What is appendicitis?
The appendix is a thin tube that is joined to the large intestine. It sits in the lower right part of your belly (abdomen). Appendicitis happens when the inside of your appendix is blocked by something that makes it swell up.
If you have appendicitis, there is a serious risk your appendix may burst. This can happen as soon as 48 to 72 hours after you have symptoms. Because of this, appendicitis is a medical emergency. If you have symptoms, see a doctor right away.
What are the symptoms of appendicitis?
Pain in the abdomen is often the first sign. This pain:
- May start in the area around your belly button and move to the lower right-hand side of your belly. It may also start in the lower right-hand side of your belly.
- Often gets worse as time goes on.
- May feel worse when you are moving, taking deep breaths, being touched, and coughing or sneezing.
- Might be felt all over your belly if your appendix bursts.
Other common symptoms include:
- Upset stomach and vomiting
- Loss of appetite
- Fever and chills
- Trouble having a bowel movement (constipation)
- Loose stool (diarrhea)
- Trouble passing gas
- Swollen belly
These are the most common symptoms, but keep in mind that your own symptoms may vary. Do not take pain medicines. They may hide other symptoms your healthcare provider needs to know about.