Your appendix is a small 3.5-inch long saclike structure found right where the small and large intestines meet. You can find it at the lower right part of your abdomen. No one can really tell why the appendix is there. The fact is you can live a normal life whether it’s there or not.
However, your appendix may get blocked, infected and swollen, leading to what’s called appendicitis. This is considered as an emergency that requires surgery to have the appendix removed. Otherwise, it may burst or perforate and release bacteria in the abdominal cavity. This can be fatal unless it is immediately treated with very strong antibiotics.
The initial symptom you will encounter when you have appendicitis is dull pain in the upper abdominal area or near your bellybutton. The pain tends to get sharp as it moves further to the lower section of the abdomen. Sometimes there is also pain felt in the back and even the rectum. These are the other signs and symptoms of appendicitis:
- Nausea and vomiting right after the dull or sharp pain is experienced
- Swelling of the abdominal area
- Difficulty in passing gas
- Loss of appetite
- Fever (99 to 102 °F)
It’s also possible for someone with appendicitis to experience dysuria (painful urination), abdominal cramps, and diarrhea or constipation. As soon as these various signs and symptoms of appendicitis are encountered, it’s important to seek medical attention right away because prompt diagnosis and treatment are very important.
You may be wondering whether or not appendicitis may be prevented. The truth is, according to medical experts, there is no known way to prevent appendicitis. However, your risk of suffering from it may be considerably reduced simply by including certain foods in the diet. Basically, you need to have a well-balanced diet in order to keep the digestive tract in top-top form. The following can help ward off the blockage or infection of your appendix:
- Fruits – Embracing a diet that’s high in fiber is very good at reducing your chances of having appendicitis. Fiber helps sweep out impurities and fecal matter that may cause the appendix to get blocked and end up swollen and infected. The consumption of fruits is a great way to increase the amount of fiber you are getting daily. Some fruits that contain superb amounts of fiber are blueberries, raspberries, pears, apples, banana and exotic fruits like papaya and mangoes. Aside from fiber, fruits are also packed with vitamins and minerals that help you attain optimum health.
- Vegetables – Just like fruits, vegetables are also loaded with fiber that helps ensure that your digestive tract is in the pink of health. It’s a wonderful idea to add lots of dark green leafy vegetables in your diet as they are the ones that pack the most amounts of fiber. Peas, beans, potatoes, carrots and parsnips also supply your body with loads of fiber. Try including a lot of cruciferous vegetables in your diet too because, aside from being fiber-rich, they help neutralize toxins in the gut. Some examples of cruciferous vegetables are cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, broccoli, mustard greens, arugula and radish.
- Whole grains – The inclusion of whole grains in the diet is also recommended if you wish keep the gut in an excellent condition and lower your risk of having appendicitis. Luckily, whole grains are easier to find in supermarkets these days as more and more consumers are demanding for healthy food products. Ensure that you get sufficient amounts of any of the following: whole grain breads and pasta, brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, amaranth, corn, oats, granola, buckwheat and bulgur.
- Anti-inflammatory foods – It’s also recommendable for you to include some anti-inflammatory foods in the diet in order to keep inflammation at bay. Some of the planet’s top anti-inflammatory foods are oily fish, olive oil, turmeric, ginger, garlic, onion and green tea.