nonspecific signs make diagnosis difficult and often delayed without proper examination by healthcare professionals.
But Wait…Where Would You Feel Pain From Your Appendix Exactly?
The exact location (‘hashtag’) (pun intended) may vary based on various factors such as age, sex, and anatomical variations. But generally, the pain is felt around McBurney’s point which is approximately 2 fingers width to the right of your belly button.
What is McBurney’s Point?
Named after Charles Heber McBurney, an American surgeon who discovered this landmark in late 19th century Manhattan while performing appendectomies.
The landmark corresponds with where the base of Appendix lies close to ileocecal valve (where small intestine meets large intestine). The muscle guarding mechanism that body employs can obscure true underlying problem hence exacerbating severity.
You might be wondering what other signs you can watch out for if you suspect your appendix may be acting up!
Signs Your Appendix May Be Acting Up
- Sharp pain on right side
- Feel like a pinching sensation
- Pain worsens when moving/touching lower abdomen region
- Low-grade fever
- Increased white blood cell count
- Constipation/ Diarrhea
Remember folks! These symptoms vary from person and shouldn’t be used as definitive diagnostic criteria without doctor consultation.
Once inflamed or perforated, appendix can cause a host of complications apart from sepsis such as:
- Adhesions – Internal sticking together of tissue.
- Abscesses-Hampers drainage leading to more inflammation.
- Peritonitis-Inflammation of abdominal walls sometimes fatal.
Let us have some fun with this whole concept using these hypothetical scenarios:
Hypothetical Scenario #1:
John just had his appendix removed because he thought it grew too big due to overconsumption of dumplings every weekend at Dim Sum place down his block… Let’s see how John coped with his first few days post-surgery!
Day 1: John wakes up groggy and bedridden but happily surprised there was no massive scar somewhere around umbilicus.
Day 3: Spoiler alert: He wasn’t warned about effects of anesthesia such as constipation, so he goes three days without doing the deed.
Day 5: John starts to question if his appendix was ever necessary after all.
Hypothetical Scenario #2:
We can also have some fun with this hypothetical scenario where ‘Simon says’ gets a new meaning!
The guessing game- “Which organ’s acting up?” A modern interactive take on “Simon says.” played in group settings where players mimic symptoms Simon (Person assigned to act sick) narrates until someone finally guesses it correctly.
Simon Says: “Oh no! I have sharp pain on right side anytime I move!”
Player one: Puts hands over tummy looking lost
Pro tip- Try not to get too competitive and actually seek medical advice when real pain persists.
In conclusion, your appendix is critical when functioning correctly but can be life-threatening once inflamed. When you suspect any symptoms related to your abdomen or are feeling unease head over to professional care quickly. Remember; Don’t gamble with health!
Hey there, I’m Dane Raynor, and I’m all about sharing fascinating knowledge, news, and hot topics. I’m passionate about learning and have a knack for simplifying complex ideas. Let’s explore together!
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