Appendicitis — the inflammation of the appendix — is an emergency and often leads to the removal of this slim organ that runs into the large intestine and along the abdomen. If the appendix ruptures, fecal matter can enter the abdomen, potentially spreading a life-threatening infection throughout the body. Appendicitis can occur in any age group, but older people are much more at risk for a rupture than younger individuals. The early symptoms of appendicitis are mild and may be difficult to spot until the condition has progressed.
Pain near the navel or belly button is the first notable sign of appendicitis. It generally circles the navel in the beginning, and then, as the symptoms worsen, begins to spread throughout the abdomen. The pain typically starts with short bouts of achiness. As time progresses, the duration of each bout lengthens, as does its intensity. What was once described as sore, achy, or tender soon turns into a stabbing pain that could be warning of an impending rupture.
This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.