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Appendicitis Symptoms: 5 Things You Need to Know

Appendicitis Symptoms: 5 Things You Need to Know

Appendicitis, when left untreated, can cause serious health problems. It is important to be aware of appendicitis symptoms so you can seek treatment before things get worse. Appendicitis, when it ruptures, can lead to an infection that spreads to other parts of the body.

5 Appendicitis Symptoms to Remember

Your appendix usually gets inflamed due to a blockage in the digestive tract, which causes an infection. When the appendix is inflamed, it swells up and can get filled with pus.

If it does not get treated in time, the appendix can rupture and spread infection throughout the body. This can lead to serious complications such as peritonitis, and even injury to nearby organs.

But before this happens, people usually experience certain symptoms that let them know that they might have appendicitis. Here are 5 appendicitis symptoms to watch out for:

1. Pain in the Abdomen

This is the most common symptom of appendicitis. The pain is usually felt near the belly button, and can radiate to the lower right side of your abdomen. In some cases, the pain starts in the lower right side.

As the appendix swells and the inflammation gets worse, the pain starts to become more intense. It can be difficult to move, cough, breathe or even eat because of the pain. Touching the area can also be painful.

The happens because the swelling starts to irritate the peritoneum, or the lining of the abdominal cavity. It is this irritation that causes severe pain that gets worse as the swelling of the appendix progresses.

If you feel this sort of pain in your abdomen, call your doctor or visit the hospital immediately.

appendicitis symptoms

2. Change in Bowel Movement

Aside from pain, people with appendicitis might also experience a sudden change in their bowel movement.

Patients with appendicitis can experience difficulty passing stools or diarrhea. But most patients tend to experience the former more often.

In some cases, it might be hard to identify appendicitis based on this symptom alone. So it would be best to observe other related symptoms as well.

3. Swelling in the Abdomen

Swelling in the abdomen is also another possible symptom of appendicitis. The swelling is usually located in the lower right part of the abdomen. Your abdomen might also feel tender, and light pressure on your abdomen can cause a sharp, intense pain.

Any swelling and intense pain in the abdomen is usually a sign of a serious illness, so be sure to seek medical attention immediately.

appendicitis symptoms

4. Loss of Appetite

Another common symptom of appendicitis is loss of appetite. This happens because eating can be very painful, and because of this, patients would try to eat less or even stop eating in order to manage the pain.

In some cases, loss of appetite can even progress to nausea or vomiting. This symptom is also usually experienced with abdominal pain.

5. Inability to Pass Gas

Because appendicitis is caused by an obstruction in the digestive tract, it can also make a person unable to pass gas. This can result in a feeling of bloating, as the gas is trapped inside the stomach. This can also cause swelling in the stomach because of gas buildup, leading to discomfort or even severe pain.

Key Takeaways

Appendicitis is a treatable condition. In fact, most people who had appendicitis do not experience any serious problems or side effects afterward. However, it is important to seek treatment before appendicitis gets worse.

If left untreated or ignored, appendicitis can cause serious or even fatal health complications. So as soon as you notice any of the possible symptoms of appendicitis, be sure to check in with your doctor.

Learn more about Digestive Health here.

Hello Health Group does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.


Appendicitis: MedlinePlus Medical Encyclopedia, https://medlineplus.gov/ency/article/000256.htm, Accessed December 6, 2020

Appendicitis | Johns Hopkins Medicine, https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/conditions-and-diseases/appendicitis, Accessed December 6, 2020

Appendicitis: Symptoms, diagnosis and treatments – Harvard Health, https://www.health.harvard.edu/pain/appendicitis-symptoms-diagnosis-and-treatments, Accessed December 6, 2020

Appendicitis – Symptoms – NHS, https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/appendicitis/symptoms/, Accessed December 6, 2020

Appendicitis – Symptoms and causes – Mayo Clinic, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/appendicitis/symptoms-causes/syc-20369543, Accessed December 6, 2020

Symptoms & Causes of Appendicitis | NIDDK, https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/appendicitis/symptoms-causes, Accessed December 6, 2020

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Written by Jan Alwyn Batara Updated Jul 07
Medically reviewed by Mike-Kenneth Go Doratan, M.D.