What Causes Appendix Problems and How to Identify Its Symptoms

What Causes Appendix Problems

The appendix is a small, close-ended, and worm-like appendage found on the first part of the colon called cecum. It has an inner lining that secretes mucus which courses through the appendix and into the cecum, and a wall that contains a lymphatic tissue which is essential to the immune system for making anti-bodies.

One problem that may happen to the appendix is a condition called appendicitis. According to scientists, the appendicitis or the inflammation of appendix occurs when there is a blockade on the appendix’s opening into the cecum. The blockade can be due to the following reasons:

  • A thick mucus that accumulates inside the appendix.
  • A fecal waste that penetrates the appendix from the cecum.
  • A swelling that occurs in the lymphatic tissue of the appendix.

Over time, the mucus or stool inside the appendix hardens like a rock and causes a blockage on its opening. Soon, the bacteria, which are found normally within the appendix will start infecting the appendix’s wall.

Sensing the threat, the body reacts with an inflammatory response. A rupture of the appendix becomes imminent if the inflammation and infection continues throughout the appendix’s wall. Consequently, the rupture will cause the infection to spread out all through the abdomen.

Appendix Problems Symptoms

Appendicitis is associated with the following symptoms:

  • Stubborn and continuous pain that starts in the upper abdomen and moves toward the lower right abdomen.
  • Inability to expel gas that lurks in the abdomen.
  • Swelling in the abdomen.
  • Fever as high as between 99 degree and 102 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Vomiting after the abdominal pain begins.

The following are other symptoms that the patient may also experience:

  • Severe cramps
  • Sharp pain felt in the lower or upper part of the abdomen, rectum, and at the back.
  • Pain in urination
  • Constipation

If the pain felt is similar to the pain described above, the patient is advised to seek immediate medical attention to avoid further complications. The patient must also avoid eating, drinking, taking any medications such as laxatives and antacids, and applying any remedies like heating pads as these can increase the risks of having an appendix rupture.

The diagnosis of appendicitis can be tricky because the symptoms may also indicate another ailment like urinary tract infection, gastritis, gallbladder problems, intestinal infection, Crohn’s disease, and problems in the ovary. In most cases, the doctor may conduct abdominal examination to detect an inflammation and prescribe laboratory tests to rule out or determine an infection.

2 thoughts on “What Causes Appendix Problems and How to Identify Its Symptoms

  • April 4, 2012 at 11:47 am

    I want to know whether tomato skin or chewed bone pieces cause appendix blockage or its inflammation.

    • April 10, 2012 at 3:02 pm

      Chewed bone pieces or skin of tomato is not responsible for appendix blockage or its inflammation, though the exact cause for inflammation of appendix is not properly understood. This is because the enzymes, juices and acid in the digestive tract act upon the food that we eat before it reaches the appendix and the large intestine. Mostly the blockage is caused by small fecal material called fecolith. The second most common cause is intestinal worms. They may wander into the lumen of the appendix and block its passage leading to its inflammation.


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