Though the symptoms of chronic appendicitis may not be as severe as acute appendicitis, the condition, as such, is much more complex in nature. This article will give you a fair insight into how you can identify the signs of the chronic form of appendicitis.
There are two types of appendicitis that exists, the acute appendicitis and the chronic appendicitis. Appendicitis is referred to the condition wherein the appendix of the person becomes highly inflamed and infected. Though the appendix doesn’t have any significant importance in the human body, its inflammation can cause a lot of troubles and discomfort to an individual. An appendix is a thin finger shaped pouch like structure that is located in the lower right abdomen. However, in some rare cases, the appendix may also be located in the left side of the abdomen.
This condition is known as situs inversus wherein the location of the internal organs are in the opposite direction as compared to the ‘normal’ location. When suffering from appendicitis, one experiences extreme pain, tenderness and swelling in the abdominal area. The pain is usually progressive in nature and can continue to become all the more severe throughout the day (12-18 hours). Other symptoms may also include nausea, diarrhea, vomiting and loss of appetite.
Symptoms of Chronic Appendicitis
Chronic appendicitis tends to remain undiagnosed for a prolonged period of time, unless one experiences an episode of acute appendicitis symptoms. The symptoms of appendicitis in the chronic form are very mild in nature, which is why most people end up neglecting them, or getting used to them! You may suddenly experience a dull pain in the lower abdomen which automatically vanishes within a short period of time. How can you then identify the signs of chronic appendicitis? The following points can help you with the same.
Pain and Discomfort
The pain is usually mild and dull in nature, which is why most of the people never care to visit the healthcare specialist and rather get ‘accustomed to the pain’. The pain usually tends to begin around the navel and then slowly spreads towards the location of your appendix, which is usually in the lower right side. There will be discomfort, which is again very mild in nature. You might experience discomfort while you get involved in certain movements like bending, coughing, running and movements that are similar in nature. The McBurney’s Point (right side of the abdomen that is ⅓ of the distance from the anterior superior iliac spine to the belly button) is the most common location of chronic appendicitis pain.
Tenderness in the Abdomen
Another way to identify the presence of this condition is to press your abdomen, usually where the abdominal pain and/or the appendix is located. If you feel tenderness and swelling in that area, there are high chances that you may be suffering from chronic appendicitis. You see the thing with this form of appendicitis is that it is very secretive in nature. It tends to grow and progress very slowly and therefore, you will most likely experience no ‘bothersome’ symptoms at all. So check, if you can feel the tenderness.
Nausea and Fever
Nausea and fever are another most common symptoms of this condition. Though most of the people may experience the severe forms of these symptoms in case of acute appendicitis, the dull form of fever and nausea can be experienced. As the appendicitis progresses, the infection can cause conditions like peritonitis. This may make you feel nauseous and feverish.
Malaise and Fatigue
People suffering with this condition are usually exhausted all the time due to their health condition. Therefore, experiencing malaise and fatigue is something that can also be considered as a classic sign of this condition. This is usually because of the fact that there is a progressive infection going on in your abdomen and your immune system is trying hard to fight against it, which leads to fatigue.
Other Symptoms Include
- Vomiting may or may not occur
- Loss of appetite
Note that the symptoms of chronic appendicitis are not severe in nature, unlike acute appendicitis. But if you can still relate to the points mentioned above, then do not waste any time further and get in touch with your healthcare specialist as soon as possible. This is because if this condition is left untreated, then it may lead to certain life-threatening consequences like organ damage through spreading of the infection. The appendix may also end up getting ruptured making the condition all the more problematic. Your doctor may have to remove your appendix through a surgical procedure known as appendectomy.