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That period cramp could be appendicitis. Here’s everything you need to know

Published on:5 August 2020, 18:18pm IST
Your appendix doesn’t have much of a job in your body, but if it decides to go wrong, then you could have to deal with appendicitis.
Nikita Bhardwaj
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Ignoring appendicitis pain is not a good idea. Image courtesy: Shutterstock
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Meet appendix. It might be a vestigial organ in your body with almost zero purpose, but it can still create huge problems for you if it decides to go rogue. That’s why it is important to know about this organ and its problems so that you can deal with it in a timely manner, lest you want to invite appendicitis. 

What is appendicitis?
Appendicitis is a condition of the appendix which leads to inflammation. This can happen due to some blockages or obstruction which might develop because of formation of mucus, parasites, or even fecal matter, suggests Dr Roy Patankar, leading gastroenterologist & director of Zen Hospital Mumbai. 

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He says:

Due to the blockage the bacteria in that area starts multiplying which ultimately leads to appendicitis.

Your appendix sits at the junction of the large and small intestine, making any complications with it really trickly. In fact, initially you might feel pain in your lower abdominal i.e. the right side of your tummy since it is located there.

What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
According to Dr Patankar, the symptoms of appendicitis depend on stage to stage. Initially, you might experience symptoms like:

1. Fever
2. Nausea
3. Vomiting
4. Striking pain in the right side of your lower abdomen
5. Diarrhea due to pus collection

Who is more at risk?
The elderly and pregnant women are at high risk according to Dr Patankar. He says that: “It is common in the younger age group as well. If ignored then it can turn chronic. The elderly develop tend to have more complications, and if it bursts then it can cause septicemia which is a serious blood infection.”

The problem with pregnant women is that the growing uterus pushes the appendix which might also cause pain in the upper abdomen and not in the lower abdomen which can be a little confusing. 

Appendicitis
Yes, pregnant women are at risk. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Dr Patankar says that, “Pregnant women find it hard to identify whether the symptoms are of appendicitis or pregnancy as they clash with each other. Women experience gas, bloating, vomiting, etc. which is also common in pregnancy and at times ignore it. But this ignorance might make the case worse for her and the baby.”

When should you see a doctor?
“If you have unbearable pain in the lower right side of your abdomen and have fever, then it is a cause of concern. In some cases, fever above 101 degrees can also be because of a ruptured appendix. In case you have both then you should definitely see a doctor,” he suggests. Also, if you are finding it difficult to poop then seeing a doctor is recommended.

The takeaway…
Dr Patankar suggests that women should be especially careful because it is very complex to detect appendicitis in them because of the placement of ovaries and uterus. 

He concludes by suggesting that if you timely detect these symptoms then appendicitis is treatable and you can lead a normal life after it is removed. 

So, ladies don’t make the mistake of confusing appendicitis pain with normal cramps, and pay heed to this doctor’s advice.  

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Nikita Bhardwaj Nikita Bhardwaj

Six-pack abs are all that Nikita needs, along with her daily dose of green tea. At Health Shots, she produces videos, podcasts, stories, and other kick-ass content.