Infection and swelling of appendix due to increased activity of harmful bacteria inside it; seems to happen when appendix is partially or totally blocked off from colon by hard faecal matter, a swollen lymph gland, a tumour, or even a tapeworm; appendix either bursts, releasing pus into abdominal cavity and causing Peritonitis, or surrounding tissues envelop it in an abscess, effectively sealing if off from the rest of the abdomen. Classic symptoms are vague pain around navel, followed by loss of appetite, Constipation or Diarrhoea, then Nausea and Vomiting; then person develops Fever, and pain becomes sharp and moves to lower right abdomen, which feels very tender. A burst appendix causes severe pain, not relieved by vomiting, and a Distended Abdomen.
If appendicitis is suspected, consult your doctor if there is no improvement in 12 hours. If appendix bursts, contact Emergency Medical Services. The cure is usually swift surgical removal (appendicectomy), but if abscess has formed, removal may be delayed until infection in surrounding tissues can be cleared up by antibiotics.
Specific remedies to be given every 15 minutes for up to 10 doses while waiting for help
- Face red and hot, slightest movement makes pain worse Belladonna 30c
- Even slightest touch of hand on skin over appendix area causes intense pain Bryonia 30c
- Cutting, tearing pains, abdomen distended, skin over appendix area acutely sensitive, person extremely tetchy and irritable Lachesis 30c
- Pain most intense over appendix area Iris ten. 30c.
Self-help: Go to bed, eat nothing, and drink only water (a full stomach and surgery do not go together). Even if you are constipated, do not take laxatives. A high-fibre diet, with plenty of green vegetables, is the best preventive.