How Do I Recognize the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

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  • Written By: Meshell Powell
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 13 September 2019
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Appendicitis is a medical condition characterized by an inflammation of the appendix. Of all of the potential symptoms, abdominal pain is the most commonly reported. This pain may be accompanied by other symptoms, such as loss of appetite, nausea, or vomiting. Additional indicators of appendicitis may sometimes include constipation, back pain, or the development of a low-grade fever.

Abdominal pain is the most frequently reported of all of the potential symptoms of appendicitis. In the beginning, it may be difficult for the patient to describe one particular area where the pain originates. In most cases, the pain eventually moves to the lower right area of the abdomen, where the appendix is located. Many patients describe this pain as excruciating and far different from any pain that has been experienced before.

The abdominal pain may be soon followed by a decrease in appetite. This may be due to the extreme pain caused by this condition or by the extreme nausea that often accompanies the pain. Some patients may begin to vomit uncontrollably as a result of the intense nausea. This type of nausea is often the result of an intestinal blockage and should be considered a medical emergency.


Constipation is among the more common symptoms of appendicitis. A feeling of being bloated or gas-type pains are often present as well. In many cases, the abdomen will appear visibly swollen. A low-grade fever is one of the usual symptoms of appendicitis, although the fever may become quite high if the appendix ruptures.

If any of the possible symptoms of appendicitis are present, it is important for the patient to receive immediate medical attention. If the appendix ruptures, a potentially fatal infection could develop. Once at the hospital, doctors will likely order a few tests to determine the exact cause and severity of the symptoms. These tests often include a manual examination, blood tests to check for high white blood cell counts, and an x-ray or CT scan to determine whether the appendix is inflamed or has ruptured.

If the diagnosis of appendicitis is confirmed, the patient will likely be scheduled for immediate surgery to remove the inflamed organ. Depending on the severity of the condition, the patient may be able to return home the same day or may need to spend a few days in the hospital. Any questions or concerns about the possible symptoms of appendicitis should be discussed with a doctor or other medical professional.


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Post 3

@pleonasm - If you've got severe pain then that's one thing. But if the pain isn't severe and there are no other symptoms then it's nothing to panic over. Appendicitis is an infection, so it should be accompanied by a fever at least. If it's only a slight pain and there aren't other symptoms I would just monitor it and see if it goes away by itself.

Post 2

@pastanaga - If the pain is that severe though you can't afford to take chances, even if it might be gas. I've heard of people who died from appendicitis because they kept brushing off the pain as just a bellyache and not that serious.

The thing is that appendicitis can cause the appendix to burst if it gets too bad and that will flood your intestinal area with infection. Even with modern medicine that is very difficult to remove and doesn't have a high survival rate, so early detection is very important.

Appendicitis symptoms can go on for a long time as well, so don't take it for granted that you're fine if nothing drastic has happened for a few days. Once your appendix becomes inflamed it has to be removed.

Post 1

I've heard that most often what happens is that the pain starts around the belly button and then goes a bit lower and to the right of the stomach. If the pain is to the left of the stomach and there aren't any other symptoms it's likely to be gas rather than symptoms of appendicitis.

And gas can be extremely painful, so don't expect that to be the measure of how serious a condition is. A friend of mine who was visiting another country was once rushed by helicopter to the hospital because he was in so much pain and it turned out to basically be gas from a diet he wasn't used to. It was very embarrassing, to say the least when they realized what was wrong.

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