Most often people mistake appendix pain as a severe stomach ache. I was under the same assumption when I had the appendix pain multiple numbers of times during my childhood. However, later did I realize the real problem; my doctor told me that I had appendicitis. What is the appendix for in my body? I wondered. Within a year I had my surgery and my Appendix was removed.
Anyways, What is the Appendix?
An appendix can be defined as a tiny worm-like tube that is attached to the caecum of the colon. It is located at the junction of the small and the large intestine.
To be more precise, it appears like a thin tube, which is anywhere close to 3-4 inches long. The appendix is located in the lower right side of the abdomen.
Like the rest of the colon, the wall of the appendix also contains a layer of muscle, but the layer of muscle is poorly developed.
Till date, there has been no concrete answer about the functionality of an appendix. Some experts state that appendix acts as a storehouse for good bacteria and that it restores the digestive system after an illness.
Whereas there are other experts who believe that appendix is a useless part in the body. Thus far, even surgical removal of the appendix has not caused any health issues.
It is not clear if the appendix has an important role in the body in older children and adults. In young children, it may have an immune function. There are no major, long-term health problems resulting from removing the appendix.
Where is the appendix located in the body?
What causes Appendicitis?
Appendicitis occurs when the appendix is blocked, and the bacteria invade and infect the wall of the appendix.
Some of the complications caused by appendicitis are rupture, abscess, and peritonitis.
For reasons unknown, the appendix becomes inflamed and can even rupture. This is when you will suffer a severe pain in the right lower part of your belly region. You will also feel a discomfort and may even have vomiting sensations.
The most common signs and symptoms of appendicitis are a Severe abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, fever, nausea, and vomiting.
Usually, doctors suspect appendicitis based on the patient’s physical examination; however, abdominal X-ray, urinalysis, CT scan, and laparoscopy can also be helpful in diagnosis.
Because of the size and location of the appendix and the proximity of other organs to the appendix, it may be hard to actually differentiate appendicitis from other abdominal related diseases or even during the onset of labor during pregnancy.
In case you face any of the above-mentioned symptoms, you should seek medical attention as early as possible. You should also make sure that you do not consume any painkillers as the inflamed appendix can rupture.
How To Treat Appendix?
Usually, the best treatment for appendicitis is a surgery to remove the appendix. Doctors believe this is the best approach for the removal of the appendix has not caused any health issue so far. However, some complications such as wound infection and an abscess can occur.
It is actually a medical emergency that needs immediate attention, most often surgery is the best solution. Antibiotics can help to a certain extent, however, if you leave it untreated the inflamed appendix will burst or spill out infectious materials into your abdominal region.
This can lead to other health complications if you don’t treat it immediately.
Doctors haven’t figured out on how to prevent appendicitis from affecting a person. However, if you can make effective lifestyle changes, there are chances for you to prevent the appendix.
Include fiber-rich food in your diet as it acts as a fuel to your beneficial bacteria, thereby, regulating your immune function. Drink at least 3 liters of water every day as it flushes out all the toxins and keeps your body healthy.