The symptoms of appendicitis can vary from person to person, but the most common signs and symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain: The primary symptom of appendicitis is usually abdominal pain. Initially, the pain may start around the belly button and then shift to the lower right side of the abdomen. The pain can be sharp and intense, and it tends to worsen with movement, coughing, or deep breathing.
- Loss of appetite: Many individuals with appendicitis experience a decrease in their appetite and may have little or no desire to eat.
- Nausea and vomiting: Appendicitis can cause nausea and, in some cases, vomiting.
- Fever: An elevated body temperature may occur due to the underlying infection in the appendix. However, not everyone with appendicitis develops a fever.
- Changes in bowel habits: Some individuals may experience changes in their bowel movements. They may have diarrhea or constipation, and in some cases, there may be difficulty passing gas.
- Swelling and tenderness: The area around the appendix may become swollen and tender to the touch. Pressing on this area may elicit pain.
- Rebound tenderness: A characteristic sign of appendicitis is rebound tenderness, which means that pressing down on the abdomen and then quickly releasing it causes pain to worsen.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can also be indicative of other conditions, and not all individuals with appendicitis will exhibit every symptom. Additionally, the symptoms can vary depending on the age of the person affected. For example, children may experience different symptoms than adults.
If you suspect appendicitis, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. A healthcare professional can evaluate your symptoms, perform the necessary tests, and provide appropriate treatment. Early diagnosis and prompt treatment of appendicitis are important to prevent complications such as appendix rupture and peritonitis.