Licensed from
ADAM

Appendicitis

Basics

Multimedia

Health Search

Symptoms Search

Explore other causes of

Doc Search

Find doctors for Appendicitis

Drug Search

Explore and compare medications

Definition

Appendicitis is inflammation of the appendix. The appendix is a small pouch attached to the beginning of your large intestine.

Symptoms

The symptoms of appendicitis vary. It can be hard to diagnose appendicitis in young children, the elderly, and women of childbearing age.

Typically, the first symptom is pain around your belly button. (See: Abdominal pain) The pain may be vague at first, but becomes increasingly sharp and severe. You may have reduced appetite, nausea, vomiting, and a low-grade fever.

As the inflammation in the appendix increases, the pain tends to move into your right lower abdomen and focuses directly above the appendix at a place called McBurney's point.

If your appendix ruptures, the pain may lessen briefly and you may feel better. However, once the lining of your abdominal cavity becomes inflamed and infected (a condition called peritonitis), the pain gets worse and you become sicker.

Your abdominal pain may be worse when walking or coughing. You may prefer to lie still because sudden movement causes pain.

Later symptoms include:

  • Chills
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite
  • Nausea
  • Shaking
  • Vomiting
Toptop

Related Articles

Abdominal Pain
Abdominal pain is pain that occurs between the chest and pelvic regions. Abdominal pain can be cramp-like, achy, dull, or sharp. Organs in the abdomen are: intestines kidneys appendix spleen stomach gallbladder liver pancreas Inflammation  More »

Fever
Fever is also known as hyperthermia, pyrexia, or simply elevated temperature. It describes a body temperature that is higher than normal. Fever can affect children and adults alike. A short-term increase in body temperature can help the body fig  More »

Abdominal Tenderness
Point tenderness in your abdomen is pain that occurs when your abdomen is pressed in a specific area. It is also known as abdominal tenderness. Point tenderness is often a sign that something is wrong with one or more organs in the area being pres  More »

Toptop

Follow Yahoo Health on and become a fan on

Follow @YahooHealth on