What are the Symptoms of Appendicitis?

A symptom is ‘what patient complains about his/her disease or medical condition’. The symptoms of appendicitis may be typical (when diagnosis is simple and easy) or there may be atypical symptoms, when diagnosis of appendicitis becomes very difficult (may not be even possible to diagnose some cases of appendicitis). In case of atypical symptoms, diagnosis is based on physical examination (to elicit important sings of appendicitis) and laboratory and imaging studies.

The symptoms of appendicitis are mainly related to disturbance of gastrointestinal system and its function. The classical or typical symptoms of appendicitis are pain first, vomiting next and fever last. The pain of appendicitis is the most painful condition among all painful conditions (disease) a patient may ever suffer. Example of other severely painful conditions are labor pain (during childbirth), toothache, bone fracture pain, cancer pain etc. But all these severely painful conditions are less painful in compare to appendicitis pain. Labor pain and toothache are next in line after appendicitis, in terms of severity of pain.

The symptoms of appendicitis are:

  • Aching pain that begins around umbilicus and may shift to lower right quadrant of abdomen. Pain increases in severity over several hours and become very severe.
  • Pain increases if patient coughs, walk or if there is any other jarring movements.
  • Nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea or constipation etc. are also common complains in appendicitis.
  • Low grade fever.
  • Pain may be so severe that patient may take fetal position or become very restless due to severity of pain.
  • Swelling in abdomen and inability to pass gas are also symptoms of appendicitis.

The location of pain may vary in different individuals, depending on the anatomical location of appendix and age of the patient.

 


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