Appendicitis is a common medico-surgical condition. Appendicitis is nothing but an inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the beginning of the large intestine in the right lower part of the abdomen. The function of an appendix is still not understood, but it is largely considered to be almost a useless body organ. It is one of the most common causes of emergency abdominal surgery in order to avoid rupture of the appendix into the abdomen.
Types of Appendicitis:
This can be categorized as under:
- Acute appendicitis: This appears suddenly, and runs a short course, calling for urgent attention and treatment; mostly surgical treatment.
- Chronic appendicitis: As the name suggests, it is a long-standing inflammation of the appendix.
- Recurring appendicitis: Appendix, if not removed, may have a tendency to get inflamed and infected, again and again.
It is a sequel of acute appendicitis. In some patients the symptoms of appendicitis, are less intense and continue for a long duration, they may be continuous or intermittent. They may present as pain in the abdomen, which will be bothersome but not incapacitating. The person may experience pain and abdominal discomfort in the right iliac fossa. A partial obstruction of the appendix and milder bacterial infection are generally responsible. They may settle down with a course of antibiotics but resurface again. This also indicates a lowered immune system.
Causes of Appendicitis:
It usually occurs when the appendix becomes blocked by hard faecal (stool) matter, undigested food, a foreign body or rarely a tumor. When the appendix is blocked, it becomes inflamed due to swelling and ulceration of mucous membrane lining and results in a condition termed appendicitis. If the blockage continues, the inflamed tissue becomes infected with bacteria and begins to die from a lack of blood supply, which finally results in the rupture of the appendix (perforated or ruptured appendix).
Infection in the gut or other parts of the body may also inflame the appendix and cause appendicitis.
It can affect any age group, more common age group is15-45.
Symptoms of Appendicitis:
- Pain in the lower abdomen to start with.
- Pain begins in the middle of the abdomen “belly button” (umbilicus).
- The pain slowly moves in the next 24 hours to the right lower abdomen (toward the right iliac fossa).
- Pain is unlike any pain felt before.
- Pain is worse on motion, taking a deep breath, coughing and sneezing.
- Loss of appetite.
- Constipation or diarrhea.
- Inability to pass gas.
- Low-grade fever.
- Feeling that passing stool will relieve discomfort.
- Abdominal swelling.
Other conditions that cause abdominal pain may have symptoms similar to the symptoms of appendicitis:
Diagnosis of appendicitis:
Diagnosis can be made clinically by the history of symptoms given by the patient and by the presence of the following signs on examining the patient.
On examination, the doctor can elicit tenderness in the right iliac fossa.
There can be rebound tenderness; it is the pain that is worse when the doctor quickly releases his or her hand after gently pressing the area of tenderness on the abdomen.
May disclose tenderness on the right side of the pelvis.
Blood Count: may reveal leucocytosis. i.e. raised WBC count. X-rays- An x-ray can rule out signs of obstruction or perforation of the GUT as the cause of pain. In rare cases, an appendicolith, which is hardened stool in the appendix, may be found and seen on the X-ray. Ultrasound- An ultrasound may show appendiceal inflammation. CT scan- The most common and reliable imaging test that is used to diagnose appendicitis is currently the CT scan. The CT scan is excellent if there is doubt regarding the nature of the pain as it can identify other common causes of pain in that region like -stone in the ureter, gall-stones, ruptured tubal pregnancy. In appendicitis, it shows the inflamed appendix quite clearly.
A diet high in fiber and low in sugar is advisable to prevent constipation.
Homeopathy is indicated on the first day or the second day, in the early stage. Homeopathy may help in some cases. However, acute appendicitis may turn out to be a surgical condition, where homeopathy may not work. Acute appendicitis can be best managed under the proper supervision of a surgeon.
Homeopathy is indicated for the treatment of chronic and recurrent appendicitis. The medicines help for complete recovery and strengthen the immunity. Every case of appendicitis needs professional evaluation by an experienced homeopathic physician .