[toc]Appendix is a small finger shaped pouch structure present connected to the colon, on the right side of abdomen. Appendix is non functional in humans and is the vestigial organ that had a role of digesting plants in our forefathers. In the current human system, it is probably dedicated to possess friendly bacteria environment that aids in fighting off infections and facilitating digestion.
In Appendicitis, the appendix becomes inflamed, swollen and get filled with pus. Appendix mainly affects people between the age of 10 to 30 years but has a possibility of occurrence at any age. The treatment involves removing this organ through surgery and around 250,000 appendix surgeries are performed every year in US. Removal of appendix is not associated with any alterations in the digestive system.
Important Causes Of Appendix Pain
Certain viral or bacterial infections of the digestive tract can result in lymph nodes swelling that further squeeze down the appendix causing obstruction, called as lymphoid hyperplasia.
Initially, a pain is felt in the stomach area that gets intensified and appears more defined and restricted at the lower right end of the abdomen, referred as appendix pain or Mc Burney point.
There is a possibility of certain obstruction inside the lumen portion of the appendix caused mainly by feces deposition. When hard and rigid stool section gets trapped in the appendix, the bacteria from the stool infect the appendix, resulting in appendicitis.
This blockage results in impaired flow of blood, increased pressure and inflammation. Person shows symptoms like appendix pain, constipation, fever, nausea, vomiting and inability to pass wind or gas. In case, the blockage is not treated on time, it may lead to gangrene formation and rupturing (tearing or breaking) of the appendix may occur.
Any trauma or severe injury of abdomen can result in appendicitis in certain individuals. It is considered as a medical emergency and needs prompt treatment. The symptoms develop as progressive and worsening appendix pain with painful sneezing or coughing.
In case of immediate treatment, people usually get recovered without much difficulty. But, in case of delayed treatment, appendix tends to get burst, causing severe infections that may even result in death. Appendicitis treatment involves the most acute surgical emergencies pertaining to the abdomen.
Appendix can also be the result of genetic makeup of an individual. In certain families, appendicitis runs through the families due to presence of a genetic variant form of the responsible gene.
The presence of this genetic form puts an individual at high risk for predisposition to appendicitis, developing an obstruction of the appendix lumen. The genetically influenced individuals tend to show loss of appetite, diarrhea and worsening abdominal pain.
Getting exposed to air pollutants, mainly ozone has been associated with a moderate increase in probability of appendix pain. Air pollution is known to cause many disease states through inflammation and thus, increases the risk of developing appendicitis.
People are 15 percent more likely to suffer from severe appendix d pain on days with high ozone concentration than days with lowest concentration of ozone. The effect of air pollution is observed to be most strong in summer days, when people tend to move out more.