Appendicitis can strike without much warning and leave you in excruciating pain. Since this swelling of the appendix is often spotted too late, surgical removal of this vestigial organ is often the first line of treatment. If it bursts, it becomes life-threatening as the infection spreads to the abdomen.1
Symptoms of appendicitis
- The pain hits the center of the stomach.
- Pain intensifies within hours and shifts to the lower right abdomen.
- Pain aggravates when you walk or cough.
- You feel nauseous and lose your appetite.
- You may become constipated, have trouble passing gas, or even have diarrhea.
- You may even develop a low-grade fever, which indicates an infection.
- There can be swelling in the abdomen and pain when you press it.
Causes Of Appendicitis
- Blockage caused by fecal matter or food getting stuck in the appendix
- Swollen lymph node in the bowel walls as a result of an infection of the upper respiratory tract
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Gastrointestinal tract infection
- Parasitic growths in the appendix
- Abdominal trauma2
While there is no solid clinical data to back certain diets or lifestyle changes to prevent appendicitis, you can prevent some of the possible causes like inflammatory bowel disease with natural remedies.
1. Meditation And Acupuncture Can Manage Pain
Meditation can be a simple yet effective way to overcome the pain associated with appendicitis and the surgery thereafter. As one study of subjects undergoing abdominal surgery found, practicing meditation and jaw relaxation techniques helped significantly lower the subjective measures of pain as well as anxiety.3 However, it is worth
Acupuncture offers another avenue for postoperative pain management in the case of an appendectomy. It first made waves in the mainstream media in the West in the context of an appendectomy back in the 1970s. On President Nixon’s tour of China, a reporter suffering from gas pains linked to appendicitis found tremendous relief from acupuncture.4
Forty-five years on, today, one ongoing trial is looking specifically at the benefits of electroacupuncture in improving gastrointestinal motility recovery and in limiting the pain experienced in the aftermath of a laparoscopic surgery. With such alternatives gaining ground, you may no longer have to rely solely on painkillers, which can be potentially addictive, to ease the pain after surgery.5
2. Turmeric Can Help Heal An Inflamed Appendix
Turmeric is another anti-inflammatory whose use in Ayurveda is renowned. The active constituent curcumin helps to boost the body’s immune response while also easing swelling from inflammation, and thereby easing pain. It is also indicated in the case of gastric trouble and may, therefore, be helpful in dealing with overall healing related to an inflamed appendix as well.6
3. Eating Fiber And Staying Hydrated Can Prevent Appendicitis
Fiber: While there is no consensus on a preventive diet for appendicitis, statistics seems to favor those who have a diet rich in fresh fruit and vegetables with plenty of fiber. According to the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP), consuming a diet low in dietary fiber and high in refined carbohydrates
Vitamins: The appendix can become inflamed due to a swollen lymph node caused by an upper respiratory tract infection. To improve overall immunity, consume foods rich in essential vitamins and other nutrients. If you are prone to respiratory infections, especially in months where seasonal variations in temperature can result in infections, it is a good idea to up your intake of vitamin C through lemons and other citrus fruit.8
According to Ayurveda, appendicitis is a vrana-shotha or an inflammatory condition that causes swelling. One way to reduce the chances of developing blockages is to consume foods that help the body rid itself
Fenugreek: Consuming water in which fenugreek seeds have been boiled is an Ayurvedic detox remedy. Fenugreek seeds have been found to help in the case of inflammatory bowel disease.10 The steroidal saponins in the seeds are believed to influence the body’s inflammatory response. They prevent waste accumulation and help the body get rid of excess mucus.11
Water: Staying hydrated is also important as water intake is an important
|↑1||Definition and Facts for Appendicitis. NIDDK.|
|↑2||Appendicitis. NHS UK.|
|↑3||Soliman, Hanan, and Salwa Mohamed. “Effects of Zikr meditation and jaw relaxation on postoperative pain, anxiety and physiologic response of patients undergoing abdominal surgery.” Journal of Biology, Agriculture and Healthcare 3, no. 2 (2013): 23-38.|
|↑4||Ulett, George A., Jisheng Han, and Songping Han. “Traditional and evidence-based acupuncture.” J uth Med J 91, no. 12 (1998): 115.|
|↑5||Kim, Gangmi. “Electroacupuncture for postoperative pain
|↑6||Gupta, Subash C., Bokyung Sung, Ji Hye Kim, Sahdeo Prasad, Shiyou Li, and Bharat B. Aggarwal. “Multitargeting by turmeric, the golden spice: from kitchen to clinic.” Molecular nutrition & food research 57, no. 9 (2013): 1510-1528.|
|↑7||Diagnosis of Acute Appendicitis in Children. AAFP.|
|↑8||Roxas, Mario, and Julie Jurenka. “Colds and influenza: a review of diagnosis and conventional, botanical, and nutritional considerations.” Alternative Medicine Review 12, no. 1 (2007): 25-49.|
|↑9||Chaturvedi, V.C. All You Wanted to Know about Diet and Health Through Ayurveda. Sterling Publishers Pvt. Ltd. 2005.|
|↑10||Langmead, L., C. Dawson, C. Hawkins, N. Banna, S. Loo, and D. S. Rampton. “Antioxidant effects of herbal therapies used by patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an in vitro study.” Alimentary pharmacology & therapeutics 16, no. 2 (2002): 197-205.|
|↑11||Sauvaire, Yves, Y. Baissac, O. Leconte, P. Petit, and G. Ribes. “Steroid saponins from fenugreek and some of their biological properties.” In Saponins used in food and agriculture, pp. 37-46. Springer US, 1996.|