What causes appendicitis

what causes appendicitis

Appendicitis is a common intestinal disease that, if not treated in time, can be life-threatening and affect health later. So what causes appendicitis pain, and how to deal with it?

What is appendicitis?

The appendix, also known as the small intestine, is a part of the digestive tract located at the junction between the small intestine and the large intestine. When healthy, the appendix is usually thin, 5 to 10 centimeters long. The appendix does not have a role in the digestion and absorption of substances like the small intestine and large intestine.

In the past, it was thought that the appendix was just a relic of evolution. However, some recent studies suggest that the appendix contains special tissues involved in the body’s immune system, which fights infection. At the same time, the surface of the appendix contains beneficial bacteria, which play an important role in helping to start the digestive system after infectious diseases.

For some reason the appendix becomes inflamed, or having tumors in the appendix will cause appendicitis. In particular, painful appendicitis is the most common case, accounting for 60-70% of emergency cases.

Appendicitis can occur in any age and gender, adversely affecting the health and life of the patient through abdominal pain. Appendicitis pain needs to be detected early to have timely treatment measures. Otherwise, the disease can easily cause dangerous complications in the abdomen, which can even affect the patient’s life.

Reasons for appendicitis

Appendicitis pain can have many causes, possibly due to an inflamed appendix or a tumor in the appendix. In particular, appendicitis accounts for a high rate and is the main cause of appendicitis pain.

Causes of appendicitis

Obstruction of the opening between the large intestine and the appendix: this is the most common cause, causing stagnation of waste products in the appendix, creating conditions for microorganisms to grow, causing inflammation, and infection leading to appendicitis pain.

Swollen and inflamed lymph nodes under the appendix mucosa: due to intestinal infections (salmonella, shigella) or systemic infections such as acute respiratory infections.

Foreign objects such as gravel, fruit seeds, sharp objects, etc. damage the appendix, leading to pain.

Intestinal parasites such as roundworms, pinworms, etc. get into the appendix and cause pain.

All causes of appendicitis carry a high risk of severe and prolonged appendicitis, which can complicate peritonitis. This endangers the patient’s health and affects daily activities of the patient.

Symptoms of appendicitis

Based on the location of the appendix, it is easy to recognize the symptoms when the patient has appendicitis. Pain in the right abdomen on or above the navel is a typical symptom of appendicitis. The pain can last from 2 to 12 hours, the pain is dull and then gradually increases and spreads to surrounding locations, pain when moving, moving, coughing. In some cases, the pain can appear in many different locations: pain under the right flank (under the liver appendix), back pain in the hip (postcecal appendix),

In addition, people with appendicitis also have some of the following symptoms:

Patients can have a fever of up to 38 degrees, this is a response of the body to an infection. If the patient has a high fever, it can be a warning of peritonitis.

Patients with digestive disorders such as diarrhea, vomiting, very rarely constipation, anorexia, and loss of appetite often appear in acute appendicitis.

The abdominal wall is stiff, and abdominal wall pain also appears in appendicitis, if severe, it will cause the appendix to rupture, which is life-threatening.

Bladder pain, and frequent urination: When appendicitis is bad and prolonged, it will cause infection from the appendix, affecting the excretory process of the body. If this situation persists, it will be very dangerous to health.

How to diagnose

To date, there is no specific test to accurately diagnose appendicitis. Most appendicitis is diagnosed based on the typical clinical signs of the disease, which is abdominal pain around the umbilicus, which is severe and increases with time. However, when the patient has atypical symptoms, it will be difficult to distinguish from other diseases in the abdomen. Therefore, a number of supportive diagnostic methods can be used:


In physiological blood tests, if the white blood cell is increased, it is a sign of infection in the body.

Urinalysis: to rule out urinary tract infection or kidney stones causing pain in the patient.

Use pregnancy test strips for female patients to rule out an ectopic pregnancy.

Image analyzation:

Ultrasound to check for swelling of the appendix. This method is valuable because it easily detects inflamed appendix or appendiceal tumors, and can detect the pathology in the pelvic area that is the cause of the pain. However, for patients with thick fat layers, abdominal distention, and pregnant, the results are not accurate.

X-rays may show stones or foreign bodies in the appendix but not acute appendicitis.

Computed tomography (CT) is the most accurate method for diagnosing acute appendicitis.

Final thought

Usually, when it comes to appendicitis, everyone thinks that the appendix must be removed to get rid of the pain. However, does every case of appendicitis require an appendectomy? Is there any other treatment?

Usually, when a patient has acute appendicitis, appendectomy is the first priority. Surgery should be performed as soon as possible to avoid rupture of the appendix. After surgery, the patient can recover quickly and of course, will leave a small scar on the side.

Appendicitis is not a strange disease. However, not everyone understands this disease. Appendicitis needs to be detected and treated early to avoid causing serious health complications. Therefore, you need to know the symptoms of the disease to easily recognize acute appendicitis.

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