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Why is Appendicitis Dangerous?
14 Dec. 2015

AppendicitisOf the many health issues we commonly experience in our lives, stomach problems make up a very large portion of the total. How, what, and when we eat is extremely important, and there are so many things that can cause problems of this kind. However, while you can adjust your diet and eating regimen to avoid most stomach issues, there is no way to prevent appendicitis. This is one of the most dangerous problems in this category because it occurs so suddenly and requires emergency care, or the consequences can be severe. Appendicitis can be simply described as an inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a 3 ½ inch tube between the small and large intestines whose exact function we have not yet pinned down. Every year, over 300,000 people in the U.S. alone undergo appendicitis operations, and this number doesn’t even include those who choose other forms of treatment.

Appendicitis occurs when the appendix becomes blocked by foreign substances. In most cases, these are calcified stones, gallstones, lymphoid tissue, cancerous growths, or parasites. After an appendix becomes blocked, inflammation occurs, and there is a danger of it bursting or perforating. Unless it is treated, a ruptured appendix can cause peritonitis – an inflammation of the tissue lining the inner wall of the abdomen, or sepsis – an inflammation that affects the whole body in response to infection. Both of these conditions are potentially fatal and require surgical intervention or antibiotics. While the dangers of a ruptured appendix are significant, appendicitis can be effectively treated if diagnosed and operated on in time.

diagnosing appendicitisAnother thing that makes appendicitis dangerous is the difficulty in diagnosing it. Although there are some generally accepted symptoms of appendicitis – abdominal pain, vomiting, nausea, swelling, fever, diarrhea with gas, constipation, and loss of appetite, these symptoms vary from person to person and rarely indicate appendicitis as the cause straight after examination. To get a concrete appendicitis diagnosis, doctors use different methods, from blood and urine tests to ultrasounds, to x-ray and tomography imaging, to simple clinical trials. In most cases, a diagnosis of appendicitis will require urgent treatment via surgery. However, if a patient’s condition is simple and stable, antibiotics are sometimes used. Pain relief medication can also be a practical tool during the first stages of the treatment process.

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