external image appendicitis.gif

WHAT IS APPENIDICITIS?
Appendicitis is the inflammation of the appendix.The appendix is a small finger shaped structure that protrudes out of your large intestine. A type of problem that could erise and cause appendicitis could be when the lymphatic tissue in the appendix swells and blocks the appendix. Then the bacteria which is normally found in the appendix begins to infect the wall of the appendix, the body then tries to attack the bacteria by making an inflammation. It is also thought the inflammation is started when the opening of the appendix to the cecum becomes blocked. The blockage is could be due to when mucus develops in the appendix. The mucus then hardens and then becomes rock-like, causing the appendix to be blocked. The alternative theory is that the appendix erupts then it is followed by the spread of bacteria. The cause of the eruption is still unclear but it may have been related to the changes of the lymphatic tissue.

DID YOU KNOW?
If appendicitis is not treated it can lead to severe problems sometimes even death. Appendicitis is one of the most common causes of abdominal sugery. Up to 75,000 appendectomies are done each year in the U.S.
Appendicitis Illustration -Inflammation of the Appendix
Appendicitis Illustration -Inflammation of the Appendix

external image 230px-Acute_Appendicitis.jpg
This is a picture of the appendix sliced in half lengthwise.

SIGNS AND SYMPTOMS
  • Pain, it gets worse when moving, taking deep breaths, sneezing, coughing, and putting pressure on the area.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Changes in bowel movements, including diarrhea or not being able to make any bowel movements or pass gas
  • Urinating often, or having difficult and painful urinations

WHO'S MOSTLY AT RISK
The following points can put you at a higher risk of getting appendicitis;
  • Family history- if your family history has had a record of many people having appendicitis
  • Age- children 2 years of age or younger and people over 70 years of age or older have a higher risk of getting appendicitis

TREATMENTS
Appendicitis is usually treated with a combination of antibiotics and surgery. Your doctor may give you antibiotics and medication to stop you from vomiting. If your doctor can't tell if you have appendicitis they will need to have a exploratory surgery. Then, if you do have appendicitis, your appendix will be removed.

HOW DO YOU PREVENT IT?
Sadly, there are no preventions but you may be able to by maintaining a healthy diet and making sure you're body has all the nutrients they need.

REFERENCES
http://www.umm.edu/altmed/articles/appendicitis-000014.htm (accessed 21 and 22 June 2011)
http://www.medicinenet.com/appendicitis/article.htm (accessed 21 and 22 June 2011)
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Appendicitis (accessed 25 June 2011)