How often do you think about your appendix? Not much, probably! This small pouch is a part of the large intestine. It actually looks like a worm.
You don’t need an appendix.1 It’s possible to be perfectly healthy without one. However, some researchers think that it’s like a home for good bacteria.
If it gets blocked by a foreign object or feces, it can become infected. This is known as appendicitis – a condition so common that over 5 percent of Americans will have it.2 The appendix needs to be removed immediately. If not, it can rupture and the infection can quickly spread.
It’s crucial to know how to tell if your appendix is going to burst. Start by learning these five signs and symptoms of appendicitis.
5 Signs Of Appendicitis
1. Moving Belly Pain
From gas to constipation, a lot of things can cause stomach pain. It might even just be that burrito you ate.
But you shouldn’t ignore it. In America, appendicitis is the most common cause of stomach pain.3 It usually starts around the belly button area.
If it moves to your lower right side, get help ASAP. This is one of the top signs that your appendix might burst.4
2. Increasing Sharpness
At first, the pain is minor. This is exactly why you might think that it’s just gas.
It can snowball quickly, though. The pain will become sharp and severe, especially, when you move around or breathe deeply. Even coughing or sneezing can hurt.5
Pain often crops up 12 to 24 hours after the appendix flares up. From there, it just gets worse and worse, warning you that your appendix is about to burst.
3. Nausea And Vomiting
Sometimes, appendicitis comes with nausea. It might even be a side effect of the severe pain. This can make it hard to focus, so you may feel confused and disoriented.
Nausea might also induce vomiting. These symptoms are strong warning signs that your appendix will burst, so take note.6
It’s important to take your body temperature. If you’re running a low-grade fever, there’s a good chance you have appendicitis.7 This means your temperature is slightly above 99 to 99.5 degrees Fahrenheit.8
Do you keep running to the bathroom? This is another tell-tale sign. Appendicitis often makes you feel like passing bowel that makes you feel better. Yet, when you do go, the pain still hangs around.
What Happens Next?
Appendicitis is no joke. You need to see a doctor immediately! He’ll do a physical exam to check out your abdominal and rectal muscles. Blood tests, ultrasounds, and CT scans will also help you in diagnosis.
Once appendicitis is confirmed, you’ll need emergency surgery. The surgeon will remove your appendix before it bursts.
Early treatment can save your life. The sooner you get the surgery, the sooner you can prevent a widespread infection. Do yourself a favor and know these signs that your appendix might burst.
|↑2, ↑3||Definition & Facts for Appendicitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|
|↑4, ↑5, ↑6, ↑7||Symptoms & Causes of Appendicitis. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.|