The signs of appendicitis can vary from person to person, but the following are common symptoms associated with this condition:
- Abdominal pain: The primary symptom of appendicitis is typically abdominal pain. The pain usually starts around the belly button and then migrates and intensifies to the lower right side of the abdomen. The pain may be sharp, persistent, and become more severe over time. It often worsens 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, which may be accompanied by episodes of vomiting.
- Low-grade fever: Some people with appendicitis may develop a slight fever. However, not everyone with appendicitis will have a noticeable increase in body temperature.
- Abdominal tenderness and rigidity: The abdomen may feel tender to the touch, especially in the lower right area where the appendix is located. Pressing on this area may elicit pain or discomfort. The abdomen may also feel rigid or stiff.
- Rebound tenderness: Applying pressure to the abdomen and then quickly releasing it (rebound tenderness) may cause pain to worsen, particularly in the lower right area.
- Changes in bowel habits: Some individuals with appendicitis may experience changes in their bowel movements. They may have diarrhea or constipation, and in some cases, there may be difficulty passing gas.
It’s important to note that these symptoms can vary in severity and may not always be present in every individual with appendicitis. Additionally, certain groups, such as young children, pregnant women, and the elderly, may exhibit different or atypical symptoms.
If you suspect you or someone else may have appendicitis, it is crucial to seek immediate medical attention. Appendicitis can lead to serious complications if left untreated, such as appendix rupture and peritonitis. A healthcare professional can evaluate the symptoms, perform appropriate tests, and provide a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.