Appendicitis is an inflammation of the appendix accompanied by a characteristic clinical picture. Acute appendicitis is a widespread pathology in adults and the most common cause of surgical intervention. Exacerbation of appendicitis may occur at any age. Risk groups are children under 5 years, adults of 20-30 years and pregnant women. Pathology is equally characteristic for men and women.
The symptoms of appendicitis are manifested mainly by a sharp pain in a stomach. A typical progress of appendicitis is characterized by the following symptoms developing in turn: pain, nausea, vomiting, fever, and dyspepsia.
Let’s review each symptom at the onset of appendicitis in more detail.
Pain. Sudden pain in the solar plexus area or above the navel is the most typical first symptom of the acute form of appendicitis. An abdominal pain without specific localization is also possible during this period. This stage is characterized by the pain of varying intensity (strong or weak) and changing nature (continuous or intermittent). Further pain shifts to the topographic projection of the appendix. The pain has a constant nature, a moderate intensity that increases during coughing, movements or change of body position in space.
Nausea and vomiting. Vomit substance consists of previously adopted food mixed with bile. Vomiting in case of appendicitis develops as a response to the pain and is accompanied by a loss of appetite. If the stomach is empty, there is vomiting in the form of liquid.
Fever. Fever is a frequent companion of appendicitis. Usually, it does not rise higher than 37,0-38,0 degrees. Sometimes an interesting phenomenon is observed when the temperature measured by a conventional mercury thermometer in the right side is 0,5-1,0 degrees higher than the temperature measured in the left armpit. It is better to measure the temperature in the armpit and rectally immediately after that.
Dyspepsia. Increased intoxication is accompanied by defecation disorders or dyspepsia in a form of constipation or loose stool. Dyspepsia occurs on the background of frequent urination, which is the result of the involvement of the urinary bladder into the inflammatory process. The color of urine is dark and intense.
Apart from the above-mentioned symptoms, there is a set of the most dangerous and alarming symptoms that include:
• absent pain for a few hours. It may be associated with the rupture of the appendix wall inside the abdomen. The following sharp increase in the intensity of pain is the evidence of peritonitis.
• constant vomiting that does not bring relief to the patient
• a sharp rise of the body temperature above 39 degrees or a rapid fall to critically low levels on the contrary
• muscle tension, soreness at the time of touching the skin of the abdomen
• altered consciousness that is manifested by confusion, delirium, and fading reflexes.
If you look closely at the patient’s tongue, you will see its excessive dryness, and thick whitish bloom it may be covered with. Although this particular symptom is not a necessary sign of acute appendicitis. Similar symptom usually accompanies a lot of other diseases that are not associated with the appendix at all.