The appendix is a mysterious organ, a finger-shaped pouch that projects from the colon on the right side of the abdomen. Doctors still do not know its specific purpose. However, when the appendix is inflamed, the pain can be excruciating. If appendicitis becomes extreme, surgical removal is the only option, as a ruptured appendix has severe complications.
Appendicitis usually strikes people between the ages of 10 and 30, although it can develop at any age. Symptoms begin with a sudden pain around the navel that moves to the lower right side of the abdomen. The pain worsens if the person coughs, for example, or makes any kind of shuddering movement, even walking. Someone experiencing appendicitis may have bouts of nausea and/or vomiting accompanied by a loss of appetite. Other symptoms may show up as constipation or diarrhea. Abdominal bloating can occur. As the illness progresses, the person may develop a low-grade fever.
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