Care and Treatment for Appendicitis
If you've ever thought of your appendix at all, it's likely because someone told you it's where chewing gum goes after you swallow it. This classic old wives tale has no basis in reality and was likely created to 1) stop children from swallowing gum, and 2) ascribe a function to this tiny organ. The appendix, so-named because it is an appendage to the large colon (similar to a tail), has a role in digestion. When the organ becomes blocked, often by stool, a foreign body, cancer, or other infection, the result is appendicitis.
Appendicitis occurs most often in infants and children, but can affect adults up to age 30. Symptoms include steadily increasing abdominal pain, loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fever and chills, and/or constipation. The condition affects one in 1,000 Americans and is very treatable, especially when caught early.