Chronic appendicitis is a medical condition caused by an inflamed appendix. The appendix is a small and very thin tube located at the junction of the small and large intestines. It is typically located in the lower right abdomen area. The appendix is normally four inches long and it doesn’t really have any specific purpose.
Despite some opinions stating that the appendix stores good bacteria which can be used to heal the digestive system after some health ailments or infections, no conclusive evidence have been found to establish that as true.
There are two types of problems that you can have with your appendix. One is chronic appendicitis and the other is a tumor. Appendix tumors are very rare but there are reported cases of carcinoid tumors. Epithelial tumors in the appendix can be cancerous or benign but they are also very rare.
Causes Of Chronic Appendicitis
The precise cause of chronic appendicitis is not known. The appendix can get inflamed in many people in which case it becomes infected and may eventually rupture if left untreated. What causes the appendix to get inflamed has baffled the world of medical sciences till date.
Symptoms Of Chronic Appendicitis
The first symptoms of chronic appendicitis may be missed by any normal individual. One would feel slight pain in the lower right abdominal area which can be felt along the belly or lower abdomen area and upper abdomen area as the condition worsens. Nausea and vomiting are very common symptoms of appendicitis.
However, they don’t happen unless the condition becomes chronic or severe. Chronic appendicitis is different from normal appendicitis in its severity. The former is more intense and doesn’t get healed. Normal appendicitis may be temporary which may get healed, but again due to unknown reasons.
As chronic appendicitis worsens or becomes more severe, one would feel intense pain in the abdominal and belly region, the abdominal region may be tender and lethargy or fatigue is very common. Usually, these symptoms are hard to observe or make note of during the early stages because they often resemble discomfort associated with constipation or gastrointestinal disorders. People often get no clear symptoms or indications of having developed chronic appendicitis.
Diagnosis & Treatments Of Chronic Appendicitis
There are many methods of diagnosing chronic appendicitis. An abdominal and belly examination by a doctor will be sufficient to know if one has chronic appendicitis. A CT scan or ultrasound can be used to confirm the condition and also to understand the severity of the condition.
These types of scans will tell you if the appendix has ruptured or if the infection is spreading, because if that happens then the condition can be life threatening. There are other imaging tests such as MRI, PET and some blood tests as well which take into account the white blood cells count to diagnose the infection or inflammation.
There is only one treatment of chronic appendicitis. Appendectomy is a surgery which involves getting rid of the appendix. Since the tube doesn’t cater to any bodily function, getting rid of it doesn’t have any impact on the normal health or lifestyle of a person. Antibiotics can be recommended but they cannot cure the problem. They can only contain an infection.